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Ask an ex-Mormon
RE: Ask an ex-Mormon
(January 12, 2021 at 3:46 pm)Five Wrote:
(January 12, 2021 at 3:24 pm)arewethereyet Wrote: I'm not really sure how to ask this so kick me if I goof it up...

What is the feeling among, I guess, mainstream LDS toward those in FLDS?

Oh, no worries! I get what you mean. So, a little preface.

1. I was not aware of the many other offshoots of Mormonism while I was a member. The only one I knew of was the Fundamentalist group that you mention. 2. I was also not taught about Joseph Smith's polygamy in church. It was a revelation by Smith but a Brigham Young practice and I was also taught(incorrectly, mind you), that it stopped very soon after it was implemented(lol).

So, the general feeling towards FLDS is that they were perverted weirdos led astray by their inability to accept the new prophet, Young, as the true prophet and their desire to continue to practice polygamy. I was also taught that Emma Smith, Joseph's wife, went with them and took Joseph's translation of the Bible with her. So, we didn't have the full scripture retranslation of the Bible that Smith did while he was alive, only a portion that we would reference in classes.

Other than that, they weren't discussed except as giving Mormons a bad name. Because "no, we're not the ones who practiced polygamy; we're the decent ones." When in fact, come to find out, the main LDS branch was constantly having to get reprimanded by the government to stop practicing polygamy all the way up to the 1920's. I know that there are records of secret polygamous marriages being performed by church leadership over the border in Mexico as late as 1947.
Thank you.  I have watched some documentaries on LDS and FLDS and figured it was the case that the LDS looked at the FLDS as the crazy cousins or drunk uncles of the family.  But as in most cases the crazy is in degrees with none being free of at least some of it.

I didn't realize that the mission trip was optional.  But when I look back I know not all the boys I went to school with were altar boys and I have no idea why some were and some weren't.  Is going on a mission your choice or are you somehow selected?
 “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” ~Albert Einstein                                                 
RE: Ask an ex-Mormon
(January 12, 2021 at 3:46 pm)brewer Wrote: There are special tokens and hand signs?  I had no clue. Sounds stolen from the Masons.

Another: Why the fascination with ancestry and genealogy? I've heard that it's used to convert a person after they are dead. Panic

Yes, it was. In the church: I was told that the Free Masons comparison came from ordinances performed in Solomon's temple. The Free Masons had an incomplete or incorrect version of these sacred rituals and Joseph Smith in restoring the true church of Jesus Christ also restored the correct version of those sacred ordinances.
After I left, I learned: That Joseph Smith was a Free Mason and introduced the Endowment ceremony just days after he became a Master Mason(odd coincidence, right? But that's Mormonism. Stuff that happened to Joseph Smith was merely an inspiration for true revelations from God and NOT inspirations for more wool spinning of a conman like you might assume). I also learned that up until 1992 the Endowment ceremony included very graphic descriptions and motions for penalties if the secret signs and handshakes were ever revealed. The hand signs they do now are but shadows of these old signs and they no longer speak of things like slitting the throat or disembowelling, etc. I went to the temple for the first time in 2007 but I'd like to think I'd recognize the cultish behavior if I'd been there for any of that stuff.

Another dose of cognitive dissonance: This ancient, sacred ordinance that is necessary for exaltation in the next life had to be restored to the earth because there was no correct form present that God would accept. ...but after surveying the church members who were creeped out by the penalties in the 70's and 80's resulting in a drop in membership, I suppose we can change this ordinance to update it for modern sensibilities. Anything sacred that is worth doing is certainly worth changing at a later date, I guess.

As for genealogy: busywork and indoctrination. That's my glib, apostate answer.

In reality, Mormonism puts up the pretense that they are family oriented so members are encouraged to do their family history work. The purpose is to take those names to the temple so that you can get their ordinances done. There is baptism, washing and anointing, endowments, and then sealing. You cannot have access to the ultimate high heaven and get your own planet and a harem of wives unless you do all of them. There's that question in theology about what happens to someone who never got the opportunity to hear the truth or get baptized? Are they just punished anyway? WRong. Mormon God shows mercy by forcing your descendants to find you in their records, take your name to the temple and get baptized in your place. It is a proxy system. Regular members only get baptised and endowments once. The returning trips to the temple over and over are all for the dead.

So they say. Going to the temple is a desensitizing and logic inoculation. The more times you go, especially with friends and family, bolstered by their cheer, pressured by their sense of duty, the less weird it appears. And the more likely you are to not rear up when some other weirdness happens. The more likely your defense mechanisms will kick in when you encounter something controversial about church history. Almost every exMo I have talked to about the temple endowment had the same thought I had the first time I went, "Omg...am I in a cult?" But many of us stayed in for years afterward, conditioned to "put it on the shelf".

Sorry, got a bit sidetracked. Yes, it is for proselytizing. In the afterlife right now and ever since there has been death, there have been missionaries on the other side, knocking on the doors of the dead to give them the lessons. Those that hear it for the first time and accept it have no recourse because they do not have bodies anymore to baptize. So, their descendants do that work, just in case. So that they already have all the ordinances done if they meet with afterlife missionaries and they can go to the highest heaven. If they meet with the missionaries and don't accept the message, then no harm no foul. But I have NEVER heard it assumed that dearly departed great grandma or great grandpa didn't want to be baptized. It is ALWAYS assumed, in thousands of stories, where while someone was getting baptized or getting endowments for the dead, "I felt great great cousin there! I could feel their joyous relief and gratitude as I got their work done for them! They've been waiting for so long!"

