This is a 2-part interview with Brian Johnston, co-founder of StayLDS.com. In this series Brian discusses staying in the LDS Church after a crisis of faith.
Great interview. I like the goth band part. This means a lot to me, because I never really did “fit in” either, and music was my outlet. And still is. I hope we can encourage our youth to be authentic to themselves and still faithful and believing. Especially our musicians.
If you can make it work for yourself, good for you.
You are making a good point, Brian, that the Church deserves credit for moving away from negative practices and doctrines.
Problems such as blood atonement, however, are really secondary. The core issue is “Follow the Prophet.”
The fact that the Church is led by a mortal who cannot be legitimately challenged sets us apart from other imperfect organizations.
The problem is not that the Church is imperfect or that it’s leaders are imperfect. The problem is not even that there is abuse in the LDS Church. As you say, to some degree, that’s inevitable.
The real problem is that there is so little that can be done about abuse in the LDS Church. In that regard, our religious organization is in much worse shape than other imperfect organizations in the western world.
Kudos to Brian and John. Brian, we could almost hold hands on our parallel paths. One thing I wish you had gone further into (you touched on it), is the issue of civil rights & social advancement. It is so hard to remain in a ward and associate which people who speak quietly of “those brown & black people.” My grandchildren are exposed to it. My non-member parents (deceased), would be appalled if they knew I expose their beloved posterity to such ideas, at church!
I asked my SIL yesterday, what would happen if I were speaking in Sacrament and mentioned that I don’t agree with
President Monson on an issue, or made a little joke about him. She replied, “Don’t you dare do it!”
This is the take-home message I took from this podcast: Directed at people who do not subscribe to the Mormon Church with strict orthodoxy, The Mormon Church is definitely not True and you should ‘do whatever works.’
John and Brian– I really appreciated hearing all of your thoughts. Thanks for putting your stories out there for the rest of us to learn from.
I was so excited to see that you were interviewing Brian!
He’s amazing on the StayLDS board, I didn’t realize he was Co-Founder, I love his perspective.
Another great podcast!
Hey John and Brian,
It is so nice to hear about people who went through a major crisis of faith and are able to stay in the Church. For me, the huge issue was could I even be an active Mormon and maintain my integrity (tough issues I knew about had to be acknowledge rather than ignored by me because I knew they were well grounded in facts). Ironically, it is possible, but it is not the same kind of faith you had before. Yes, you can be honestly a practicing Mormonism, but it is a different kind of Mormonism than what you practiced before. I was very happy when I said I could believe in the Church and its teachings while accepting its imperfections and problems.
I kind of regret a little saying so firmly that the Church is not true. I meant that to be a little shocking and challenging. I am not totally backing down from that, but I want to clarify my personal position.
I don’t think some of the surface mythology is factually or historically true. I think many of our individual interpretations and expectations are not true. *BUT* I find a lot of beautiful and uniquely formulated “Mormon” religious tools within the LDS Church that help me approach the divine and transcendent. To me, it still points in the direction of finding truth, like the Liahona metaphor.
So “the Church” as a blob of many ideas and practices is true and false and irrelevant all at the same time. In know this fuzziness frustrates some people. It seems natural to me when I look around in the world. Everything is a little bit like that, at least what I see.
George: If you hear people say racist things, correct them. Doing so harshly or lovingly as the “spirit” dictates. Either way, that stuff changes in the hearts and minds of others when *WE* are the example of change.
Aaron: Post-crisis religious practice is never the same as before (regardless of staying or leaving). We change over the course of our lives, or at least I think we should. The only thing that is constant is change, or so they say. There is no going back, only forward!
Billions of other people before us have practiced a religion in part, with the beauty and imperfections all twisted together into a whole. We can do that to. All we have to do is decide to do it.
I found it interesting that Brian’s reason for staying is the same that I had for leaving. He no longer saw the world as “black and white” and saw this as a way to remain in the church. It was my departure from this dualistic world view that pushed me right out.
I think Mormonism as a whole is like a technicolor spectrum. It’s beyond fascinating.
But practicing Mormonism (correlated version) is still quite a black and white exercise. I attended conference for the first time in years last Sunday and saw the same thing as years ago: “The world is evil so watch out!” Same tired rhetoric; nothing new to offer. And it just gets more and more bland — just look at the new version of the Gospel Doctrine manual and how much was taken out of an already bland manual.
One more thing: Don’t mean the above statement to be an attack on Brian. I quite enjoyed this interview and hearing his story and perspective.
