Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be Ye Therefore Perfect...

And with these words, Mormon’s are reminded that they will NEVER measure up or be good enough….because here’s a little secret…NO HUMAN WILL EVER BE PERFECT. Striving for perfection is a mission in futility and frustration…

As a member of the High Council with the assignment of speaking to my assigned ward on the subject of being perfect, I asked those in the congregation the following question. “By the raise of hands, who here feels that they will inherent the Celestial Kingdom?’ To my utter shock, out of a congregation numbering about 350, only a small smattering of 6-8 hands went up. This Wasatch front ward, full of active Mormon’s…most of whom paid a full tithe, did their monthly home or visiting teaching, held temple recommends, fulfilled callings and held family home evenings…didn’t feel that they were doing enough to reach the highest reward in Mormonism.
Although I admit that my example is anecdotal, I believe it illustrates reality inside Mormonism…the inherent knowledge among active Mormon’s that “Their best efforts are NEVER and will NEVER be good enough”

And no wonder when almost every priesthood leadership meeting is filled with denunciations from the pulpit for the few male leaders in attendance to do better…lengthen their stride…reach higher…jump further. For the field is white, ready to harvest and lo he that thrustest in his sickle with his might…the same layest up…blah blah blah.

As a young Elders Quorum President, trying my hardest to do all that was asked of me while still trying to manage a young, growing family and a growing business, I personally did all of the home teaching that had not been completed by the 25th of each month. But try as I might, I just couldn’t get to 100% [families being gone etc] every month. Each month I knew that the bishop would come down hard on me for not fulfilling my priesthood duties [which I took very seriously]. So each successive month I would rededicate myself and my councilors to once again reaching the coveted 100% home teaching goal....but it never happened, at least not consecutivly.

A few months after I had been released, I was surprised, when a visiting member of our stake high council stopped by our quorum to congratulate the new elder’s quorum presidency for three successive months of 100% home teaching. I felt humiliated and mad for two reasons. First because my presidency had never had successive 100% home teaching months…AND second, because since I had been released…I had NEVER had a home teacher....ever. Rather than put in the effort to reach 100% home teaching…the rather SMART new presidency just lied and turned in false numbers. I remember speaking to my rather stunned former councilors who also admitted that they too had not been receiving home teachers. We all agreed that we had been rather stupid for trying so hard...if all you had to do to get recognition from our inspired priesthood leaders was lie our ass's off.

But the need for perfection had been so great on this new elder’s quorum presidency, they just decided to lie rather than do the work.

As a full time missionary, numbers were very important. And despite claims to the contrary, Numbers were everything. Yes there were the required words to teach by the spirit…but god damn it…the spirit better get you at least 30 teaching opportunities a week or else.

Every Elder was measured against the other. Companionships that worked the most hours, placed the most Book of Mormons, taught the most discussions or if all the stars aligned, actually had a baptism were highlighted in our monthly “Report” Newsletter. Elders that excelled in their work habits advanced…elders that turned in less than stellar numbers…remained Sr Comps or a mere Jr Comp. Numbers mattered. And Boy did I have Numbers. I led the mission month after month… in many of the NUMBER areas and quickly advanced up the leadership ladder….reaching Assistant to the President the last 6 months of my mission. The quest for perfection was everywhere. I now feel bad for playing that game and mentally beating up those elders that just couldn’t or wouldn’t play along with the numbers/perfection game.

Sometimes…someone’s best really is less than some arbitrary number picked by a mission president and his AP’s.

Utah leads the nation in depression. Could this be related to the Mormon perfection quest and the reality of its failure members to actually reach perfection?

As a former Mormon, I now look back on my mormon perfection quest with a sense of glee that I was able to get off the Mormon Perfection Quest Merry Go Round. Knowing that I only have to please myself and no longer have the need to cater to the whims of old men in Salt Lake City and their never ending pleas to do more, give more, be more.

It’s said that water finds its own level, everyone is different, everyone’s needs and abilities are not the same…Living the cookie cutter, one size fits all LIFE offered by Mormonism is NOT an authentic life. It's a fake life. I am so very grateful I discovered this reality…while I was still at an age and had the ability to live an authentic life.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just have to know if the comments are actually true about Mormons having secret "tokens" and if they really wear white gloves, and if they truly asked you to bang your head into a white brick??? I don't really doubt it considering many of the beliefs but that should stand to add to ANYONES possible disbelief. If the token thing is true, where are they made and what do they look like?!!

Anonymous said...

I am not a Mormon, but I know some and like them very much. How would you suggest in a serious way to break the news to them that wouldn't make me appear to be a complete hater. They have done so much for me, but they are so lost. I have researched the fossil record extensively and Darwin's theory of evolution and even Darwin himself says, "To the question that we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer". With that said, everything about about the theory of evolution when you dig into it, points to an abrupt time of creation about 6000 years ago, not evolution at all. I know they will use this to their advantage, but I wanted an exmo's opinion. I am tired of them trying to pray over me all the time!

Cr@ig said...

Dear Anonymous,

Yes its true Mormons receive what they refer to as tokens in their temples. ( google Mormon Temple endowment ceremony - if you’d like to watch it) No white gloves however.

The brick wall was merely a metaphor to describe the GA’s failure to answer any of my questions… his solution to my questions was for me to believe and have faith in the churches unbelievable explanations to beat my head and accept the unbelievable.

