How Mormonism Destroyed Me

I read that this morning over on the Recovery from Mormonism message boards. Yes, the author tells a harrowing story (a lot of Mormon stories are harrowing), but I can’t relate to the idea that the religion can destroy you. Yes, it can cause a ton of damage and pain, and it is devastating to realize that it just isn’t true.

But it can’t destroy you–unless you let it. I came up with a bad joke today:

What’s the difference between Mormonism and a Dementor?

One is a hideous creature that sucks all the joy out of your soul, and the other is a fictional character in the Harry Potter books.

All kidding aside, no one can take your soul away from you. No one, no organization can take what is uniquely you away from you, unless you give your soul to them. But even then, you can take it back. I gave forty years of my life to Mormonism. I believed in it, heart and soul. I had a testimony. And I did everything I was asked to do. I made decisions based not on what I wanted to do, but rather on what I had been told I should do. And I regret a lot of those decisions.

But they never got me. When I left, I took ownership of my life again. I had to dig deep down and figure out just what I believed in and what my morals and values were. It was easy as a Mormon to simply adopt the teachings and beliefs and values we were taught. We didn’t even have to think about it. I suspect that a lot of Mormons wouldn’t have a problem with legalizing same-sex marriage if the church had not taken a position. Think about it this way: if the church had come out in support of same-sex marriage, very few Mormons would have voiced any objections.

So, the process of taking your life back involves making your own decisions and learning that certain things are right because they are right, not because someone standing a pulpit in Salt Lake City told you they were right. You realize that you don’t have to believe that it’s OK for a prophet to marry teenagers and married women behind his wife’s back. You can admit that it’s wrong, and you don’t have to make any more excuses.

I honestly felt like my life was over when I admitted to myself that Mormonism is not and never was true. But I have a life. I enjoy my life, and in many ways my life is richer and fuller now than it was when I was a believing high priest in the LDS church. My life is better because it is my life. Not theirs. That they couldn’t destroy.

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12 Responses to How Mormonism Destroyed Me

  1. Good for you!

    (I got a kick out of your joke.)

  2. bigfalamike says:

    May your life now been given to Jesus whose life he wants to live thru you not the Jesus of the Mormons but the Jesus who loves you and longs to live inside of you

    not the warm fuzzy but simply the creator of the Universe who left heaven became a man and died a brutal death on behalf of your sin

    god bless

  3. How is the Jesus of the “Christians” any better than the Jesus of the Mormons?

  4. Again – great post!! I am not nor never was a Mormon. But I came through a Christian cult and can relate, in many ways, to what you are saying!

  5. whatever says:

    The christian idea of Jesus these days is so far off it’s insane.

    From biblical descriptions of Jesus, I gather that Jesus’s lifestyle and actions are very similar to hippies today.

    Some may think that’s crazy, but think about it……

    Jesus was poor. Jesus roamed the country (admittedly not in a VW van) spreading his message of peace and love. Jesus didn’t go to church and pray, he lived in nature and prayed in nature alone. Jesus was accepting of everyone. Jesus probably didn’t get a chance to bathe as often as one might think a person needs to. Jesus had long hair and a beard.

    How has Jesus evolved so much in modern days? Now people claim to go to war for Jesus. People try to ban gay rights. People think that they have to pay money to religious corporations to get to heaven. It goes on and on. I find the state of modern christian religion truly pathetic. Jesus would have nothing to do with these so called christian religions.

  6. Patrick says:

    “The christian idea of Jesus these days is so far off it’s insane.”

    Well it’s the same idea all Christians have had of Christ since Christ Himself.

    “From biblical descriptions of Jesus, I gather that Jesus’s lifestyle and actions are very similar to hippies today.”

    Ok! So hippies crucify themselves so that we may be saved??? uh no.

    “Some may think that’s crazy, but think about it……”

    No, it’s not crazy. Just very misinformed and ignoring the evidence. How much do you even read the Bible?

    “Jesus was poor. Jesus roamed the country (admittedly not in a VW van) spreading his message of peace and love. ”

    First sentence is fine, and very true about the van, ha ha! But don’t forget about obedience to God and His laws (made in love for us) .