Brian, I just about fell off my chair when you said the Church is not true. And then you kind of softened it, but then went on to say it twice more! LoL.
Excellent interview. Thanks for sharing your heart. I don’t think mystics are crazy — some of my best friends are mystics! Here is a point of interest:
objective truth = valid
subjective truth = valid
why? Because anything we say about objective truth is filtered through our minds, which are physically incapable of reliable reasoning. This is one of many interesting and scientifically validated points made in the book “On Being Certain: Believing we are Right when we’re not”.
Great job, Brian and John.
John & Brian,
Nice little chat. To me it was a lot of psychobabble. How can you say it is not a social club and yet say you can just go and pick and choose what you want to believe? Maybe its just me, but if you’re going to commit 10% of your income and who knows how many hours of your time each week to something you don’t entirely believe in, what’s the point? Sure you say that the canonized scriptures the church uses are inspiring and faith promoting, but a lot of people are inspired by mythology, fictional literature, nature, etc. and don’t form a strict conform-or-not group to which you must confess allegiance or you can’t go to the temple.
The mormon church is where you guys are comfortable, so you put all of your efforts into making it what you want it to be. I have no problem with that, but when you quote passages of scripture from books (D&C, BoM) which are highly suspect at best if you don’t whole heartedly adhere to the teachings of the church, then it just seems silly to me.
Loved the interview! My favorite points were that “the gospel is as true as a ham sandwich,” and the discussion about a culture where being a good dad is considered the highest achievement.
I agree with Brian that the LDS church is a great place to find service opportunities, but I’m hesitant to see church service as contributing to the greatest good. It seems that almost every program in the church has one of two functions: to attract people, and/or to keep them attached.
Some examples: the missionary program, seminary/institute, young women/men, Sunday school, primary, scouts (when church attendance is required), social activities, firesides, camp, conferences, etc. Even funerals are turned into proselyting forums. It’s all geared toward recruiting new members, forming strong social bonds, and indoctrination to attract and keep people in the church. Temple work doesn’t fit into this category, but one could make the argument that our needs on earth are more pressing than those in the spirit world. Members consider temple work to be a service, but in my opinion not all service is of equal value to humanity at large. And not all service produces equal fruits in the life of the giver.
Going to church often seems more like an Amway meeting, because so much time is given to telling/defending the story, protecting the faith and traditions, celebrating growth and expansion, and challenging members to do more in building it up. The most recent stake conference I attended was nothing more than a corporate board meeting. We were told how much we have grown, how much we should be growing, and what we need to do to increase growth.
In contrast, whenever I attend a church with less theology to defend, the time spent on indoctrination is so little in comparison to other, more practical needs.
As convenient as it is to have all the service opportunities laid out for us, it might be good to ask whether church service will really make the biggest difference in life. Neal Maxwell made the statement that whatever we choose in life, if it’s not the kingdom of God, it won’t really matter much what it is. This encourages members to think of church service as the greatest and most important service we can do, and our vocations as something of lesser value. Bill Gates didn’t attend church but his contribution to humanity was so much greater than anything he could have done through a church calling. After all, what would geneology be without Windows? Shouldn’t he get some credit for his help in saving the dead?
My point is that we need to think more expansively and inclusively about how we serve others. We shouldn’t feel guilty about following our bliss and throwing our whole lives into worthwhile pursuits that we are passionate about. It’s ok to be worldly in this sense. A good doctor, teacher, and mechanic are far more useful than a half-hearted scout leader, or an under-qualified gospel doctrine instructor. True professionalism will always be in demand because it is truly needed, while a church meeting that features 2 youth speakers and a high councilman as the featured acts will never fill much of a need, because there isn’t one.
Wow Danko, great insights. I’m saving them and will borrow as needed, if you don’t mind.
Shadow of Doubt here from NOM. I really enjoyed hearing more about you and your journey.
I am at a comfortable crossroads where I really need to find a way to make make participation within the church enjoyable, or I need to replace it with something else. I am just in kind of a apathetic limbo right now.
I always enjoy your insight.
If we say that the LDS Church is a great place to find service opportunities, it doesn’t mean that no other sources exist, or that no other service is valuable. I’m not sure what is so hard about that idea.
I fully agree that helping living people here and now is far more important than helping dead people. But each person can decide how they want to serve God. I’m cool with that. I love how you mentioned “throwing our lives” into endeavors and “following our bliss.” Those are great ideals.
