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ghoulslime
04-14-2005, 05:37 PM
Are there any Atheists on this board who are Ex-Mormons?

If so, maybe you’ll appreciate this page:

http://poetryring.com/ghoulslime/mormons.html

I was born and raised a Mormon. I stayed in that religion until I reached the age of reason.

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam....I think not.

God, my arse
04-14-2005, 08:43 PM
What is the Mormon thing? I don't really understand the Church of Latter Day Saints although I did see something on South Park and I am not sure whether to believe it or not.

z3n
04-15-2005, 01:04 AM
I stayed in that religion until I reached the age of reason.
That line is classic!

I was never Mormon but I have known a few married couples that were. And it was always the same story with all of them too: The wife was already Mormon when they met and the husband wasn’t so he had to convert to Mormonism (and did) before they could get married.

What’s the deal with that??

What is the Mormon thing?
I like the web site religioustolerance.org (www.religioustolerance.org) for info on just about any religion you can think of. And probably quite a few that you can't.

Philboid Studge
04-15-2005, 05:21 AM
The wife was already Mormon when they met and the husband wasn’t so he had to convert to Mormonism (and did) before they could get married.
My brother married a Mormon; he didn't have to convert. I'm not sure but I think he had to agree to raise any subsequent spawn on LDS or LSD or something.

ghoulslime
04-15-2005, 11:13 AM
What is the Mormon thing? I don't really understand the Church of Latter Day Saints although I did see something on South Park and I am not sure whether to believe it or not.
The South Park version seems to be pretty accurate. Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith, dum dum dum dee dum!

If it seems difficult to understand, it is probably because you view it with a rational mind. You should approach it like you would any other religion - with a total abandonment of reasoning. :D

I grew up in a small town in Southern Idaho - Preston. (Yes, the place where Napoleon Dynamite is from) About 95% of the population was Mormon. It was like everybody was possessed by bodysnatchers. I was surrounded by raving mad dogma. Not a reasonable thought for a hundred miles! I couldn't run fast enough to get away from that insanity.

I laugh at it now, but it wasn't so funny when I was a teen trying to figure out the world. Life is hard enough to understand without witchdoctors steering you in the wrong direction.

Jesus saves - That's why he has so much money.

ocmpoma
04-16-2005, 06:09 PM
I'll admit that Salt Lake City was the only place I have ever been where I was wierded out. And I have been at Twenty-nine Palms in August.

Tenspace
04-16-2005, 08:02 PM
I'll admit that Salt Lake City was the only place I have ever been where I was wierded out. And I have been at Twenty-nine Palms in August.
I take it you've never been to Alabama?

Tenspace

Jennifer
04-17-2005, 02:08 PM
Thanks sleeping caterpillar for the religious tolerance link....kind of a Hitchhikers guide to earth.

leguru
04-17-2005, 07:57 PM
I was a card-carrying member for 20 years, served a two-year mission in Brasil, married in the temple, the whole nine yards. So, in the natrual progression of things, I am now a Buddhist leader. Some people grow up, and some are happy being children. Whatever rings your chimes!
=)

ghoulslime
04-17-2005, 08:03 PM
I was a card-carrying member for 20 years, served a two-year mission in Brasil, married in the temple, the whole nine yards. So, in the natrual progression of things, I am now a Buddhist leader. Some people grow up, and some are happy being children. Whatever rings your chimes!
=)
Har har! Poor, duped bastard! I served on a mission to Korea, got married in the Logan temple. I'm happy to have fled that nuthouse many years ago.

psyadam
04-19-2005, 10:50 PM
I guess me, but only because I was raised with it. I've always been more intelligent than average though so I came to doubt it rather quickly.

natural_smurf
05-17-2005, 04:39 AM
Jesus saves - That's why he has so much money.
jesus saves while moses invests. that's why moses has MORE money.

is the cheesecloth underwear thing true?? that's all i know about it.. oh, that and mormons are solely in charge of the chiropractic and hotel businesses.

- smurf out. bunnng!

Little Earth Stamper
05-17-2005, 08:03 AM
This is the only board where I can say this, but I really want to know. How does anybody take Mormonism seriously?