    “Jesus didn’t go to church and pray, he lived in nature and prayed in nature alone.”

    WHAT?! I can’t even remember how many times Jesus went to the synagogue(church) and not only prayed but read and taught scripture! And being a good Jewish son, He lived with His parents for most of his life. And the rest of His life, during His ministry, He was surrounded by people, even staying in their houses.

    “Jesus was accepting of everyone.”

    Jesus was excepting of sinners, not of sin. He wasn’t accepting of those who weren’t very accepting themselves, like the Pharisees. Sin is still sin and is evil, and without Christ’s sacrifice for us, we would be be punished fully. That doesn’t mean we can’t love the sinner, and try to help them. We’re all sinners.

    “Jesus probably didn’t get a chance to bathe as often as one might think a person needs to. ”

    Ok now you’re just speculating (not to mention insulting the Jewish nation). Back to scripture now.

    “Jesus had long hair and a beard.”

    Well even IF the Bible mentioned that, who didn’t back then?

    “How has Jesus evolved so much in modern days? Now people claim to go to war for Jesus. People try to ban gay rights. People think that they have to pay money to religious corporations to get to heaven. It goes on and on. I find the state of modern christian religion truly pathetic. Jesus would have nothing to do with these so called christian religions.”

    Some valid points finally, but not with gay rights. Homosexuality is against nature (which God made). God destroyed a city because of the rampant and unrepentant amount of this terrible sin. Marriage is between a man and a woman, the Bible can’t be more clear than that. And no, you aren’t born being gay. Just like no one was born being a murder. If it’s a sin, God wouldn’t configure our hormones to do that sin, and then expect us not to sin. Like all other sin, it is an invention of mankind, not God.

    With that said, I’m wondering… if we are all so pathetic, what are you trying to point us to? Becoming hippies? You have no point. I am personally proud of most of the Christian religions today, most of all the Catholic Faith. Which has taught me to hold on to the precious beliefs instituted by Christ, which so often come under relentless attacks from people such as yourself, “whatever” .

    Stop trying to conform Jesus to your own ideals, but instead, let go and truly learn what the Bible has to say, and you will realize just how freeing that can be. You are loved, “whatever” .

    John 6:66

  7. carmel says:

    “Jesus had long hair and a beard”

    actually Jesus was a jew at that time… and culturally they looked down on men having long hair… so he probably had relatively short hair.

    “Jesus didn’t go to church and pray, he lived in nature and prayed in nature alone.”

    the bible specifically mentions times that Jesus went to the synagogue.

    also Jesus was a jew and all jewish boys at that time went to the synagogue and memorized the first five books of the bible. Then those who were the most accomplished in their studies went on to memorize the other jewish writings… these people became rabbis- teachers (Jesus was often referred as a rabbi) . So Jesus probably spent a lot of his life in the synagogue.

  8. Lezlie says:

    Patrick-

    i’ve read the bible cover to cover… You’re a frickin moron! The problem isn’t christ… it’s the insane BS that CHRISTIANS (the real problem) do in his name!

    plus… please brush up on the philosophical logical fallacies before you ever post on here again.

    jesus was a hippy, accept it!

  9. Lezlie says:

    plus…. homosexuality exists in nature. ACCEPT IT PEOPLE!

  10. connie says:

    Perfect example of a practicing Catholic. way to go! People tend to think of us (Catholics) as non-Christians and who knows what. Thank you for your well informed rebuttal. If more of us spoke out as well as you have people would be desparate to join the church. Ignorance is rampant but less so with your rebuttal.

    Thank you

  11. Patrick says:

    Thanks connie! and Carmel! Sorry you feel that way Lezlie. But understand, despite all your heckling and exasperated attempt to belittle me, you again have made no point. You have reiterated the flawed logic that I have already rebutted. Just actually read my post again, just like you should actually read the Bible.

