Monday, February 28, 2011

No shit.

"The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that it is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual."

--BOYD K. PACKER "The Candle of the Lord" January 1983 Ensign.

Yeah. Of all people.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bad cop

Question. Bear with me, please.

It's argued that bitching loud and proud about how awful and manipulative and irritating the church is is the only way to break free of it. Taking off those chains isn't easy. It's a loud process. They push back so hard on your efforts to just be.

Then again, it could also be argued that doing so is, in fact, allowing the church to have some control over you still. They're in your head, you're playing into their hands re: what apostates do, etc.

I know what many, if not all of you, will say. But let's play around with that second idea. I think about it sometimes, wonder if ignoring it--if simply living my life without the church--is the best way to break free of it. Is it the most active, persuasive way to make it disappear? I see other people living this way, and they just seem so much happier and, y'know, freer. It doesn't touch them anymore.

Is it simply the process or is it more an individual thing?

I can't help but feel I'm allowing them to have power over me still. I'm wasting precious life allowing them to eat me from the insides. But it's easier to do that. It's much scarier to find and live a life you don't have.

Thoughts? I think both arguments have incredible merit.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Free Agency"

An article over at MormonTimes was brought to my attention which commented on the rhetorical issues of "I can't, I'm Mormon."

The author thinks this is crap because, duh, Mormons have a choice.

This is a sticking point between many ex-members and current members. It's also an issue between never-mos and current members. For example, my brother had a really bad experience with a scary roommate of his. The guy ended up going to jail because of my brother. He threatened my brother--you know, "When I get out..." I don't remember the specifics, but my brother had to do what he did because, as he said, he didn't have a choice.

A member told him "Of course you do."

This was during my initial disaffection, and as such I had a progressively heightened sense for bullshit. I told said person that when it's a "choice" between living or dying, it's not really a choice, is it?

This person is like this...all the time. He can't let anything go. He'll walk into your home and preach. He'll call you to task on anything he feels strongly about. It's his way of spreading teh gospel. It's fucking annoying.

To his credit, he let it go that time because really, what is the choice?

He didn't quite learn the lesson though. The church is all about "free agency." Freedom to choose. "I teach them correct principles," Joseph Smith said, "and they govern themselves." Every member is under this delusion that you always have a choice.

Of course you do, technically. You could choose to die if you wanted to. But most people aren't looking to be martyrs without a cause. Most people want to live. What choice is it when your hand is effectively forced?

But, members would say, the church doesn't force your hand. Ask past-President Gordon Hinckley:
No, I reply, the Church will not dictate to any man how he should think or what he should do. The Church will point out the way and invite every member to live the gospel and enjoy the blessings that come of such living. The Church will not dictate to any man, but it will counsel, it will persuade, it will urge and it will expect loyalty from those who profess membership therein.

Isn't "expect loyalty" simply a euphemism for "dictate"? 

The church is confusing choice with force, not to mention forgetting the paternal nature of its organization. They treat you like a (jerk) father would treat his little child--but it's worse than that. It is akin to a father saying "Don't ever say anything bad about me or I'll disown you."

What is the choice in that?

The Church takes it a step further, however. It's not simply about excommunication because excommunication as an LDS concept means so much more. What ought to be said is "Don't say anything bad about me or I'll disown you and effectively not only take away everything you've ever had, but your salvation as well."


Truly, if I wanted to, I'd make a shirt that said "I can, I'm not Mormon."

Hmmm. I might look into that.

*Also, just for fun let's also discuss the funny that is an attractive, young blonde thing with "come hither" eyes wearing a shirt that says "I can't, I'm Mormon."

Monday, February 21, 2011


This sums it up rather nicely. A book on women, written by 15 pious old men.

Woman, by a bunch of old white men

h/t USU Shaft

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It begins?

So I don't know the timeline as my landline answering machine fucks up the dates and whatnot, but.


While I studied in my room yesterday, our RS president stopped by, wanting to meet me. DILF told her "It's probably best if you don't come back."

I was both disappointed and glad I was away when she came by.