I mean, the origin story of their sacred text is that an Angel named Moroni told Joe smith about a bunch of gold plates and other artifacts that were left in America by a lost Isrealite tribe. Joe found all this crap, translated it, and then, um, sort of lost the originals. Ooops.

How does anyone buy into that?

psyadam
05-17-2005, 04:57 PM
How is that any more strange than someone being eaten by a whale for 3 days and then getting out, a flood wiping out all people on the earth except noah and his animals, and some guy turning water into wine, and fire coming down from the sky?

leguru
05-17-2005, 10:03 PM
Shit, yes! :lol:

Little Earth Stamper
05-17-2005, 11:17 PM
How is that any more strange than someone being eaten by a whale for 3 days and then getting out, a flood wiping out all people on the earth except noah and his animals, and some guy turning water into wine, and fire coming down from the sky?
Well, there's two things:

Proximity: Because Joe Smith lived very recently, historical evidence about all the stuff he did is quite a bit more available. Christ's miracles take place so far in the past that we can't really see them as blatant fraud. All the telling details about Jesus acting like a weirdo or fraud have been lost to history.

Fables: You can dismiss that Jonah goofines as being an Aesop style fable that illustrates a moral lesson. Joe Smith didn't allegorically find these things that basically would turn known history upside down, he actually found them.

ghoulslime
05-17-2005, 11:46 PM
This is the only board where I can say this, but I really want to know. How does anybody take Mormonism seriously?

I mean, the origin story of their sacred text is that an Angel named Moroni told Joe smith about a bunch of gold plates and other artifacts that were left in America by a lost Isrealite tribe. Joe found all this crap, translated it, and then, um, sort of lost the originals. Ooops.

How does anyone buy into that?
The Mormon church used to exercise very strict information control for its members. They are masters at putting a spin on the story. It sounds really really convincing to someone who has no other angle on the tale. AND mom and dad and gramps and so on are all insisting it is true, what's a poor kid to do than to buy the story? - until he or she reaches the age of reason.

The Internet, and the dissemination of information that it embodies, has been a frightening force for the Mormon church to reckon with. (and many other churchs I would dare say.) Since the advent of the Internet, the Mormon church has created an appologetic organization (FARMS) for the sole purpose of dealing with the impact of truth on the founding lies of Mormonism.

I guess people want to believe in the fairy godmother so badly that they are willng to swallow anything as long as it makes them feel good about their mortality.

ghoulslime
05-17-2005, 11:50 PM
I can turn wine into piss. Can I be a messiah too?

Please?
Don't tell me....you have a magic wand?!!!:D

ghoulslime
05-18-2005, 09:19 AM
By the way, Ghoulslime, I was counting on you to provide some high class filth for the passion of the christ 2. Are you up for writing a gang rape scene involving 8 apostles?
You have it, baby! It will be my next literary contribution. - AND my filth qualifications are supreme! Gang rape is right up my alley.

leguru
05-18-2005, 09:38 PM
I guess people want to believe in the fairy godmother so badly that they are willng to swallow anything as long as it makes them feel good about their mortality.
What a great line for Monica! :lol:

psyadam
05-19-2005, 11:29 PM
Fables: You can dismiss that Jonah goofines as being an Aesop style fable that illustrates a moral lesson. Joe Smith didn't allegorically find these things that basically would turn known history upside down, he actually found them.
One question that I have to pose is, where did the book of Mormon come from then? Do people here think it was written as a conspiracy by Joesph Smith and whoever else to start their own religion and make money?

edit: remember, I'm athiest I'm not defending Mormonism, this is just an honest question about what people of the forum think. I think the explanation I just wrote may be the simpliest and most plausable and makes the most sense.

exmoron
05-21-2005, 06:19 AM
As another ex-Mormon, can I chime in?

