I am curious to know what others see as the biggest draw or attraction to mormonism? For my mom, who was a convert at 23 years old, it was the emotional intensity and the draw of being superior and knowing something that others don't know.
My 6 siblings and I were born into the church so we had no choice in the matter, but out of the 5 who have stayed active TBMs the draw is also the feeling of superiority and the default living. They live by default and don't have to think, parent, etc because they just default to all church teaching and outlines. The attitude of superiority is a hug divide between me and my TBM family members. I don't think that gap will ever be bridged because they refuse to respect the way I live, although I make a huge effort to respect their desire to live TBM.
Just curious to know what others see as the major draw or attraction of the LDS church?
Correction: A Catholic clergy does not forgive any sin, but opens the door for diety to do so. Its probably the first counseling session that we use in psychology today. You miss-perception is held by many, even a lot of us Caths. Catholic clergy do not abuse kids any more than any other person in a theological or business or school position. It is 100% wrong. One percent have been prosecuted by us, openly . If we use your number we have to look at Christ lost 1 in 12. Does the math decide? Does Salt Lake quietly send Missionaries home?
I agree, that perception is not reasonable. I am a practicingCatholic, and still remember the Missae latinae clearly.
I do tho agree with the general idea of your post 110%.
The loss of a default social network is huge. If we really think about it the morg has a socialization framework for every age group, but I see it as control and manipulation more than anything else.
I truly felt the loss of the social network and it took me a long time to find it in other places and feel comfortable. I have been married to an active duty military member for over 8 years now and the active duty military community has given me a great social network, now he is getting off of active duty and I am trying to find a way for my family to have another healthy social network. Its out there, I just have to look.
As a guy who was Active Duty with the Air Force for ten years, I went on to serve in the Reserves and Air National Guard. If your husband did not like the military it would not be a good option, but it did give me a sense of belonging like the active duty military did.
If you have kids, your social network will revolve around school.
If you have hobbies, your network could revolve around that - crafts, travel, etc
Once I left the church, I kept having the temptation to return to it. I had to stop myself and analyze what the pull was. It looks like you named it superiority, I named it narcissism. But it's born of the same observation. "We are the one and only true church. We don't drink, and the rest of the world does. We don't have sex outside of the marriage and the rest of the world does"...and the list goes on and on and on and on, all the way to, "I grind my own wheat and bake my own bread, so therefor I am better somehow someway than others who do not know to do this"... let alone all the "club" of card carrying temple goers, which only adds another level to the "our shit doesn't stink" narcissistic attitude.
Leaving the number one true church, is hard, just like it is hard to leave anything that is number one in town. Like if you worked at the number one hospital in your state, and you decided to leave it. Or you belonged to a sports team that was number one in the city, state, etc... When you leave, you don't get to be number one anymore.
But upon analysis of your religion, you see that being number one is in the minds of those who belong to that religion, it's in their MINDS. It's not real. The other church's in the state don't see that church as number one, as the only truth. Only the members of that church see it that way.
But we get the same feeling of disappointment in ourselves for leaving it, for not being able to be a apart of it anymore, it was so much fun to be number 1! And now "they" "who believe that" "don't think well of me anymore" "so therefor I don't feel well of me anymore". or.....should I feel that way? What's real about this scenario? Wait a second ........and the analysis and self empowerment for living in truth according to your inner guidance starts to kick in, as you start owning how you feel and what you BELIEVE to be the truth, in opposition to what you were TOLD TO BELIEVE.
Hence our problem with dealing with family members who haven't left (yet, or never will). You have to deal with the illlusion they are having in their head, accept it and move on. You and I were under that de-lusion also at one time and can totally see and understand where they are coming from. And we know the HARD walk we took out of the de-lusion.
They are still "under the influence" and we are not. So I just let them be as I totally understand it's a personal choice once you are an adult. Some of us choose to leave, are called to leave, life forces us to leave, who we are demands that we leave, you name it. But for other's that's not their path in life. So many times I want to scream out to my siblings...
it's all such BS, and this problem you are having is based on that BS and if you didn't buy into that BS you wouldn't be having this problem! Of course, I keep my mouth shut and live my own life knowing what I know. That life continues on. They get to think they are superior and while I know that they are not. They get to stay bound up and I get to walk and live freely.
I enjoy your posts Sari, even though I'm not on here much.
Thank you Chime, I really enjoy reading your posts too. By reading your other posts I can see that you left the church when you already had 4 kids and were in your 20's, that is no small thing! I applaud you for your courage and I am so happy to know I am not alone. We can raise our kids to be good wholesome people without the morg.