With respect to your claim that the earth is 6,000 years old…sorry but that is just plain delusional. Don’t expect me to grant you any respect if you are going to spew such rubbish here on my blog. Any geologist will tell you and back up their claims with verifiable examinable proof that the earth is billions not thousands of years old…wake up .

I challenege you to read the book "Evolution, the Triumph of an Idea" by Carl Zimmer. Cry if you must but evolution is a confirmed FACT.

on the fringe said...

I wish you all the joy that God had intended for you and your family all along. I have found that I am loved unconditionally by my wonderful creator and his love has nothing to do at all with the false busy work that is expected upon our exit from this earth. That is man making up God.

Oh- and anonymous who is non Mormon yet likes them very much.....if you respect another human being don't even think of trying to cast doubt on their beliefs. Believe me you'll be sadly mistaken how deep their faith is. Have the same respect for them that they should extend you. Praying over you may come with good intention yet it also reeks a bit of assumption. Leave people to their own faith and beliefs.

Molly Mormon said...

Craig,

I just discovered your blog and it's fantastic. I often read exmormon stuff and find the person had a whole lot of outside problems, but you see your run of the mill Mormon guy who decided to look through the "looking glass." Could you tell me who that "Mormon Fury" song is by and where/how to get it? Also, I just started a blog if you want to check it out www.celestialsex.blogspot.com

Keep writing, it's great!

drew said...

I'm sorry to here about your struggle. I can feel your sincerity in your posts, which makes it even more difficult.
While the Church does ask a lot of its members, I am of the opinion that it can't afford to do otherwise. Never has there been a time when evil was so prevalent, sin was so accessible, and goodness was so scarce. I feel grateful for the continual pleadings of the quorum of the 12 and others to be our best, to do more. I leave a priesthood session invigorated and determined for that very reason.
I hope, and will pray, that you can return to the Church.
It is true. This I know. To deny it, would be to deny me of my purpose, my joy, and my life.

Cr@ig said...

Molly Mormon?

Thanks for your kind comments... regarding the music...you can follow the link on the bottom of my blog for the music...you can even add music to your blog free. Once at the music sight merely do a search for "Mormon" and it will bring up all kinds of songs.

Drew

Thanks for sharing your testimony of Mormon's truth claims. I used to feel exactly like you until I studied those same claims and found many of them to be based on false information.

Funny how as active Mormons we can claim knowledge of the Truth of the Church yet haven't been exposed to all of the facts that would help us come to a real knowledge of truth. to claim knowledge before we have actually studied all of the facts...only makes Mormon's look stupid.
Mormon declarations of truth knowledge, simply fall apart once they are put to scrutiny.

I don’t know your back ground but I would challenge you to read just one book Written by Mormon General Authority BH Roberts, “Studies of the Book of Mormon” available on Amazon.com. It changed my world. It will change your view of the church and how you view the Book of Mormon forever.

Church authorities have known for nearly a 100 years the problems surrounding the Book of Mormon. Yet refuse to accept reality. It is clearly a work of fiction. So read the book and then as they say in the Temple… ”return and report”.

Who knows Drew…maybe someday I can start reading your blog on how you strive to believe Mormonism claims despite all the evidence that it was just a well crafted fraud.

Anonymous said...

Craig,

I would like to clarify on the creation explosion 6000 years ago subject. I did not say that the earth was 6000 years old, but humans and modern day living things are only able to be traced to a period in time called the Cambrian period. I do know the earth is much older than that.

If you can find proof of there being fossils of any/all modern day lifeforms before 6000 years ago (exclduing dinosaurs), you will be the first one.

If one would actually take the time to look into what I am suggesting, then you would see there is no proof of evolution at all in the history of the universe.

on the fringe said...

Drew-

It is heartwarming that you come from a loving part of your faith. I feel that. Please remember to find comfort in knowing that GOD is true and any person exiting your church remain with or return to GOD in the process of leaving doctrine behind. True love and acceptance only is granted through him and not any building or foundation erected in his honor. The first commandment "Though shall not take false gods before me" is one of the most important directives in accepting his love as opposed to items that reflect his love.

Bishop Rick said...

drew,

There is no more or less evil in the world today than there ever was. We just have better technology to report said evil. That statement is just a way for LDS to scare members into submission. One could say there is less evil in the world today. Women can vote. Slavery is abolished. Jews aren't being gassed, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

I am an avid reader of this blog, and I finally feel like I need to comment. One anonymous comment said the following:

"If you can find proof of there being fossils of any/all modern day lifeforms before 6000 years ago (exclduing dinosaurs), you will be the first one."

I think he was referring to the Cambrian period, which was much more than 6000 years ago. The Cambrian period took place from about 543 million years ago until 490 million years ago. So I don't know where anonymous came up with 6000 years. I guess that's all I have to say about that.

Paul said...

This probably doesn't matter much beyond feedback, but reading your post on perfection was like reading over my life history... only better written, and frankly I didn't ever accept callings after my freakish missionary calling, so you've got me there.

I do appreciate you spilling the beans here about your experience. It allows me to realize I'm not alone in the realization that it's all messed up, and the quest for perfection is psychotic to boot.

For the home teaching thing, it bugs me that the same neighbors who won't wave back on my evening walks are the ones banging down my door at the end of every month. Sorry... done with the flashbacks now!

Cr@ig said...

Thanks for Posting Paul,

I both appreciate and understand your comments. Its always good to know that you are not alone.

Best of luck in your personal journey. Don't be a stranger

Cr@ig