Once you die, of course you'd visit with Mormon missionaries and desperately want to get baptized. [/deadpan]

RE: Ask an ex-Mormon
Why do they call them "Free Masons"? Every time I look in my Sunday Newspaper, in the circular, I never find coupons for that.
RE: Ask an ex-Mormon
(January 12, 2021 at 6:23 pm)Brian37 Wrote: Why do they call them "Free Masons"? Every time I look in my Sunday Newspaper, in the circular, I never find coupons for that.

Does it hurt to be so stupid, like actual, physical pain?

‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
RE: Ask an ex-Mormon
(January 12, 2021 at 2:01 pm)Five Wrote:
(January 12, 2021 at 1:38 pm)brewer Wrote: Do they (you) all wear the undergarment?

If you wore it/them (I understand that they are two piece) what did it do for you?

Only if you have performed the certain ceremony, the Endowment, in the temple. Usually, this is reserved for after 18, and they get you at pivotal life events on the cusp of adulthood. For instance, young people spend their lives growing up feeling encouraged and pressured to go on a two year mission once they turn 18. So, when they graduate high school and are preparing to make this two year commitment, they are rushed to the temple to get their endowment done and then immediately sent off to serve this mission before they really have a chance to process what they just went through. Others, like me, wait until just before marriage to get it done, with the same thing sort of happening. You've been sold this idea your whole life that families can be together forever, that going to the temple with your spouse is the beginning of eternity together. You find the right person, fall in love, pray about it, and yes, this is the one I want to be in the eternities with. And then you let her pick the temple she wants you to take her to, get a date reserved for the ceremony, and everything else planned and then you get the endowment and before you get that chance to really question what you saw, you're back in the temple getting married. Once you get it done, what are you going to say? "Wait, I don't want to marry her because holy crap, that was weird!" It's all manipulation and social pressure.

You are expected to wear them for the rest of your life after that. The endowment ceremony itself is presented as this sacred step to getting closer to God, like a baptism only for adults. It is a three hour session of sitting in several different rooms and learning the secret handshakes and hand signs that let's God know you're trustworthy. You make a verbal promise to God not to reveal the special tokens to outsiders and to always remain pure and worthy of his trust in you. The garments themselves have symbols on them that mirror these hand signs and thus are a reminder of this promise as well as a physical reminder to remain pure. If you do so, they say the garments will protect you from bodily harm, like mithril chain mail. However, I have also heard examples of this as being a story of a guy in a plane crash who's body burned up except for the parts where his garments touched his skin.

Did you feel that? That cognitive dissonance just then? Heh. YEah. Big Grin


Agreed. Joseph Smith wasn't as ignorant as Mormons claim, as he was pretty well read and could recite the Bible in normal conversation. But he had a limited understanding of Christian history or even the rest of the world. So, his American centric views were borne of that. To this day, Mormons teach in Sunday school that America is exceptional and came about through providence for the specific purpose of bringing about Mormonism.

@no one

Very likely, yes. I wouldn't put it past her. *inadequately hides the album, Obscured by Clouds, behind my back*

Cult leaders are not dumb unfortunately.
RE: Ask an ex-Mormon
(January 12, 2021 at 3:54 pm)arewethereyet Wrote: Thank you.  I have watched some documentaries on LDS and FLDS and figured it was the case that the LDS looked at the FLDS as the crazy cousins or drunk uncles of the family.  But as in most cases the crazy is in degrees with none being free of at least some of it.

I didn't realize that the mission trip was optional.  But when I look back I know not all the boys I went to school with were altar boys and I have no idea why some were and some weren't.  Is going on a mission your choice or are you somehow selected?

Indeed! It is one of those lies by omission. Part of Sunday school and even my college classes at BYU-I taught church history, according to the official church narrative. I had NO IDEA Joseph Smith had any other wives let alone 34. And I knew the church leadership released a Manifesto on the ceasing of polygamy in 1890. But I had no idea that the church leadership had to issue a second Manifesto in 1904 to further discourage members from practicing it. And I of course had no idea that it took almost 5 more decades for the leadership to really stop, while occasionally getting pressured from the U.S. government to "seriously, knock it off." So, it is like a drunk uncle that you don't remember having wild parties with and nobody told you until years later you see yourself in a family member's Facebook Throwback Thursday timeline photo shoot of this amnesiac several nights.

It is optional but it is heavily pressured for young men. Return missionaries are prime Mormon wife-bait. It would have gotten me into BYU Utah no problem if I had gone. From what I understood of the process, it is an indoctrination tool...for the missionaries themselves. The lifestyle of a Mormon missionary is very strict and monitored and sometimes it solidifies the early youth programming the church puts into them. Plus, having to sell your faith for two years and stand up to challenges to it strengthens the doctrine within them. There is a series of worthiness interviews with the Bishop of the local ward and the Stake president to determine if you can go. But I know several young men who should not have been "worthy" by Mormon standards to go but who went anyway. Otherwise it is voluntary and family and leaders will never let you forget that you chose to stay home to write stories and get married than serve the Lord.


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