I resigned from the church in 2008. Over the last 2 1/2 years, my parents seem to have come around to a place of  acceptance with where I am. Although they clearly disagree with me, they've had the tact not to show much hostility toward me or my family. I feel like we've come to a place of agreeing to disagree. We get together but never discuss religion. On the whole, I'm pleased with how things have evolved with my parents. I hope things continue on this positive path.

My sibling, however, is an entirely different story. She has hardly spoken to me in the last 2 years. She refuses to come to my home and shows obvious discomfort in my presence. Although expressing (through my father) that she is "done" with me forever, I hold onto a glimmer of hope that things will also improve with time with her.

 

Although pained in the beginning by her animosity toward me, I've come to a place of peace and understanding. With the objectivity of 2 years out of the church, I can more clearly see that my sister (and parents to a lesser degree) are simply products of Mormon culture. Their reaction to my questioning and leaving the church has only reinforced my understanding of some of the destructive elements of Mormon doctrine and culture.

Among these destructive elements are:

 

1- a paranoia of anything which is "anti-Mormon"

 

2- the belief that apostates (those who leave the church) are to be shunned

 

3- the belief that leaving the church (apostasy) is the worst of all sins and is unpardonable

 

4- the belief that family bonds are of ultimate value, can only be preserved through temple sealing, and are surely shattered when a member leaves the church.

 

5- the belief that we are saved through our performance and adherence to commandments/rules (such as the word of wisdom, temple rituals, obeying the sabbath, etc)

 

6- the belief that men (us mere mortals) can be ordained by God to sit in judgment on one another

 

7- the belief that God loves us conditionally (Mormons in turn love themselves and others

conditionally)

 

8- the belief that the LDS church is the only true church and that all other denominations are "an abomination in the sight of God" (words of Joseph Smith).

 

9- the belief that the best angle to investigate the church is from the church, itself (to me, this is akin to asking a homeowner to do his/her own home inspection for a home buyer - no one in their right mind would do this due to obvious bias)

 

10- the belief that drinking a cup of coffee or having a glass of wine are indicators by which you judge character.

 

I find the irony of Mormon culture pathetic. On one hand, they claim to be centered on family values and love/compassion, but on the other, judging, hating, shunning, are a big part of the culture toward anyone or thing not pro-Mormon. Pathetic.

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It's the thing of men working their way to becoming a god that makes other religions cringe in horror.
Idaho Spud, After asking my dad to do some research on cremation and where the church draws the line, he said he couldn't actually find anything specific that said not to do it.  As far as we can tell, it's merely tradition that keeps mormons spending thousands upon thousands to embalm and preserve the body.  I will say one thing about this that really bothers me.  I've seen some pretty awful looking bodies in my time, ravaged by disease, obviously suffered for quite some time.  That is not the last picture I want the world to have of me, even though my children would remember it quite well.  Dad said last year he went to a funeral of a dear family friend who'd had throat cancer for years.  The bottom jawbone had been removed, and all 5 children still had a viewing of him, the day before the funeral, and then the day of the funeral.  I cannot imagine doing that to a loved one, and if dad looked that bad, I'd certainly ask my step mom to keep the casket closed.  She probably wouldn't, since she likes to seem pious and proper, even though she has enough hatred in her to set off an atomic bomb just by looking at it.  She's never forgiven dad for being a democrat.  And blames me for speaking publically on issues, all the while, she's madly in love with Rush.
Tradition is what I thought.  Talking about awful, I've always thought of bodies slowly rotting in graves was not a pretty picture.
Oh wow, 3 tbm's cremated by choice?  Sounds like some moving and shaking being done here.
Kate, I'm thinking about your sibling having little to do with you.  She will come to regret this if you should die first.  It's hardly a christian ethic to shun someone just because they aren't like you.
Interesting, isn't it, how Mormons behave? They have this confirmation bias and constant state of cognitive dissonance they must suppress. Obviously, compartmentalization is one component of a Mormon's adjustment strategy. Put those things that don't add up on the shelf in their mind so they don't stress us. Even though many in the church don't believe much of what the church teaches, most who are in the church will defend it, when attacked, just because they are members. They will have the complete disconnect between the belief they put on the shelf in their mind, versus the very same belief being told to them. We all have this type of characteristic, it's part of our survival strategy.
Here's a question for everyone: Has anyone come up with a snappy (preferably funny!) comeback to the common accusations from family members? For ex) "Well, what happened to your testimony?" or "What were you doing that made your testimony falter?" I'm getting really tired of giving the real explanation, since no one will listen to me anyways. I thought maybe a funny one-liner might do the job better...

This is an EXCELLENT idea!! Thanks!

 

The first answer that popped into my head to the question "What were you doing that made your testimony falter?" is "I was thinking."
I'm thinking today, as I watch my usual "In Session" on t.v., complete with Casey Anthony's upcoming trial, that there is one instance in which I would not wish to be cremated.  If somebody in my family thought my demise was fishy.  Because, 10 years from then, somebody might be able to have my body exhumed and checked out for poisoning, etc., and bring some asshole culprit to justice.  But only in that case.  Now, if one of my kids offed me, I'd want to be cremated.  I don't wish to see one of them in prison forever just because they may have gotten really pissed at me.  I'm kidding.  Don't freak out, anyone.  I have a wonderful relationship with both kids, and work extremely hard at keeping it that way.
I think with tbm's it's the latter day revelation issue that keeps them from answering tough questions.  Not trying to make light of this topic, but anyone been watching "Sister Wives?"  The offshoot from mormonism that "revelation" supposedly took care of?  Part of the story is poignant, and part of it is sad.  Too bad it's not coming from one of Warren Jeff's operations.
I don't want to be someone else's wife in heaven.  My one liner.

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