First, a direct answer to the latest question:
Psyadam, if I understand you correctly, you are asking what non-believers (in Mormonism, specifically) believe about the origins of The Book of Mormon. If that's right, then here are the answers with which I'm familiar:
1) Joseph Smith simply made it up (based on View of the Hebrews and other books http://www.lds-mormon.com/voh.shtml or http://olivercowdery.com/texts/ethn1823.htm) to make money. This is a very plausible scenario considering his other attempts at making money through scrying (he used a peepstone to find buried treasure for people). This answer implies an intent to deceive.
2) Joseph Smith was a religious genius (like Mohammad, St. Paul, Buddha, etc.). As such, he may have firmly believed he was doing the right thing in creating the story of The Book of Mormon - though I still find it hard to believe he really thought he found gold plates from which to translate the book. This answer would imply that Joe was sincere in his attempts to help people find god, regardless of the means he employed (deceit).

For the non-believer, these are, IMHO, the only real possibilities: Either Joe Smith intentionally deceived others (to make money or for the power) or Joe Smith taught others what he really wanted to believe was true.

I hope that helps.

As for me... I was raised by a devout Mormon family in Utah, served a mission in Costa Rica, and left the religion three years ago. Not a big fan of religion these days (http://genesoc.com/cms4/modules.php?name=Homilies; shameless self-promotion).

And Ghoul Slime, if you read this, I can't tell you how hard I laughed when reading about when you kicked your dad's ass (perhaps a repressed desire on my part :D). I certainly don't want to indicate that I think violence is okay, but I can see the utility given the situation.

ghoulslime
05-22-2005, 02:03 AM
And Ghoul Slime, if you read this, I can't tell you how hard I laughed when reading about when you kicked your dad's ass (perhaps a repressed desire on my part :D). I certainly don't want to indicate that I think violence is okay, but I can see the utility given the situation.
Ghoulslime is reading this. I am not a violent person. In fact, I am really easy going. But I must confess that kicking my dad's ass gave me a sense of satisfaction like none other.

I have talked with a lot of returned missionaries who finally found truth. Surprisingly, many of our stories are so similar that only the names and places need be changed in order for the stories to be our own.

Little Earth Stamper
05-22-2005, 02:21 AM
What do you do on a mormon mission trip, anyway?

ghoulslime
05-22-2005, 02:31 AM
Exmoron, I am in the process of reading some of your rantings and I must say I am enjoying them immensely. (But I am really drunk right now and just got screwed to a daze by my girlfriend, so I will have to review them when I am sober.)

ghoulslime
05-22-2005, 02:32 AM
What do you do on a mormon mission trip, anyway?
Brainwash people into believing your dogma.
Masturbate and feel guilty about it.

exmoron
05-22-2005, 07:41 AM
GhoulSlime - How right you are about just needing to change the names for the stories to match right up. The more people I meet who have left the LDS Church, the more this rings true.

I hope my rants maintain your interest once the adrenaline and alcohol work their way out of your system... Though I have to admit you've given me an idea; I should probably consider writing some rants in that condition - it might interest more people. :D

What do you do on a mormon mission trip, anyway?
The way you phrased your question - and I may be assuming here, so correct me if I'm wrong - it seems like you are thinking of the mission trips that some Christians undertake where they head to some other country for a few weeks or months and build a church and/or try to make a few converts.

A Mormon mission differs significantly from such trips. First, the mission is for a pre-specified period of time. For Mormon men, it's 2 years (generally starting at age 19, sometimes later, but never earlier). For Mormon women, it's 18 months (generally starting at 21). Some older, generally retired couples serve missions too, and their term of service can range from 1 year to 3 years, but their missions tend to be quite different from the bulk of Mormon missionaries' experiences (the bulk being 19-21 year-old men).

So, what do they do? Mormon missionaries live in companionships (either 2 or 3 missionaries together - at all times, with the exception of personal grooming) and spend 5-6 days a week engaged in religious proselytization. A typical missionary's schedule on a proselytizing day might look something like this:
6:00 am - get up, shower, dress, eat breakfast
7:00 am - study religious dogma and scriptures alone and with your companion; study proselytizing techniques
9:00 am - go out and proselytize
12:00 pm - break for lunch
12:30 pm - back out proselytizing
6:00 pm - break for dinner
6:30 pm - back out proselytizing
9:30 pm - come home and get ready for bed
10:00 pm - go to bed

Their proselytizing consists of knocking on people's doors and asking them if they'd like to hear about the Mormon Church. They also employ other tactics like: talking to random people on the street or buses and finding members of Mormon families who have not joined the Church (e.g., a non-Mormon spouse of a Mormon).