Then, just now, my son noticed that we had some messages on our answering machine. He keeps a sharp eye for this. He presses the button, and I immediately hear the word "Sister" and a familiar last name. I listen. This woman wants to "become acquainted with me" and gives me her phone number.

I figure she called before she came over? Who knows.

The next message is from her as well. "Don't mean to bother you again," she says, and then repeats the same shit she said on the last message.

My oldest is about to turn 8. We've already received the letter about it, and now this stuff. I understand from the message that "Sister" So-and-So is new to this calling, so she may just be super-zealous about bringing inactives back, but I wonder if it has anything to do with my kid not being baptised unless someone does something.

I just hated it. "Become acquainted with you." Uhm. I don't do assigned friends, but thanks.

I still can't get used to being on this side of the fence.

It is weird, the reactions you have to these things. I kind of want her to call again. I'd like to tell her that I'm sure she's super nice, but there's nothing nothing nothing she can say or do to bring me back. I'd love to tell her I'm resigning soon. I'd love to tell her I've already resigned, because I worry that telling her I haven't yet will give her some kind of hope and we'll receive EVEN MORE attention--but if that happens, we'll just send in the letters. I'm not okay with this. I'm just not.

God it's weird the way these stupid things affect you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update on 30-year-old single guy

He's getting married.

At the end of April.

Now, I'm nobody to speak against fast engagements (do you really want to know how quick my husband and I became engaged? blink. there you go), or fast marriages, but...

after all his doubts and hesitations?

She wants a quick marriage. Every LDS girl does. I did. Hell, I wish we'd have gotten married on our terms and done it three months earlier, but whatever. I get it. Pants, they want to get off already.

I dunno.

I hope it works out for them. I really, really, really do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I am not happy with my life*

Shocker, I know. I also realize I'm hardly alone. (i'm so tired of feeling as if i need to defend myself. i've all these voices in my head--conservative voices i grew up with. ones that say "oh get over it. do you know how blessed you are? do you know how much worse you could have it? suck it up, stupid. you're fine")

I wouldn't count myself as miserable, but the regret! oh god, the regret. So heavy.

I'd do so much over again. So much.

People tell me that I'm fixing things now, and I am. I get that. Yay for me! I know. I know.

Please stop saying those things. Just stop. The last time I heard "good for you!" in response to hearing that I'm back in school needs to be the last. It bothers me. The sentiment, the meaning behind "She's going back to school" and the meaning behind the response just makes my skin crawl.

Good for me, good for me. Yes. Good for me. I fucked up and I'm fixing it. I'm the old lady in the classroom going back to school. It's awful. Do you know how awful it is? I have a love-hate relationship with it. I look at all these kids--kids who were 8-10 years old when I graduated high school, omg--and look at all the extra-curricular shit going on and I just want it all back so, so bad. It's becoming tangibly pathetic, if it hasn't become that already.

I'm not depressed at the moment but these thoughts are patently depressing. I want to cry. I have lost ten years of my life.

But it's amazing to be there. Just amazing. And I so much appreciate the fact that I can even go back. It's become a process of resurrection.

I should leave it at that, no?

It's just in my face, three days a week. I think I'm fine. I can't look that old, after all. I've still got 6 months before I'm 30.

And then the perfectly nice girl who sits next to me makes some comment related to my age.

DILF and I talk about our regrets semi-regularly. They're similar. He speaks of how he wishes he could've grown up with different teachings about life, and he speaks of how he'd ditch the mission. It pissed him off to be two years behind like I am pissed at my ten (well, eight I guess). I talk about what I wish I would've done, even though knowing myself back then and my situation--I may not have. Notwithstanding that, I wish I wish I wish. How I'd do things differently.

And when we talk about these things, we recognize to each other how doing things differently would probably mean we never would've met. But we're okay with this. Is that messed up? We love each other. There are few people in this world, if any at all, who can and will put up with my bullshit and still treat me like gold. Would I be willing to give that up? Yes. I suppose I would be.

He'd be willing too, and that doesn't bother me.

