You recently left a comment on my blog. I try not to assume people are trolls right off the bat so I'm happy to reply to your message. And since you had the good form to at least provide an initial and a screen name I'll try my best to refrain from snark (though I've always been a bit sarcastic and may slip up here and there). To make things clear and easy to read I'll use what I call the “quote and reply” format. I hope that you will be willing to read and consider what I have to say since I'll be putting in so much effort and time to your reply.
If you don't like the Church... Don't go.
I don't go, not anymore. And if we're using that logic I suppose I could say if you don't like my blog don't read it. But I've never been big on that argument (the love it or leave it all or nothing thing just doesn't jive with me). So, you're welcome here as long as you play nice. :)
Do you really have to have a blog? Blogs are.... a podium for "I", "Me", "I","I", "I", "Me", Etc.
Truly selfish... Agreed that it is the same for bloggers that are "believers" in one thing or another, not just "non-believers"...
No, I don't have to have a blog. But I do want to have a blog. I'm a writer at heart. And these days my blogs function as my journal (journal keeping: one of the things I picked up from the church and for which i am, honestly, grateful). See, I have ADHD and my thoughts race very quickly and my handwriting can't keep up. Typing works much better. And since I'm typing it anyway why not go the extra step and click the "publish post" button? I like to share with those who are interested.
Despite your assertion that blogs are merely vain and selfish they do serve a purpose. This blog, aside from being the very cheap form of therapy that it is for me, has been of interest to others who are going through the same process as I am. I've been thanked for writing this blog. And there are blogs out there (on leaving the church and a million other topics) that I am grateful for. For example:
- This blog and this blog have inspired me to take better care of my body.
- This blog makes me laugh which is good for the soul.
- This blog motivates me to get boring housework done and helps me understand that I'm not the only person with an imperfect home.
- This blog gives me ideas for things I want to do with my daughter when she's old enough.
- This blog taught me lots of great stuff about money management.
I think you get the idea. Blogs, well...good blogs anyway, are not just about “Me, I, I, I, me.” They are about content and community. They're like free, interactive magazines but, in my opinion, more enjoyable because they have such a personal touch.
Old Joe Smith was correct in at least one of his statements (paraphrasing here) that after uniting with the Church one will not remain "neutral". They just can't walk away. They have to fight...
And do you ever stop to wonder why? I mean really stopped and thought hard about it? I'm not talking about giving a “seminary answer” of being filled with the spirit of contention or led astray by the devil. I'm talking about putting yourself in someone else's shoes and trying to understand how they feel instead of telling them how they feel. Here, let me give you a small insight into what it means to be an exmo
Think about how much you give to the church. Tithing, time, whatever is asked of you. Now, pretend that you found out it was all a fraud. Pretend you didn't get to have your mother (or a single member of your family for that matter) at your wedding. Pretend you went into debt trying to keep up with tithing and fast offerings while living on a student's budget. Pretend you had fought to defend the honor of an institution that lied to you. Pretend you walked away from that organization because integrity demanded it. Now pretend that people you thought were your friends stopped being your friends and gossiped about you. Pretend your family members still in the church insulted and harassed you. Pretend you suddenly realized what a fool you had been and that you had done bad things because the church told you to. Can you honestly say you wouldn't be angry?
Of course we can't remain neutral. We see the damage the so called “Gospel” did to our lives and our loved ones. We want to protect others from the same. And, frankly, we want to commiserate with each other because you can't just drop something so all consuming (daily prayers, scriptures, weekly church and meetings, monthly temple attendance, etc.) and just walk away as if nothing happened. You have to spend quite a lot of time deconstructing church programming and discovering who you really are. No-one should have to do that alone.
And as long as we're quoting church leaders:
"Each of us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing."
- Gordon B. Hinckley. "Loyalty," April Conference, 2003.
