It's often difficult for me to articulate my emotions with any degree of clarity, so forgive me if I come across as incoherent or vague. I just need to vent what's weighing me down as best as possible in order to to experience a limited catharsis. It isn't the same as interpersonal conversation, but I'm glad the board is here for me since I am not currently able to express these emotions to anyone at this time.

The reason for this post--fast Sunday and all the horrors that come with it. It's a new kind of hell for me, not directed at me from others, but just the general environment produced by the testimony meeting. The ward I and my family are in is quite young, dozens of small children everywhere. Parents in their early twenties trying to go to school, raise a family, hold down a job, and keep up with their church callings. Being a witness to that pains me, but what pains me more is what they force their children to go through, to say.

Every fast Sunday I sit in a pew, watching them encourage their little children to bear 'their testimonies.' It's soul crushing, knowing that these children have no idea what kind of commitments their parents are forcing them to make. These kids don't know any better, they're just doing what they're told. I sit there, watching as parents whisper into their children's ears, siblings into younger siblings ears and so on. The usual mantra of “I know the church is true.”

Then comes my reflection, realization perhaps. I sit there, thinking of their future. What they're being forced to become. Boxed up to go like some pre-made freezer pizza; god forbid they wish to be something else. That's what pains me, I sit there in the pew, watching these kid's lives being decided for them, being indoctrinated into a dishonest, horrid cult. As they bore their testimonies yesterday, I took a look around at the other youth my age, some of them staring out into space, others overwhelmed with guilt due to some alleged sin they performed. Something that shouldn't even be defined as sin.

I look at those kids bearing their testimonies, feeling good because they made their parents happy and received some ultimately meaningless praise. Then I look at the kids my age and realize that is the future for those innocent children. A life of eternal social inadequacy, guilt, shame, and pain in the church. That's what kills me; I sit there in the pew, knowing, that this is where the church will take them and I can do nothing about it.

When I sit there, in fast and testimony meeting, Frank Zappa's “Little Girl” plays through my head. “All your children are poor unfortunate victims of systems beyond their control. All your children are poor unfortunate victims of lies you believe.” Every one of these nightmarish meetings that I am forced to sit through kill a little bit of me. If these kids knew what was down the line, they'd run like hell. But they're too young to even comprehend what tithing and many other demands the church has for them. They'll grow up and be stuck with a violent, cruel, taskmaster, or they'll grow up and escape. Losing their families and everyone who told them they loved them in the process.

I hate everything about this cult; it chains potential, destroys lives and souls. Not a day goes by that I'd wish it would all burn down. Every last part of it. So much pain could be averted, so much heartbreak prevented. That I know it will never happen is what kills me. That I know I can't prevent the indoctrination of those kids and my little brother kills me. That I know I can't help the youth around me because it would endanger my own secrecy, kills me.

In short, fuck the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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