In a perfect world, we'd still have met. We wouldn't have been LDS. We would've just did our thing, encouraged and supported each other until getting married was reasonable. We would've started our careers, built a financial and emotional and whatever base and then had kids. Fuck this shit about getting married ASAP and having kids even quicker despite no job and no money. Fuck it.

School makes me happy. My anxieties blow away there. I feel smart for the first time in years there. I feel respected. I feel like an adult. 

(Newsflash: getting married and having kids does not an adult make)

I might have to take all online classes next semester (logistics--better now than later, won't explain), and I'm just...disappointed. I'm terrified. Funny, given how terrified I was right before school started. Enough to make me sick, sick, sick.

I think being somewhere with people and doing things where I'm away from the dirty dishes, laundry, kids, the midday silence that breeds depressing thoughts--I think it's taking away my anxiety, and I'm hoping now that it'll cure me a bit. I'm not happy here. I know that even more now.

I know these thoughts are hardly constructive, and I'd love nothing more than to just move on. But while I'm learning to be kinder to myself, in this arena I am stubborn. I keep kicking the dead horse. It's just part of my obsessive tendencies we all love so much! I hope it blows over soon. We don't deserve this.

* I know, blasphemy! I'm out of the church, I should be on Cloud-Fucking-Nine. But remember, just as those who are in the church are not by default always happy, those who leave are not always happy. Life, it's crazy that way.

Also, just to clarify: These days I'm mostly happy, but I'm overwhelmed by this one thing right now. So I'm talking about it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't Talk Shit.

I just discovered this gem of a blog. I don't know if its my mood tonight or what but the tone of this blog reads subversive.

LDS (Mormon) Stake Presidents [sic] Blog

And the comments! omg, the comments!

I'm giddy. This is--so far--a fantastic find.

Are you still here? Some snippets:

On vasectomies:

The handbook of instructions is clear on this subject. In the section entitled Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy) it states the following:
"The Church strongly discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control."

I don't see how someone can claim to feel good about doing something that the Church strongly discourages. 

I do!! I do!! Because it's bullshit, that's why!


The handbook goes on to clarify that surgical sterilization should be considered only if medical conditions jeopardize life or if someone is mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions.

Oh, no he didn't.

And the couple? Puh-lease. They're totally good for more kids, after all:

Wanting to get to the root of the problem I asked them where the idea came from.  They felt that with 1 year old twins and 3 other children at home they couldn't afford and didn't have the space for more.  Frankly I am disappointed at their lack of faith.  As prophesied Satan is deceiving the very elect.

This cannot be for real, y'all. It can't.


(oh the sign of good satire: you just dunno)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Sacredness" of marriage

I know an LDS guy who is pushing 30 and is yet unmarried, a guy who recently brought a girl home for Christmas. Everyone wants this kid to marry the girl. As such, the two of them have been through a hazing. Initiation and all.

And you know, it's fun when someone you love is in a serious relationship. It's exciting.

That said, I have my thoughts about this particular guy, but I realize I could be wrong. Still. A single LDS man who hasn't (as far as I'm aware) gone on many dates and is pushing thirty...well. Flags raise.

Is that wrong? I've other hints I won't divulge here. Nothing huge, but hints.

Not that I'd care--but his family and friends and community sure as hell would.

So his family discussed his situation the other day. One declared he simply needs to "man up" and just ask the girl to marry him already. Everyone agreed. After all, he and his girlfriend are acting engaged. And they are. I guess. I suppose this is reason enough to put the ring on her finger already?

Who knows.

His father said his son has doubts, a lot of doubts. The kid knows what he needs to do, his dad said, but he's scared. It must be due to lovin' the single life, to freedom, to doing whatever he wants. Maybe it is. But maybe it's not quite that simple. After all, it's not as if he's out partying every night. He travels. He does charity work in South America. He's getting his master's degree. He works for the church. He has friends. You know?

But, his sister chimed, he loves children, and if he wants children he'd better do it now. After all, she has four children and she's only few months younger than he is. He'd better get to if he wants even one kid. If he waits too much longer, parenting will simply exhaust him. If he waits too much longer, kids will be out of the picture.