How can I say it isn’t a social club and also pick and choose what I want to believe? It wasn’t that hard to say :-) It isn’t that hard to do either. Really. I can believe whatever I want. If some viewpoint in particular isn’t useful to me, or I don’t think it is correct, I should choose not to believe it. That seems like the right thing to do.
On some level, all churches are social clubs where people get together to explore what they believe. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. That’s pretty much what they are.
Hi Clay. That “apathetic limbo” is OK. Maybe a phase like that is an intellectual form of fasting. You know what I mean? It helps you get a hunger for finding something new. New could be staying where you are and finding a new perspective. It could also be going out in search of a new source of nourishment.
I feel a little guilty about not giving the church credit for the wonderful service it DOES provide in certain areas. Specifically, the emphasis on strong families and clean living, and the structured approach to creating a community of saints. I also appreciate how Joseph Smith institutionalized the methods of achieving spiritual enlightenment and experiences. One could certainly argue that these are the most important services a church can provide. But the other stuff needs to be de-emphasized in my opinion.
Brian, of course one can find means of service outside of the church, but there isn’t a lot of extra time for the fully active member. And the church has referred to other worthy pursuits as “distractions” to our loftier kingdom-building goals, which creates an internal struggle for me whenever I’m trying to
decide where to spend my creative energy and time. I experience a certain amount of guilt when attend to things I truly care about instead of church sponsored activities.
I am totally on board with you Danko. The Church provides an enormous amount of structured opportunities. There are FAR more items on that “checklist” than is possible for any single person to do, certainly not if you are a parent and/or working to support yourself and family. It just isn’t possible to do them all. There is a real problem and disconnect at times in that someone in the Church has a new idea, and it somehow gets added to that list that everyone thinks is the minimum bar to measure them as being “good.”
I feel that tug and pull also sometimes, even a little bit of that guilt still too. I know what you are talking about. That is a real problem for people at times. I can’t do a lot of regular callings like “normal” members because of my family situation. And the service activity that I spend the most time on is definitely outside the Church :-) (StayLDS.com, and other help sites). But that is my “calling,” and it is exactly like what you described — following my bliss.
I think the best way to deal with this is to internally, deep down inside us, become comfortable with our decisions to do good in the world. Are we doing good and making the world a better place? I take confidence in that. We all have different talents and should be doing different things to fix this place up. That is a very “Mormon” concept. So let’s believe it and follow it :-)
I am sure you do a lot of great things Danko. You sound very passionate. God made you that way, so be that way. One of those qualities is to think clearly about all this and see what you see. Perhaps people like us are the counterweight to balance things out.
Even if uncomfortable at times, I find it healthy to be challenged by the ideas of more orthodox members around me. Someone that agrees with me on everything isn’t likely to spot something that I am missing. I would not see it either. But someone who thinks differently than me can provide that perspective, even inspire me to have new ideas and experiences that they don’t even intend.
Speaking of guilt, since the disaffection of my wife, my church callings have been limited to Sunday only. This after years of being “Mr. Young Men” in whatever ward we were in. You know the drill: week-day meetings, camp outs, presidency meetings, etc. for years. Now I feel a bit guilty about being relieved that I don’t have to do that any more! Not guilt about not pulling my wieght–guilt about being glad!
Hi John and Brian; thanks for a great edition of Mormon Stories, I’ve found the podcast and the StayLDS website a big help. Brian; its wierd but when I listened to this episode on my ipod I had just been reading Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces immediately before! I really appreciated your comments on Campbells approach. I’ve found there are profound lessons to be learned from our scriptures by taking a mythological perspective. I don’t find literal interpretations of scripture very helpful now; the scriptures seem to ‘speak to my condition’ (as my Quaker friends say) much more deeply when the literalist veneer is stripped away. I think taking this approach has helped me to ‘liken the scriptures’ to myself.
I think I understand most of the major problems with our history and practices but I can’t switch off my testimony of the Saviour and the connection I feel with him through the Church. I’ve tried to switch it off but it just won’t turn off!!
For several years now, Mormon Stories has helped me keep to my decision to stay in the Church. I decided I was staying and set some boundaries that I rigorously maintain by judicious use of the word ‘No’ when I need to. Disagreeing with the TBM’s is no longer a problem. I’ve learned when to challenge assumptions and prejudices and when to stay silent and the path I’ve found seems to be working for me. I know this is not the way for everybody and Brian is absolutely right when he says that, for some people, stepping away from the Church is the safest option. My wife and I have a very close friend who chose to step away after suffering emotional and physical abuse in the Church. Without doubt it has been the safest and ‘sanest’ course of action for her. Her path may not look like the traditional ‘straight and narrow’ path and she still has struggles, but she seems to be much more at peace in herself now. Is she any less loved by the Lord? I don’t reckon so!!!