You are correct when you say it is narcissism that prevails at the morg. Under their wholesome facade of perfection, they really are the most narcissistic group around. I hadn't thought about the 'card carrying club' but now that you mention it, they do see it as a more elite club status hence perpetuating their idea that they are superior!!
When it comes to family members who are still going strong, it is just something to be tolerated. My husband and I have gone through some very hard times in the past 2 years and I hesitate a lot in talking to both his family and mine about our troubles as the default answer is, "if you would go back to church you wouldn't have these problems". Or the condescending responses of "we don't have those problems because we follow the gospel".
Get real people, life happens no matter what religion you practice! I honestly think we have a lot more going on in our life in general therefore we experience more thing for good and bad because we actually live our lives. My TBM siblings and their families live in bubbles and don't really do much outside the parameters of the church so they have very set, secure, and downright boring lives where not a whole lot happens. Heaven help any of their children who may decide to go against the church, it will not go well.
Thanks for your input Chime, LAM has helped me so much lately as their is only a set group of people who truly understand where we are coming from after years of brainwashing and then the painful process of leaving the morg.
Do you guys kind of get the feeling that your family may even be hoping-praying even-for your misfortune? Or for bad things to happen to you? I sort of do feel like our Mormon family is happy is we are sad, and is sad if we are happy. I find it pretty annoying.
Chime....What you said is just brilliant!!!!
I have to say the thing that drew me in was the eternal families thing. My dad and mom got divorced when I was 13. Eventually my dad got sole custody of me (which was good for me), but I still wanted to be w/ my mom's family (because they are awesome). The eternal family doctrine SEEMED to solve this problem. Only [years] after I joined, was I told that I would still have to chose [who to be sealed to- my dad's family or my mom's]. This broke my heart. I mourned it for some time. I was married to my husband. Here's what wasn't consistent though: my husband's parents were also divorced (not temple divorced) and he could be still sealed to them (b/c he was BIC). That's probably when I started to see they whole thing was just a farce.
There's other things too: the social togetherness/ belonging that is really nice. The love and acceptance that is given (what seems) relatively easily (as long as you conform w/ what they want). Also the strong moral standards can also be appealing.
BlueCodeRed - in reply to your comment in your last paragraph (and here I cannot generalize, only speak from personal experience in my sojourn as a member at the time) yes, the social togetherness/belonging really is nice, and a nice idea too....
HOWEVER it really depended a lot on whether you were part of the "click" and particularly so if you were related to some "high up/top position" members. In some instances there are even "families" that rule the roost and life was pretty cool being in that situation. Even the problem kids in those families got away with ...ok, not murder...but you get my meaning.
The idea of "one big happy family" as members is commendable but does't always pan out like that - I saw many, many members who were rarely included in get togethers except for when general invitations went out. There were also many people who came to church Sunday after Sunday and left without someone as much as asking them how they were (probably out of fear they might just be landed with a problem)
So that concept is a great one in any organization, in practicality it is not the rule.
As for love and acceptance, you hit the nail on the head when you included 'as long as you conform w/ what they want' (probably because fratenizing with the sinner is not good for one's image?)
I do go with the strong moral standards as being appealing.....gave one a sense of "one upmanship"
As I was saying, this is not generalizing, Country to country is probably different just as Ward to Ward can be.
Absolutely agree w/ what you said... I know that when I lived in Utah, I felt more of those clicks. If you weren't a live long member then you weren't as highly favored as lifers (which annoyed me).
The idea of one big family was a farce... I lamented in when I was Mormon about my family [that I was born into] wasn't sealed to me. I had to exclude them from the temple ceremony which I didn't want to do. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have gotten sealed in the temple and had my dad walk me down the aisle, but oh well... it's too late now.
I have to agree, the whole 'time and all eternity' thing can be more like a life sentence than a glorious comfort. I think its a big farce too.
My dad is a non-member and my mom is a diehard member who has lamented for years the horror of us not being sealed to them.
I think issues like this contribute to the overall emotional intensity of the morg which so many people buy into. My mom and sisters eat up the emotional roller coaster. Once I got off the emotional roller coaster I decided I liked living a more stable existence much better.
I was sealed to my ex-husband, even though he was lying his way through everything. Once we got divorced and remarried my DH, I sent a letter to the Brethern asking for a temple divorce. They responded saying they needed to interview both my ex-husband and myself, they needed proof of our financial standing, etc. I was pissed off! What a joke! I solved the problem by having my name removed from the records of the church. My family was HORRIFIED, but it worked! I am no longer 'sealed' to my ex husband!! Or a member of that nightmare cult! WOOHOO!!