Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Typical Conversation

Below, is an email exchange of mine with my good friend J-----. I met J----- as a member of the LDS church many years ago, and we've stayed in contact despite moves, his mission, and other things. Recently, after being out of touch for a while, we reconnected. I told him that I had left the church and about this blog. Here is what he had to say:

Hi "Galatian",

I tried calling you a few times in the past two weeks but your phone number isn't connected or isn't working right now. I appreciated hearing from you and about how things are going in your life. In regards to your blog, I have not and will not be visiting it.

I can understand that you have gone through a lot of tough times and that it wasn't easy for you to connect with the Church culture. I can also understand that leaders of the Church today and in the early days of the Church have made and will continue to make mistakes (such is life for all of us). You have read some things that have made you think that the Church is corrupt. One important principle to remember in all of this however, is that the Lord and His Church are perfect and although the members and leaders of His Church are imperfect, He will never allow the Church to be led astray by its leaders.

Doctrines of the Church are established when the majority of the quorum of the 12 Apostles and the First Presidency are agreed to the doctrine and they declare it as doctrine (not as personal opinion or insight). The members are then under the responsibility to seek the Lord for their own personal witness of that declared doctrine. Putting all of historical and logical methods aside, the ONLY way one can know that the Church is true and divine is by the power of the Holy Ghost. How can one truly understand a person and what he/she is about without talking directly with him/her? Likewise, how can one truly understand God and His teachings without communicating with Him? We need the help and influence of the Holy Ghost to know and understand the things of God and we need the constant help of the Holy Ghost to hold on to that divine truth.

When we learn something that is true and from God, it brings peace, joy, understanding, etc. to our souls. Through my best efforts in keeping God's commandments, exercising my mental capacities, and the witness of the Holy Ghost, I know the L.D.S. Church is the Lord's Church and that the Prophets who lead it are called of God. I hope these things I have said will remind you of the feelings you felt when you joined the Church or when you met the missionaries for the first time (at your door). If you get your phone connected again, please let me know.

Luv ya. Sincerely, J------.

(I apologize to J-- for using his email without permission, but seeing as it had no personal or identifying information (only his apologetics) I felt it was reasonable. I write this in case he ever decides to take a look at this blog after all ;-)

Here is my response:


Thanks for the note. We'll simply have to agree to disagree. What disturbs me most about the LDS church is its obvious brainwashing which was so apparent in your email ... that's why I call it a cult. It's not a criticism of you, I used to be the same ... just an observation. The problem with the LDS church is that it relies on a personal emotional manifestation of the truth, instead of empirical evidence, facts, or plain logic and reason. I have Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses and everyone under the sun testifying to me of the truthfulness of their church/book, and how I can know through prayer. Of course, the reason I know they aren't true is observing the doctrine and history, using logic, and plain facts.
I realize that the church leaders aren't perfect, and that's fine. But I disagree with the idea that they can never lead the church astray through the power of the Holy Spirit or God. To accept that, I would have to accept that Brigham Young was divinely inspired when he supported slavery, spoke hatred towards blacks, racism in the church etc. I'd have to believe he was divinely inspired when he said that Adam was God manifested in the flesh, and that Jesus Christ supported slitting people's throats, and that his sacrifice was not enough to atone for ALL sins and that sometimes we must be killed for our sins (Blood Atonement). All of this of course, can be found quoting Brigham directly in the Journal of Discourses. And what did Brigham say of the JoD? Well they are a compilation of his talks and sermons given in church and in the temples. Seeing as he was the Prophet of the Church and claimed it all was doctrinal, revelation ... I think we can take his word for it when he states that anything written in it (and later edited by him) is the word of God and as good of scripture as the Bible itself.

I will not put my logic aside and "pray" to know if something is true. Otherwise my prayer and the so-called Holy Spirit might tell me that I should be a Muslim, or Jehovah's Witness, heck maybe even a Scientologist. No, I will use my logic. And my logic deduces that any church which was racist for hundreds of years (and still is -- because I don't believe black skin is a curse of Cain, nor do I believe I am half descended from cursed Jews), or that had killing squads wipe out its enemies (Danites, etc), or that had Blood Atonement and murdered people, or that had a Prophet having sex with married women, pregnant women, teenage girls (as young as 14), or already-married women, who has proven to have made up the Book of Abraham and Book of Mormon, to which there is NO empirical evidence for, and who falsely translated the Kinderhook Plates, and more ... must be false. It's quite simple.

Mormons claim they have faith in Jesus Christ. But let me ask: who is your faith in? Is your faith in Jesus Christ, or Joseph Smith? For if evidence proves that Smith was a fraud and the church is a lie, why fear? If you proclaim that Jesus is your Saviour, than what difference does it make if the LDS church is false - because you still are saved and have a saviour? It really makes me wonder why Mormons are so fearful of the truth. I can only surmise that their faith truly is in Joseph Smith, and in a church where salvation is based on 'works' (temple work, etc) and not really faith.

And on an end note, I felt something when the missionaries came to my door because I was a young, naive girl who would have believed the moon was made of cheese if they so told me. Thank goodness that is not the case anymore. I tell you all this with much love and affection, though it may seem rude, because I hope you too will come to see the truth ...

Take care, glad you're doing well. xoxo

Luv, 'Galatian'.
Galatian's Note:

I really, truly do love my LDS friends. I have three best friends that are LDS members, whom I hope will always be my friends and be in my life. But let me state quite honestly that sometimes I struggle with our friendships. It's sad, but true.

I originally created this blog for my best friends. I was hoping they would read it if I, a best friend, had created it. I hoped they would give me the benefit of the doubt, have an open mind, and look at it. To my knowledge, none of them have viewed it.

Any conversations we have regarding the LDS church always follow the same pattern: they testify of its truthfulness, they tell me to pray and seek the "Spirit" to validate it, they quote faith-promoting rumors, verses, doctrines, etc. They then tell me that I'm mistaken, that I've been led astray by 'apostate material' and that they don't wish to discuss ANY of the evidence, quotations or questions that I have. They are quite happy to leave their head buried in the sand.

And for me, I have a great deal of difficulty keeping my tongue and my temper, because it's all so absurd. And I feel angry that my friends are in a cult - a full out fraudulent enterprise and religion, donating their time and money and all of it for nothing. But they refuse to accept the truth. What can one do?

I also have an increasingly difficult time feeling close to people who believe I will be going to hell for being an apostate (or denying the Holy Ghost), or at the very least believe they will be up tarrying about in the Celestial Kingdom becoming Gods in all their glory looking down woefully upon their poor apostate friend in the lowest levels of heaven. How arrogant; how ridiculous!

I suppose I should just be plain thankful they haven't completely cut me out of their lives, as the church generally counsels to do -- especially since I, the "apostate" have been giving them the true facts ... or as the church would call it: "anti mormon material" all part of the reason no doubt, they should never associate with me again - lest they learn the facts!

It is just a personally frustrating and sad time for me, looking at my friends' condition. And I can't help but pity them, as they no doubt 'pity' me.

Just another example of how the LDS church breaks apart family and friends ...

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