Content Warning: Abuse, suicide
Carah B, John L, and John D go over the tropes and stereotypes of “hateful” ex-Mormons.
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When John lived in Layton, I was his neighbor and home teacher. He probably doesn’t remember because I wasn’t much of a home teacther. But, just wanted to let him know we (my family) are now exmo and loving it.
From 1:54 in video “Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief”
In case you haven’t heard it before.:
My friends’ and family’s eyes glaze over when they hear me mention the latest I’ve heard from the exmo community. Having never been Mormon, why do I keep coming back? It seems to have nothing to do with my and my life. I keep coming back because of the people. There is so much love here, so much wisdom about what it means to be human. I feed my soul off of honest, intelligent, loving truth-seeking. I am comforted by hearing compassionate concern for fellow humans because of and in spite of all that we are. Mormon Stories are human stories, plan and simple. That’s why I’ll be back again and again.
I don’t give as generously as I once did, partly after learning that some of the charitable organizations were more fallible than I wanted to believe, so there is a part of me that feels it’s time to stop my little monthly contributions here. Some critic made me aware of John’s salary. It is perhaps no accident that his salary and bonus are so prominent on his Wikipedia pages. I want to thank Cara for her response video to John’s transparency video. You people (You people!) are creating content that is valuable far beyond the Mormon world. I consider my money well spent. Just know that my actual gratitude is greater than the dollar amount.
The Church is imperfect, its leaders are imperfect and many of its truth claims are false. BUT, in my life experience I am grateful for the moral foundation the Church gave me through the leaders I interacted with as a young boy, a teenager and as a young married man. I had wonderful men who were great role models to me of fatherhood and happy marriages as I grew up in the church, although in a part member family. I wasn’t surrounded by orthodoxy in my home. I didn’t experience abuse or inappropriate behavior from my church leaders. Quite the contrary, they encouraged me, looked out for me and helped me in my life. I will always be grateful and thankful for the positive influence and examples I was surrounded by. As an adult I take responsibility for my involvement in the church and blame no one. I have been historically curious my whole life. I learned many things about church history, positive and negative, through my own studies. A close relative came to me several years ago and told me he no longer believed in the church etc etc. My response was, “now what? Are you going to blow up your family up over your new found knowledge? Your wife, your children and grandchildren? Is it worth all that?”
There isn’t an organization on this planet, if we really understood all that went on, dissected executive actions, policy decision, board meeting minutes all in an effort to make it be what it appeared to be, wouldn’t be grossly offended and disenchanted with. For me I have chosen to be pragmatic, I’ve done the math and the trade off isn’t worth it. My religious foundation is Christ and Christian values can be maintained. I will admit I have nuanced my activity in the church. I can find peace in the way I approach my involvement in the church. When I listen to this podcast and hear the pain expressed by John Larsen and Carah, I wonder why have you chosen to focus so much of their energy and attention on the negative aspects of the church? I am not interested in the pain I hear in this podcast. Does the church do no good?
I have no interest in tearing down anyone’s faith. I know many who look no further than the correlated curriculum of the church for their religious learning and they live what I call “inside the bubble.” I know others who live in someways as I do and are still involved. I have always enjoyed the community of the church much more than the church organization or hierarchy. We all have a personal journey we must be accountable for. I feel very badly anyone who chooses to leave the church is judged or ostracized by family or friends as is mentioned in the podcast. Any judgement is contrary to Christ’s teaching to “judge not”.
How I have chosen to live works for me today. The most I have said to anyone is “can you read in totality D&C Section 132 and tell me you actually believe those words?” I haven’t had anyone say yes, yet.
Ex Mormons are so angry because TBM’s need us to be angry. It makes it easier to demonize us.
Ex Mormons are not so much angry as they are – disappointed.
John Larsen spoke about a topic that I can directly relate to. Twenty years ago I was divorced and left the church. I did not have custody of my children. I had supervised visitation. I was required to take my children to church on the few weekends I had them.
I did not have the finances to fight the legal battle and I didn’t have the self worth to fight for my own rights as a father. I spent several years hating myself and not allowing myself to move on with my life. I wasn’t able to build healthy relationships with my children. I was angry at my ex wife, angry at God, at the church, the members who abandoned me. I let that anger block me from progressing and learning to live a life where I could truly be myself.
John also mentioned second chances and he is right. Every day i try to let go of that anger and choose to love my life.
JD says frequently, “It’s systems, not people.”
I believe that to a large degree, however I also believe it’s people who choose to believe this system that does so much damage.
I cannot find anything that resembles what John Larsen talked about at minute 53, a 19 year old brown boy robbing a store at gunpoint and being shot in the back like 15 times, he says. Has anyone been able to find anything on this?
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