Mormon missionaries have one day a week that is kind of 'off'. They call it 'preparation-day' or 'p-day'. This is the day to do your laundry, buy groceries, and write letters home (Mormon missionaries only get to cal home on Christmas and Mother's Day; otherwise, their only communication with their families is through letters - and now email). P-day is technically supposed to begin at 9:30 (you're supposed to do your Mormon studies in the morning) and end at 5:00 pm - at which time you're supposed to go back out to work.

The only other time that Mormon missionaries don't spend proselytizing is when they go to Church on Sundays - a three-hour block of time. But even then they are typically engaged in some form of proselytizing, e.g., teaching classes or working with their investigators (people interested in the religion).

That, in a rather large nutshell, is what Mormon missionaries do for their entire period of service. Occasionally they have time on a p-day to do some sightseeing or play sports, but only occasionally.

Also, not all missionaries follow all the rules (e.g., masturbation is strictly out - though it's probably quite widespread). Some stay home and watch TV. I heard of some going on cruises or hanging out at the beach. Oh yeah, no swimming while on a mission - too dangerous.

Any more questions?

FiberglassDolphin
05-22-2005, 03:16 PM
I'm still an ordained teacher of the LDS church, technically. Every member must give the church 10% of their earnings or they are sinning. Soo, now they're a very wealthy organization who can build their Mormons temples all over the world. I wonder if members have to pay for their own missions, because it seems the church could do it. The mormon church has a prophet who claims he can talk to God. I wonder what his point of view is like, and if he gets some of the cash that the church rakes in.

The prophets make new rules for members, like: don't see rated R movies and men shouldn't wear earrings. It sounds more like rules made up by some old conservative white men.

Another brick in the wall
05-22-2005, 03:20 PM
One thing that made me suspicious about the LDS church when I was younger was tithing. The tithing pays to send missionaries overseas to recruit more members who pay more tithing. Now, whenever I hear the words "pyramid scheme," I immediately think "religion."

Another brick in the wall
05-22-2005, 03:29 PM
You and me both. :D

psyadam
05-22-2005, 07:20 PM
I have another question: What about the "Golden Plates"? Are they available for public viewing? Even if they were I suppose there's no way to tell if they were geniune or manufactured. So I guess it's a moot point.

edit: Just as a point of curiousity (or a point of something I don't know), or just a point I want to make, from what I understand they say that there's a "sealed" portion that will be magically unsealed (seriously, I'm not making this up, this is something I remember from the seminary I was forced to go to) whenever the time is right (i.e. sometime close to or during the apocolypse). I don't remember exactly what is supposed to be in the sealed portion, probably stuff along the lines of Revelation, like instructions about what to do during the apocolypse. I could be wrong about what I'm recalling, so if you want to correct me go ahead.

ghoulslime
05-22-2005, 08:11 PM
I have another question: What about the "Golden Plates"? Are they available for public viewing? Even if they were I suppose there's no way to tell if they were geniune or manufactured. So I guess it's a moot point.

edit: Just as a point of curiousity (or a point of something I don't know), or just a point I want to make, from what I understand they say that there's a "sealed" portion that will be magically unsealed (seriously, I'm not making this up, this is something I remember from the seminary I was forced to go to) whenever the time is right (i.e. sometime close to or during the apocolypse). I don't remember exactly what is supposed to be in the sealed portion, probably stuff along the lines of Revelation, like instructions about what to do during the apocolypse. I could be wrong about what I'm recalling, so if you want to correct me go ahead.
Har har...here's the good part about the golden plates:

Once Joseph Smith did his "translation" of the plates, God took them back for safe keeping. We have to rely on Joseph's word that there actually were plates. And he had a few buddies sign a piece of paper saying they all saw the plates.