    This is one reason why I appreciate the Catholic Church; it guides us through the Bible and helps us come out with the rational Christian ideals that most mainstream Christians have today. But delve into the enormous Bible alone, and you get 30,000 plus interpretations. Some resulting in beliefs most Catholics and Protestants are both ashamed of, like “whatever’s and leslie’s”. Don’t get me wrong, the Catholic church isn’t perfect and I know some disappointing Catholics to say the least. But in these difficult days I can hardly stand debate between strong Protestant and Catholics, we have much greater issues in the world, especially with Obama. So I follow the recent Blessed Pope John Paul II’s example in grabbing Billy Graham’s hand and saying, “We are brothers!” . Let’s stop fighting amongst ourselves and get out there and change this world for the better!

  12. hkyson says:

    Here is an article on science and Mormonism that I published awhile ago in my blog “Interlingua multilingue”:
    …………………………

    Science and the Mormons

    The Mormons are a religious sect that emerged from Christianity in the United States in the Nineteenth Century. They added to the Bible their own scripture, the Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith from an original text in a language he called Reformed Egyptian. According to the mythology of the Mormons, in 1827 the angel Moroni gave Smith these texts, which were engraved on golden tables. Smith could understand them without learning their language through the divine magic of two special lenses that he used to read them while he translated them.

    Smith and his followers were persecuted by traditional Christians, who forced them to travel slowly and with great sacrifices until they reached what is now Utah, where their descendants dominate the religious and social life of this American state.

    According to the Mormons, the Indians of the Americas came from Egypt more than 2,000 (two thousand) years ago. They used this myth to convert many Indians to their religion. “We were taught that all the blessings of our Hebrew ancestors made us a special people,” said Jose a Loyaza, a lawyer in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah. “And this identity gave us a sense of transcendental affiliation, a special identity with God.” But Loyaza gradually learned that there was another outrageous irony to his faith.

    He rejected his religion after learning that evidence provided by comparative DNA studies between American Indians and Asians conclusively proved that the first humans that migrated to the Americas came not from the Middle East but from Asia.

    For the Mormons this genetic confirmation of the origin of the Indians in the Americas is a fundamental collision of science against religion. It is in direct conflict with the Book of Mormon, which, according to their religion, is a completely error-free historical work that must be interpreted literally.

    The Book of Mormon is also fundamentally racist. It narrates that a tribe of Hebrews from Jeruselem went to the Americas in 600 B.C. and split up into two groups, the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Nephites carried the “true” religion to the new world and were in constant conflict with the Lamanites, who practiced idolatry. The Nephites were white (in 1980 the Mormons changed the word to “pure”), and the Lamanites received from God “The curse of blackness.”

    The Book of Mormon also narrates that in 385 A.D. the Lamanites exterminated all the other Hebrews and became the principal ancestors of the American Indians. But the Mormons insist that if the Lamanites returned to the “true” religion (Mormonism, quite naturally), their skin would eventually become white like the skin of the Nephites that their ancestors had exterminated.

    But despite these outrageous racist insults, many Indians and Polynesians (who also, according to the Mormons, are the descendants of the Lamanites) converted to Mormonism instead of telling the Mormons to go fuck themselves. (Through some perverse mechanism in human psychology, these converts are like homosexual priests who support the Roman catholic church or other gay people who support any type of Christianity.)

    “The fiction that I was a Lamanite,” said Damon Kali, a lawyer in Sunnyvale, California, whose ancestors came from Polynesian islands, “was the principal reason that I converted to Mormonism.” He had been a missionary for the Mormans before he discovered that genetic evidence proved that the Lamanites were only a religious myth, and he could not continue his efforts to convert others to Mormonism.

    Officially the Mormon church insists that nothing in the Book of Mormon is incompatible with the genetic evidence. Some Mormons are now saying that the Levites were a small group of Hebrews that went to Central America and after many generations of marrying with the natives they met, their Hebrew DNA disappeared into the DNA of their neighbors.

    In 2002, officers of the church started a trial to excommunicate Thomas W. Murphy, a professor of anthropology at Edmonds Community College in Washington, an American state at the extreme northwest of the continental United States.

    His trial attracted a lot of attention in the American public communications media, which ridiculed the church and insisted that Murphy was the Galileo of Mormonism. The general contempt provoked by this publicity seriously embarrassed the officers of the church, and they stopped the trial.

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