I am in the same situation. I am always dealing with those conflicted feelings. I *want* to do more now, but I need to put my family and my marriage first. That is what the Church teaches. That is what I am doing. Sorry LDS Church … you just didn’t have a Primary or YM/scouting/Priesthood lesson for me on what to do when everything comes crashing down around me and the whole Church-life model stops working in practical reality :-( So I am doing the best I can with “a lot of simple tricks and nonsense” (to quote Han Solo from Star Wars, hehe). I came up with similar solutions as you Bill — I can have limited callings, no leadership positions, and pretty much can’t depend on me being there without fail every Sunday.
So well. Thanks for sharing that. I can only begin to express the feeling of peace and resolution when I dropped my mostly-literal viewpoint. I enjoy Church 10X more now. Things don’t have to all make sense, and they don’t all have to fit together perfectly anymore. That’s OK. See, I wasn’t crazy thinking things didn’t all making sense :-) (well, maybe that is still up for debate… LOL)
It is so much easier, like you said, to “liken the scriptures unto us” when we can see them as stories, mirrors, reflecting our inner soul back into our field of vision. There are so many beautiful concepts in Mormonism that are true, even if they are not all factual, scientific or historical. It’s still inspiring and does what it needs to do to our soul.
Thanks Brian for your honest answers. You probably answered this, but clarify your position when it comes to taking church callings. I was thrown off when you said in EQ you might say or try not to say anything too crazy.
Does that mean your ward/Bishop is not aware of your non-orthodox views of the church? When approached about taking a leadership positions or even asked to teach Gospel Doctrine or EQ, how do you answer them?
I have gone through or somewhat going through this now. I had accepted a teaching calling about a year ago, as I studied to be a better teacher, I started to realize how much of everything is white washed. I have struggled, but I realized that there are probably others who are silently struggling too in my ward. So, I have tried to pull the “good/Christ like” principles from those lessons rather than the orthodox approach to give it as the manual says. I love serving, but obviously, I cannot be the “I know this church is true” type of guy if I was ever offered any kind of leadership position. At the same time, I would welcome it for the opportunity to serve/help others.
I’m curious how you have handled these types of situations.
I choose not to maintain a temple recommend, so that eliminates me right off the bat from most high-profile leadership callings. I actually like teaching callings. In my last ward I was one of the EQ teachers in addition to a scouting calling. Scouting is one of the best places for the unorthodox to hide out because all you have to teach are basic, universal, moral values … and of course you get to play with fire and knives :-).
I never said anything I was uncomfortable with as an EQ teacher. I don’t testify about knowing things that I do not know. I say other positive things instead, sharing the good I find and the value experiences in the Church bring to my life. I find that people really enjoy hearing non-boilerplate testimonies. Repeating the same exact phrases as everyone else kind of makes a “testimony” meaningless in some ways. The thing to avoid is not focusing on my differences and the things I disagree with or don’t believe.
But I think your question was more about turning down callings you are not comfortable with. There is one thing I keep in mind always — the Church is a volunteer organization. That means I can volunteer where I want, and I can choose not to volunteer my time when I can’t (and/or don’t want to). If the Church can’t find enough people to volunteer to run ALL of the possible programs that are dreamed up, then perhaps they need to act like any other person (especially managers) and prioritize what they can do a good job at, and do less! Seriously. The Church in most places would be far better off if it did fewer things really good than doing all the checklist programs half-baked and halfheartedly. That is a recipe for fail.
The key is to always be positive and have a smile, to express love. It’s generally not what we say, but how we say it. Instead of saying I refuse to do what they want, I would rephrase that as “that isn’t something I think will work out for me, but how about ______ or _______?” Instead of just saying no, I might offer a couple alternatives where I can comfortably be a part of the community and serve others. That is a great way to help local leaders be successful IMO.
I really haven’t gotten deep into the details of my personal heresies with local leaders. I try to test a little at times to see how much they can handle, but I seldom see a purpose in it. I had one wonderful and nice Bishop that was sure he could “fix” my wife’s testimony problems because he was so passionate about the truth of the Gospel. He really was a nice guy, a loving leader that cared, and had the best intentions. But when I gave him some very summary, surface level examples of problems, his response was “well … I don’t know much about Church history and questions like that. I don’t read much of that stuff …”
How do you have a conversation about tough problems with someone like that? *shrug* I decided that I don’t. Again don’t get me wrong. He was a great guy and sincerely cared. But that was not going to be a productive conversation.