The wife of one of the friends of Joseph Smith smelled something fishy when Joseph said he was translating the plates. She tricked him into lending her the first chapter or so of the "translated" book. When Joseph came back for the fiction in progress, the lady explained that she had lost it and that he would just have to translate it one more time. She knew that he was just making the stuff up as he went along and would have no way of reproducing the exact text that she had hidden somewhere for future comparison. So Joe had to make up a cover story about how it all was just a test by god. He then proceeded to begin his scriptures with a different chapter in order to avoid any possible embarassing expose' later.

One of the most obvious examples of Joseph Smith’s deceit was The Book of Abraham. He had already founded his church and was on a roll. He procured an ancient Egyptian papyrus from some collector of antiquities. He then proclaimed it to be a lost book of scriptures. He translated it with some magic stones he claimed to have. (no joke) And he published it as a handy add-on to the Book of Mormon.

Unfortunately for Joseph, the scientific community was eventually able to discover the thereunto mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The original papyrus for The Book of Abraham was translated by scholars and found to be nothing more than a record of an Egyptian funerary passage.

One would think that this would be sufficient cause for much skepticism among his followers, but they somehow find the determination to overlook this slight discrepancy in their Prophet’s revelation.

psyadam
05-22-2005, 08:18 PM
The wife of one of the friends of Joseph Smith smelled something fishy when Joseph said he was translating the plates. She tricked him into lending her the first chapter or so of the "translated" book. When Joseph came back for the fiction in progress, the lady explained that she had lost it and that he would just have to translate it one more time. She knew that he was just making the stuff up as he went along and would have no way of reproducing the exact text that she had hidden somewhere for future comparison. So Joe had to make up a cover story about how it all was just a test by god. He then proceeded to begin his scriptures with a different chapter in order to avoid any possible embarassing expose' later.

One would think that this would be sufficient cause for much skepticism among his followers, but they somehow find the determination to overlook this slight discrepancy in their Prophet’s revelation.
I think they called that Chapter the book of Lehi.

Little Earth Stamper
05-22-2005, 11:53 PM
So, do Mormon missionaries do anything useful (You know, like build orphanages or working at soup kitchens or something), or do they just walk around bothering people?

exmoron
05-23-2005, 06:16 AM
I'm still an ordained teacher of the LDS church, technically. Every member must give the church 10% of their earnings or they are sinning. Soo, now they're a very wealthy organization who can build their Mormons temples all over the world. I wonder if members have to pay for their own missions, because it seems the church could do it. The mormon church has a prophet who claims he can talk to God. I wonder what his point of view is like, and if he gets some of the cash that the church rakes in.

The prophets make new rules for members, like: don't see rated R movies and men shouldn't wear earrings. It sounds more like rules made up by some old conservative white men.
A couple more comments and a few clarifications (I may not like the religion, but I think information should be accurate)...

1) Tithing (giving 10%) isn't technically a requirement for membership in the religion. It is, however, a requirement for 'full' membership in the religion - meaning being able to hold callings in the lay clergy and attend the temple.

2) Members do have to pay for their own missions (I'm not sure if that was intended to be a question). You are right, however, that the Mormon Church is wealthy - though to claim that the religion itself is wealthy is a little off the mark. The religion set up a shell corporation that owns a whole bunch of other corporations that are 'for profit'. The Mormon Church doesn't technically own them as that would undermine their tax-exempt status, but they do get money from them. For a decent treatment on this, see here: http://genesoc.com/cms4/article159.html

3) The Mormon prophet gets a 'living allowance'. In other words, all of his financial needs are taken care of by the Church. But, before anyone criticizes the religion for this, I think it is actually fair to say that he doesn't really live in the lap of luxury. Is he comfortable? Extremely! Is he living lavishly (million dollar parties and such)? No.

4) Who's point of view? The prophet's? Or God's? If it's the prophet's, you can read what he has to say at www.lds.org as he regularly gives speeches and writes articles for Mormon publications.

5) Technically, the Mormon leadership has never taken a firm stand on R-rated movies. Most Mormons don't watch them and most local leaders discourage it, but if you want to get technical, they never have. This is why some leaders actually encouraged Mormons to see Schindler's List - it was R, but not for gratuitous (sic?) violence. (Hatch, John. Can "Good Mormons" Watch R-Rated Movies? Sunstone. 2003 Mar; 126:16-22.)