Frauds deserve opposition, especially frauds that harm. It's really not that much different than warning my friends that this or that brand of product is a cheap piece of crap and they should save their money because it doesn't do what it claims. Well...I'd like to warn people to save their tithing because the “Gospel” doesn't do what it claims nor is there going to be a second coming, nor heaven and eternal salvation so they might as well spend their money and time enjoying their finite existence and helping others do the same.
I read most of your blog... You are mistaken in a few areas, probably because of your age, with regards to recent DNA issues, ore/weapons (ore has been found you can contact me for references) in Ancient America and the actual condition of America when Columbus arrived here (see the book "1491" by the author Mann)... new discoveries actually throw out most of what we've learned in text books all of our lives about the small bands of native Americans when Columbus arrived... new evidence actually verifies that there were huge cities with millions of people...
I would have thought you had done your home work before creating a blog at your young age...
Do you know how condescending that sounds? How about I won't imply that you're a fool because you're an old fogey and you don't imply that I'm a fool because I'm 23. Fair enough?
As for doing homework, what makes you think I haven't? Have you visited any of the references I've listed throughout this blog? How about at least visiting Mormon Think which is run by members of the church. The only scientists who claim there are evidences for the truth of the Book of Mormon are, not surprisingly, Mormon. No reputable museum, or organization that I have found proposes that the Book of Mormon is a true historical record. Find me a book, newspaper article, or other, similar source that is NOT connected to a Mormon and I'll take a look. If all you have for me are biased, apologetic references then, I'm sorry, but I don't have time to waste on those.
I don't expect to see this comment on your blog... as I'm sure that you only post comments supportive to your view...
Now, now...you know what they say about assumptions.* Just because I'm an apostate doesn't mean I'm a jerk. Sheesh. I only delete comments that are truly offensive, which is the same policy as my other blog. But really, that's kind of a negative outlook isn't it? You're sure I won't leave your post up? I mean, I know the church often teaches that we apostates are led by Satan and are so angry and hate-filled that we become caricatures. But, come on. You seem like a fairly decent guy from the limited exposure I've had. Shouldn't you know better than to assume the worst in people? People can be stupid sometimes. But they can be filled with good as well.
Besides, I'm not threatened by comments supporting the church so I have no need to censor them. The truth is the truth no matter how many people declare otherwise and the real evidence supports it. A quick “prayer” before the altar of Google reveals all the light and truth people need. After all...
"If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak."
- George Albert Smith, 1871, Journal of Discourses, Vol 14, pg 216.
And frankly, I abhor censorship. The thought of book burnings make me cringe. I may delete meanness. But I won't delete an idea just because I disagree with it.
If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed." (emphasis mine)
- J. Reuben Clark, D. Michael Quinn, J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1983, p. 24.
Holly, I'm not gonna say "I'll pray for you" etc... I will say that I have gone down your road of study. EVERY CONVERTED member of the Church has had their questions. I have. It took some real study, some real work, some miracles (of which I can't speak because of their personal nature) I wish you well in your positive efforts. I do not wish you well in your negative pursuits...
I do not consider my blog a negative effort. Though, having been in your place not too long ago, I really understand why you do. Please try to consider this:
I find my blog a positive effort because of the reasons I've already listed. It is a cheap form of therapy. It is helpful to others going through the same thing (and, I've been told, entertaining to some nevermos). And it serves as a warning and a source for truth.I think you can understand that even if you don't agree with it.
I do appreciate that you said "I'm not gonna say 'I'll pray for you.'" It was one of the reasons I wanted to take the time to give you a decent reply. I think most atheists find statements like "I'll pray for you" annoying at best. I wish you well in your positive pursuits also, though I'm sure we disagree on what those might be. And I hope that, if nothing else, after reading my response you will take with you a better understanding of exmos and be able to spread that understanding (and maybe even some compassion) to your peers in the church. So many view us as nothing but bitter, evil people who have "sinned against the light." Maybe you can challenge that stereotype and remind them that, if they actually take the time to talk with us (as you have), they might find that we're much more complex than that.
*You make an ass out of “u” and “mumption?” ;)