06 February 2014

Dear Uncle Bob

This is in response to my uncle's reply from the previous blog post. I am creating a new post because my intended reply is much too long to post as a comment. My uncle said,

"Sorry, that you have to continue to attack the church. The charges were not filed by a judge. The charges were filed by an apostate such as yourself. The judge just allowed them to be filed. If you want to quit the church, just do so. No one is forcing you to stay. However, the fact that you like other apostates continue to attack the church indicates that it is more than just that you no longer believe. You have some under lying hatred for the church leading you to attack it. I believe you are being led by Satan to do this. If it was just a matter of unbelief, you would go your separate way from the church and be happy ever after instead of letting this hatred eat away at you. We will pray that you find joy in life. Anger against others belief will destroy you physically and mentally. Uncle Bob"

 Uncle Bob,
I am sorry this is causing you pain. I feel compelled to give you a full reply. You deserve to know how deep this affects me.

The Church took things from me, so, yes, I am angry. I am downright mad at its lying, hiding, hurtful teachings. I am mad!

However, I have not expressed that to you. I have pointed to a few things I find interesting as I probe the depth of my pain.

There is a popular saying within the church, "People leave the church, but can't leave the church alone". I have not said all I thought and feel to you about this or anybody else besides my spouse  for fear of hurting you as you find out that you have been fed a pack of lies. Would you expect somebody who has been abused not speak about it? To never mention the abuse again? To not help those who are currently abused and not see it, because they think it's normal or "their fault". I'm sorry you feel uncomfortable about the (very) few things I have said in, I felt, a very gentle manner.

I gave my all to the church. I served for 38 years in a church that I believed was God's. I was a true believer.  I "knew" it was true. I served a mission for the church becuse I wanted to share the happy news that families could be forever, even when my family couldn't. I blamed my good dad for his weaknesses. I married in the temple, excluding loved ones because I thought that was the right thing to do.

Except the church is not true. The real truth hurts. I am torn between helping people see the real truth in the real world or leaving them alone in their delusions (because they think they are happy and life is explained). Truth means a lot to me. Personally, I cannot live a lie. Still, I am torn, so I haven't said much.

Here are a few things I have found out, and there is a ton more:

I have found out "the church" puts forth a history that is not supported by historical documents. Doctrines have been changed, not by revelation, but by convenience. Apostles have lied, and called it "lying for the Lord". They have thrown previous "prophets" under the bus by saying what they preached wasn't inspired (many of Brigham Young's doctrinal teachings). Quotes are taken out of context. Quotes are truncated to change meaning. Unchangeable church doctrine changes on a whim. In fact there are now undated essays recently put up on the church's website that denies they ever taught certain doctrines--- that skin color changed because of a curse from God, that the Book of Abraham was ever in fact a translation from the Egyptian papyri that Joseph Smith had in his possession (they now claim the papyri was a catalyst for inspiration-- this because the original papyri was found to be common Egyptian funeral texts), that we were never taught we could become Gods or that God was once a man, that Joseph Smith even translated the actual Golden Plates (the plates were not in the room when he put his face in a hat with a rock and "read" what he saw written there), that the urim & thummim was involved in the translation process, and many other things that were taught and we all thought we knew.

Also, the Doctrine and Covenant have been substantially changed and added upon. The Book of Mormon has been changed as well-- and not just for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

I am still finding ways to explain why I thought I knew something was true when there is overwhelming evidence that it is a load of crap. Sure, there are some good teachings in the church, but it is so mired in feces that I'm still trying to sort it all out. I do not believe those good teachings are unique to mormonism. This is a process for me, and will continue to be. Because once in a while, I am focused on this process, it will spill into my public life a little bit. I am not and cannot be anyone other than myself. My public face is not much different than my private face. The only real difference is I do not say as much publicly as I think privately, but the two match up. I cannot be something I am not. For you or anybody else.

You are very offended by my very carefully chosen and hesitant public posts of things that may hint that what you believe may not be completely true. I am still amazed at what I find, like the whole history of tithing thing. I had no idea tithing wasn't what I had been told it was all my life. I shared that. I think people should know. I have been very careful not to link to or quote anti-mormon websites and sources. Yet you are still offended. Maybe you should explore the reasons you take such an offense to such benign information instead of accusing me of being led by Satan. I have not said anything that you can't research yourself and find the truth of. I am not, and have never been somebody who would purposely lead people into darkness. I am appalled that you would even think that of me.

You will not change how I express myself-- by trying to make me feel guilty (I'm not sure why you would think I would feel guilty for expressing the truth) or by any other means. I will continue to post things that I feel are important to think about. I have not, to date, posted any true anti-mormon content. I don't see that changing in the near future, even as you take offense where offense is not intended.

----Your Niece.

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