6) Psyadam, you're right that they called the lost book the 'Book of Lehi', who was the first author's (Nephi) father. For a little more explanation from the horse's mouth, see here: http://scriptures.lds.org/bm/explntn

7) Ghoulslime is dead on with what happened with the 'gold plates'. You can't see them because they were taken back to heaven - as the official version goes. The unofficial version - e.g., the thinking man's version - is that Joseph Smith made the whole thing up. And, considering he wasn't wealthy to begin with, there is no way he could have afforded that much gold to forge them. If they were to be found (never going to happen :P), they were supposedly written in 'Reformed Egyptian', which means, in all likelihood, they could be translated.

8) Finally, do Mormon missionaries do anything useful? Well, some might. I actually taught English while on my mission in Costa Rica. And I use to try to find other service projects to do. Missionaries are encouraged to spend about 4 hours doing service per week. But many don't do the service. So, in fact, the bulk of what they do is go around bothering people and teaching them bullshit.

An interesting side note: I've recently been transcribing my missionary journal and found this entry:

Key to missionary work – The people need to see a need for what you are teaching in their lives. If they don't feel that it's important, they aren't going to do anything with what you have.
What I now realize is that I was actually creating the need (social construction) then proposes something to fill it. Religion is so fucked up.

leguru
05-26-2005, 09:58 PM
That sounds a lot like politics. But, then, organized religion is nothing but politics.

the dash
06-02-2005, 11:58 AM
weren't the mormans violently kicked out of ohio or indiana? Nothing more than a cult IMO. Bout like that Koresh freak.

Another brick in the wall
06-02-2005, 12:17 PM
It was Nauvoo, Illinois, actually. Mormonism is definitely a cult, but I tend to describe all religions as cults.

exmoron
06-02-2005, 03:36 PM
weren't the mormans violently kicked out of ohio or indiana? Nothing more than a cult IMO. Bout like that Koresh freak.
Well, the Mormons have been kicked out of a lot of places. The detailed and shortened version goes like this:
Joseph Smith started the LDS/Mormon Church in upstate New York. Hostility grew there and some of his first missionaries successfully converted an entire congregation of Campbellites (Sidney Rigdon's congregation) near Cleveland, OH (actually Kirtland). So, Joseph moved there in the early 1830s. Shortly thereafter, tension grew. This prompted Joseph to send some settlers to the then frontier, Missouri, and he declared it The New Jerusalem (Jackson County, Missouri, to be specific). A bunch of Mormons moved there, while Joseph Smith stayed in Kirtland for a while. But tension was increasing in both places. Joseph was threatened in Kirtland and the settlers in Missouri were also threatened (even got an extermination order placed on them by the then Governor, Lilburn Boggs). So, Joe went to help the Mormons in Missouri (to avoid his problems), only to run into problems when he got there. Once expelled from Missouri, they ended up in Illinois where they began construction of a new city, Nauvoo (around 1840). Joe was killed in 1844 as the result of increasing tension and conflict (and, of course, violence), and the Mormons were kicked out of Illinois in 1846. They moved to Winter Quarters, Iowa for the winter and the first Mormons made it to Salt Lake City in 1847 (around July 24th, which is a holiday in Utah).

So, the Mormons were kicked out of three significant settlements due to the threat of (and sometimes the execution of) violence: Kirtland, OH; Jackson County, Missouri; and Nauvoo, IL.

Second part of the question:
Are the Mormons a cult? Well, cult, used in its sociological form, just means 'New Religious Movement.' In this sense, they are moving out of the 'cult' category into the 'denomination' category. Christianity started out as a cult (though some might argue it was a sect). Islam certainly started out as a cult. Most of the Protestant denominations existant today, however, were not cults but rather sects (see this page for the distinction: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Sociology/Religion#The_Church-Sect_Typology). So, calling Mormons a cult, while likely employing cult in the derogatory, lay usage, isn't really accurate. They more closely resemble a denomination today than a cult.