Monday, August 30, 2010

Everybody's Weird

I love my dad, and my stepmom and I have become really close.

A big reason why: we don't discuss religion. Much. And this after a few years of passive-aggressive hatred for my conversion to the church (ie: "yes we'll be at the temple for your wedding" NOT).

Sometimes the subject would pop up, like around the 4th of July when stepmom would be working in a fireworks booth to raise money for their church/youth program and would ask Eric and me if our church did the same thing.

We were grateful for this sliver of interest and thought they were so cute. The LDS church needing fundraisers? psssh, we have tithing.

Speaking of, we also would discuss tithing. Tithing was never a thing back when I went to their church--just your standard offering plate--but yanno with their non-cookie cutter denomination things are always changing (so sad!) and they began to tithe and we began to hear and even swap tithing testimonials. Then my dad began to worry about me once I began to question the veracity of the principle.

Then there was the time she told me the story of how she and my dad were hard up for cash and this woman approached them at church, mentioned something about being "impressed" to give them a check, and did.

(waaaait a minute, i thought. those sorts of things can only happen in OUR church)

Other than that, though, very little talking went on. It's even more rare now that they've seen the title to a more private blog I have on livejournal that includes the word "agnostic."

Straight to hell!

Anyway I hear stuff. And I had my own experiences.

Like the time I was taken to the cemetery and told to accept Christ now while I could because I could die at any time and my unsaved 11 year old ass would be sent straight to hell.

(no worries, tho. i was saved, like, five times)

Or the time I and maybe two other kids were consigned to a small, dark, hot closet (aka "hell") while the rest of the youth group went to a large, bright room with cookies. (didja know heaven will totes have cookies? yeah i would hope so, but it also better have cake. chocolate.)

I think the idea of that particular exercise was to impress upon us that death would come randomly (two kids acted as angels of death and took us to either room "randomly") and so we needed to be ready and accept Christ now.

I was also told that if god, being all-knowing and all, told me I was going to hell I was going to hell and there was nothing I could do about it so don't even try (seriously). And if I was going to heaven, nothing I would do would change that because god said i was going to heaven. So, either way, PARTY UP, BITCHES.

Or the number of times the pastor would talk about satan. Once he said "he could be in the back of this chapel" (so of course I looked) or how, in the middle of prayer, he'd start talking to satan. One particularly funny time he began shouting "SATAN YOU'RE A LIAR! LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!"

I shit you not. Eric and I were there for my nephew's dedication (same thing as a blessing, only it involves just the pastor) and we almost peed our pants.

So a few months ago my sister, still in her teens, tells me more stories. Like how her pastor told her that she kept her under water just a smidge longer during her baptism to rid her of the "extra sin."

Or how she's called a slut/whore.

And the weird way she's regarded when she doesn't fall into tongue-hysterics (tongues weren't a thing when I went there, either. missed out on the fun, I guess)

Or confided in me that she's tried and tried but just doesn't get this whole prayer thing.


I had no idea how literally they take the Bible. And until I read Koda's blog, I didn't know how literally the LDS take it (srsly? official LDS stance is that the Earth is 6000 years old? i never knew that) Does the church also stand against the idea theory of evolution?

I mean, I know with the whole Kolob thing the LDS religion is straight up weird (not to mention most everything else), but I don't know. I also recognize that it's not all weird. Just mostly. 99%. Even active, faithful members have to recognize that. Even if it is in the back of their mind.

Kolob, 6000 years old, oils, temple clothes, tongues--I mean, seriously. If I ever step back and think "yanno, maybe" this shizz slaps me back into reality.

I can rationalize some fact into fiction (sorry, "faith") but there's too much that is fundamental that I cannot anymore.

(though i will say, church ought to be more like what kiley experienced. i might even go to something like that.)

And yet I continue to think that there's something to this ghost/paranormal business...

Oh well.


  1. Re: "this shizz slaps me back into reality"

    Something we noted awhile back on the Ex-Mormon LJ community was the character "Shiz" in the Book of Mormon and what a howler that name was. So I guess in a sense, the mere existence of the name Shiz in the so-called holy scriptures can slap you back into reality as well. :B

  2. There's tons of fun names in the BoM, aren't there?

    There's even a Moron.

    I mean, craaaap.

    (there's an ex-mormon LJ community?)

  3. I don't believe the church has an official stance on the age of the earth. They mostly just let people believe whatever they want on that issue. Most of my BYU professors believed either in intelligent design or some form of old earth creationism. There were statements from presidents of the church in the early 1900s where they said that humans weren't a product of evolution (b/c we're descended from god, not apes), but that they didn't have a stance on the rest of evolution.

    Anyways, like anything, the official doctrine is whatever the individual thinks it is. The only time you get declarations of what is and is not official doctrine is in conference or maybe the Ensign - and more than not they stick to the basics there. They've eventually learnt not to make too many pronouncements about the specifics of doctrine apart from the stuff you learn as an investigator (Brucey learnt that the hard way), except when their bigotry takes over.

  4. That's what i thought. Personally I never really subscribed to the literal interpretations anyway (when it got a little, uhm, outrageous). If anything, I aligned myself with those who said "science answers how, religion answers why" crowd.

    I figured god could create people and have them evolve. But that doesn't make sense anymore, either.

  5. I may have mispoken on the official age of the earth according to the church... That was what was taught to me as a wee lad, along with the blacks being so evil in the pre-existence that they shouldn't have the priesthood idea, and that the great flood was a literal event which allowed the earth to receive it's baptism...

  6. I just want to say, you're a fantastic writer. And I love that you use your brain. That's a pretty big part of the reason why God "sent" us here to have experience and grow right? Right? But only on the straight and narrow...uggh. Anyways, feel like you're inside my head sometimes. Thanks for the blog, like a breath of fresh air. :)