Loved this episode, Brian/John. Brian, I hope to get to the (mostly) peaceful place you seem to be in. I’m getting there. It’s not always easy . . .
Brian, are you implying one can be an EQ teacher without having a temple recommend? Of course all of us like teaching callings… But those are doled out VERY VERY carefully.
Where can I find the Joseph Smith quote that says Jesus Christ is the center and everything else is an appendage?
I have a feeling that varies widely at the local level depending on the ward environment. I had a regular, monthly assignment, and I was set apart for the calling. The EQ Pres and the Bishop were both aware of my situation. I made no secret of it.
I was in a ward in the Atlanta, GA metropolitan area. Frankly, they were thrilled when people showed up for most teaching callings, it was a bonus if they had actually prepared in advance. I think holding a current TR was not high enough on the priority list. There just weren’t enough “perfect” members to get all the work done every week :-)
Reference on Christ is center and all else is an appendage = Joseph Smith, Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 44
Elder M. Russel Ballard quoted this in his Ensign Article “Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits” in November, 2007. You can find this on the Church’s website http://www.lds.org
p.s. Maria, I’ve been E.Q. instructor in like 4 different wards and I always got the feeling that I was a last resort or something.
Church leadership is more orthodox the higher you go. You don’t get to be a prophet unless you’ve toed the line and never publicly questioned former church leaders or church history, so going to these guys for help is a waste of time, as much as I respect them. i enjoy Mormon Stories, Stay LDS and the Apologetic websites because they perform a service for thinking Mormons.
I can relate to Brian in that the only thing that keeps you going in the Church after a trial of your faith, is one’s collection of personal spiritual experiences. From then on, it’s a personal journey; no one has a silver bullet to redeem you from the state of doubt.
I also contacted Richard Bushman after reading his book and got a “whatever works for you” response. He’s been through the crisis of faith syndrome himself.
Brian, I’m not sure what aspects of Church history you regard as mythological, but I find the experience of the Three witnesses as a litmus test. After the vision was shown to the 4, Joseph burst into the family house and threw himself down on the floor, exclaiming,in his mother’s words, that “no longer was he left to carry the burden alone. Others have now seen the plates and can testify to the world”. Martin Harris was similarly overcome with joy, being the one who desired a witness the most.
Does this mean there were actually plates, angels etc.? Yet did JS even need the plates to produce the BOM, given that they remained in a sack during much of the translation? My spin is that the appearance of the plates was more for the benefit of the witnesses and us today, than for the production of the BOM. This is just an example of how to interpret church history in a more liberal way without dismissing it completely.
There is brand of Christianity out there now called “Progressive Christianity”, with a leading spokesman by the name of Robert Fullmore (I think). They strip the Christian story of all the mythological, the miraculous and the divine (even the need for an atonement). You are left with a universal belief system based on Christ’s teaching. This is somehow supposed to appeal to the rising generation, which is dismissive of the scientifically unprovable. Is this where you see you brand of Mormonism heading, or am I reading too much into your comments?
Just need to clarify what I meant by my use of “mythological”. The Progressive Christianity movement dismisses the virgin birth etc. as myths borrowed from other civilisations, but used by early Christians to add weight to their claim of the divinity and therefore importance of Jesus. When I asked you whether you regard foundational aspects of church literature/history as mythological (eg. BOM), I’m asking whether you think they “really” happened, or was God teaching us something through the power of the “myth”, as Campbell might argue. E.g. the Book of Mormon is a powerful mythological tool to bring us closer to God, rather than a literal history, therefore, there is no need to get caught up in arguments about DNA.
Correction: Fred Plumer is the head of the Progressive Christian movement. I heard him on a radio interview a couple of weeks back.
nzmagpie, sorry for the delay in responding. I just saw your questions and comments.
Mythology? First let me clarify what I am thinking when I use that word. I am thinking about stories that are filled with symbolic power, with affect on the soul and the psyche. Many people use the term dismissively, mostly meaning to say that something is not true in a factual sense. I do not use the term that way.
Whether a myth is based on factual and historical events and people is interesting, but it really isn’t where mythology gets its power. Focusing on the materialistic truth of myth is like asking about how quantum mechanics or chemistry makes you feel. Do you feel really good about that experiment or does it make you feel unhappy? That might be interesting, but it really isn’t the point of those spheres of thought.