And forget children, they said. What of the marriage? All these people waiting to get married. Don't they know? The older you get the more set in your ways you become and therefore the less willing you are to compromise. "Man up" said that that's why you marry young, while you're still used to sharing with your brothers and sisters.

It's dangerous to wait until you know who you are before you marry someone because then you're an old dog who can't learn new tricks. In this situation, they reasoned, divorce is far more likely.

Nevermind that he wants to get married. Just maybe not to this girl. Maybe.

I bit my tongue throughout the conversation. So much was wrong.

If marriage is so sacred perhaps he ought to be completely certain he's ready for it. Maybe he ought to marry this girl because he wants to marry this girl. Maybe he ought to marry her because he loves her and wants to make a lifelong commitment--not simply to satisfy cultural, religious, and familial expectations.

After all, there will be kids to consider. The life of a girl he cares about. His own happiness.

His family has his best interests at heart. They want him to marry, to have children, to be happy. They think he's happy with her, that they're better when they're together. I have a feeling, though, that this girl could be any girl and his family would be foaming at the mouth for him to marry her.

Their rationale just sounded so selfish to me. The whole thing was striking given the sanctity of marriage schpeal I've heard so often over the last few years.

Some girl, any girl, JUST MARRY A GIRL.

You know?

I'm not about to say this family is completely wrong. They know him better than I do, but I have a different lens with which to view him. A lens not skewed by the church.

It just bothered me. So much for sanctity. After all, he's running outta time. For god's sake, soon enough he'll be part of the "Single Adult" group--*shiver*

Isn't that reason enough?


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stupid Argument

I just read this one:

A little boy writes God a letter. "God, why do you allow bad things to happen in schools?" God replies, "Dear son, I am not allowed in your schools."

I've heard this a few times but the full impact of its stupidity just hit me now. The first time I heard this, I, too, felt it was powerful. The more I heard it, the less powerful it became. And now it's just stupid.

God stays out of schools because he's not allowed in them? Some powerful god, more concerned with carnal policies than in being there for his children. Priority FAIL.

Also, if only good things happen where God is "allowed" as this meme alludes, can we then conclude that god really isn't allowed in other places, homes, etc? I'm pretty sure there are faithful people to whom bigger atrocities occur than "no [TEACHER LED] prayer in schools." I also know that good things--great things--happen where god isn't allowed.

Really, folks. You can do better, can't you? If anything, this only serves to prove the point.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Post Plans

There are so many things I want to say, and the subjects increase each day. They include:

The problem of regret and the need for self-mercy (make sense?) Truth, I'm not sure what I mean by that last part, but I was totally into it two hours ago on my way home from school. Which is part of it, really. School, I mean. A place that represents so many things, a place that evokes so many emotions and thoughts. A place that gives me pride, a place that scares me, a place that challenges me, a place that embarrasses me--and not necessarily like you might think. I also want to speak of regret and the need for self-mercy (just go with me on that term) in a general sense.

Letters to special friends, maybe family. Not even current friends, mostly past.  One or two kinda-sorta both. All people who have impacted my life in the most significant ways. I want to keep these letters fairly vague and anonymous, but I am unconvinced this is a realistic goal. It won't matter in some respects, as long as I don't give out full names. But if you know me well enough, you will know who I speak of. My biggest worry about this is seeming desperate and pathetic though it is full of nostalgia and will also relate in some ways to the last topic I want to write about.

An About Me on steroids. Super honest, bullet points, short explanations (hahahaha!). Easier said than done, and not necessarily an idea that will fulfill my idealism.

I want to write but I've so little time to write. Four classes and I am doing little but work. It is to the point where cleaning my house is relaxing. I made up a form on Excel for our finances the other day and honest to god it helped my headache. It's not as if our finances offered much to relax from, either.

I want to write so fucking bad--more to talk. It's an impotence. It's frustrating.

Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to pop something out. Hopefully by this weekend I'll have done what I need to do (get myself to the library so I can be without distractions--except, say, facebook *sigh!*--and get ALL my shit done) and have a bit of time to just chill. The problem is, there are so many things that I need to do outside of school that now can be categorized as "chilling."

So we'll see.