Mormonism’s founding stories are myth. There may or may not be historical truth to them. There might be. I really don’t know. I doubt I can ever know for sure. What I *DO* know is the effects they have on my soul when I read them and contemplate the meaning in my life. That is prima facie evidence of the highest value. Sure, it isn’t that to anyone else. But if I don’t trust my own senses and experiences … well, there really isn’t anything else I can work with. Religion and spirituality are the science of humanity, of crafting and shaping a human experience.
As to the specifics of the witnesses? I don’t know. I choose to see Joseph and other past players in the foundation drama of Mormonism as sincere. I think they believed their experiences (for the most part). Does that prove that any of the details are “true?” No. It doesn’t prove it. It doesn’t disprove it.
Please don’t take my views as the right answer though. I am not really good at being a Mormon that other people want or expect. I am pretty good at being me though, the way God made me. God and I — we’re good friends now.
I do not have the answers. I fell in love with the questions. That’s just how I am wired and made. I have a feeling it was a limited production run in the pre-existence :-)
Thanks Brian! Its too soon to say what direction I will go but I totally ‘get’ you and see my potential to subscribe to the LDS faith for the sake of an attempt to provide a healthy crutch through life. we have similar perspectives on the church overall.
However, if I start thinking about it all I feel like a hipocrit sitting in the pew knowing I don’t believe in half the things the way I use to, or should, or am suppose to while attempting to glean the positive from Sundays! I am taking things slow and know that no matter what, all is well. Every day is a gift!
Brian, Jared and I just listened to this. Great stuff! So fun to know more of your story. I love your insights and matter-of-fact-ness about things. Possibly my favorite quote was when you said that StayLDS.com isn’t for the orthodox members… “You have a whole Church.” Love that.
I am a member who has researched the history of the church I am shocked how doctrines have changed so much. The original church no longer exists.I find the good,humble loving people are struggling to remain faithful but the leaders seem to be committing atrocities under our noses and behind walls where plots to curtail dangerous intellectual thinking people like me are hatched.The high Council with its mafia type spy network and hit men who hug and speak softly while they murder your soul and offer you hell fire and brimstone if you don’t blindly follow the prophet’s commands like Nazi storm troopers.I’m at the crossroads,they know I know all about the perverse history of child rape in the name of Christ, by Smith and Young,sending missionaries abroad so they can sexually abuse their wife’s.Joseph confessed his errors and was murdered by the angry husbands and parents of the children andwife’s he and Young raped in the name of God. Were they Pedophiles or prophets?
And yet in the temple I still feel that baptism for the dead is correct..it is the reason I pay my tithes…just so I can help those who can,t help themselves.
I believe the real church is a group of people who have discerned truth from illusion.People like the people I find here,good people,you make me feel in good company.
Since I have started to refute leaders teachings,I have felt great spirituality emerging,almost like ‘the next level’ to get closer to God.
“This is the true church”,such a zombie brain dead statement unless you have died ,seen the kingdom and have returned to tell.
Christ was a revolutionary who disagreed with the Scribes and Phareses.Are they now leading our church?…I think it is a possibility.
So many good people but so much evil plotting,secret meetings,Psychological manouves to control free thinking with carefully constructed talks and themes.Endless repetitions(The Church is true).The church is those who are Christ like not a corporate body running a business in God’s name.I fear that if I continue in the church without speaking out I will be damning my own eternal progression.So I speak out and they won’t give me a calling and have me believe God won,t give me a calling because I am bad.
But I have never been more blessed my life is wonderful in every way,I love animals plants,trees mountains,streams,the wind,the moon…..these are the true things of God not a boring corporate motivation class on Sunday for the intellectually impaired or the frightened.or the guilty.I am at last at peace with myself.
Blind obedience is dangerous, freethinkers threaten the leaders who form their little crony gangs and suppress truth.
We are they,who hunger and thirst for righteousness not vain repetitions at Stake conference or at the chapel.
I go along and listen, but most of what I hear is more akin to a brainwashing session,removing free agency.
I have found my tithes being stolen by leaders and me and my wife have been reported to Utah and remain forever recorded on their files as
blasphemers because we reported it, no one in so called authority believes us.And does the General Authorities ever forgive and forget…..No.
We are following the spirit by informing on cheats and liars only to be treated with sheer contempt by leaders.
I am convinced that I will be murdered because of the information I have and the church(the top hit squad) knows I have.
You,my brothers and sisters must be prepared to die if you really want to be free,a covenant made in the temple, and one I am trying to honor.
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