Monday, July 28, 2008

Why I was Excommunicated

Due to several inquiries asking that I explain the reasons that led to my excommunication, I thought I would make as forthright a confession as possible of all the reasons that led to me being excommunicated from the Mormon Church.

Strike 1:

I was raised in a family of con-men. My grandfather had run various con’s and had involved my father in his schemes as well. These weren’t your typical low level schemes…but full blown frauds with the clear intent to de-fraud other people out of their hard earned money. It’s been said that a sucker is born everyday…I can personally give testimony to the truth of this statement. We were never at a loss of a “mark” to take advantage of. I was brought into the “family business” at a young age…but continued my involvement as a young adult. I entered this family activity with my own mother’s knowledge and blessing.

Despite coming from a very active believing Mormon family, we somehow justified taking money from stupid people … and boy were we good at it. We plied our art on the greedy and gullible people in our community...they deserved it.

As a young man I soon became the instrument through which most of our cons were run. My father would set the stage for me to run my con. We took advantage of what all good con men know to be true… at their core, most people are greedy. We would take advantage of unsuspecting people's greed.

So here is how we set up our cons:

My father got unsuspecting gullible rich people to believe that I had the ability to actually see through solid objects. I know it sounds crazy, but he was very good and remember these “marks” were greedy. The “marks paid us large amounts of money for my ability to find them even more money that we had convinced them lay buried in their back yards.

To demonstrate my abilities my father would bury an object such as a feather in the yard of the “mark“several days in advance. Then we would offer a demonstration of my abilities to find hidden objects to our prospective clients. Knowing exactly where my father had buried the feather, I would use my super human abilities to see through solid objects to find the buried feather… this demonstration usually caused our marks to part with their money since they now had confidence in my abilities.

We tried this con once too often in my neighborhood and finally someone ratted me out. Word soon spread that I really didn’t have super human powers nor the ability to see through solid objects..."Gee Really?" and I had to turn to other ways to make money.

Strike 2:

Ok I’m a horny guy I admit it.

Not many years after I got married, I admit it, I did have a full blown affair…but bare with me…I was justified...

My wife had hired a local neighborhood school-aged girl to help with our household cleaning. She was 16 years old and a real hottie. I knew I was going to be in trouble the moment I laid eyes on her. I fantasized about her continuously. The way she swept and mopped our house...I mean seriously who could fault me. Now I must admit that I have a thing for women of any ages, but young girls really turned my crank. Any way to make a long story short…I was finally able to get our house keeper to succumb to my sexual designs. My little affair would have gone off without a hitch except my wife caught us one night while I was pounding the maid out back in our shed.

After this I continuously lied to my wife and told her that my affair was over and that I had learned my lesson…but it was all a lie. My love of women was insatiable. I think in all, by the time my church court came around, I had slept with about 33 women. Some of the girls I had sex with were as young as 14, some were married at the time and still others where older married woman…hell at the time I didn’t care, If it had a vagina, I wanted to pound it. With each successive conquest I became more bold. I took it as a challenge to bed whomever I wanted. Some of my best sex was with the wives of some of my best friends. Looking back, I still can't believe these happily married women fell for my pick up lines. It all fed my ego. All I wanted was to get laid… I knew I was out of control…but sex had become my life. Fortunately for me, I was able to convince my wife that I just had more love in me than she could provide. Sly dog huh. I was able to convince my wife that I would ONLY sleep with women to which she had given her approval {another lie}. This seemed to work for a while until some of the married women I had slept with started feeling all guilty and told their husbands. Word soon leaked out regarding my activities. Then the members of our neighborhood started the famed Mormon rumor mill...and I was finally outed.

Strike 3:

I think the final straw that led to my church court, as if my fraudulent activities and my multiple affairs weren't enough, the thing that finally broke the camel’s back…and left the church with no alternative but to excommunicate me was ultimately my pride.

I'm a proud man and I loved to boast about myself. I loved to tell other people about how great I am and at first meeting most people actually agree with me. But I now know that all this boasting get's old and eventually people don’t like it.

Yes, I know it was my pride that made me think I could pull off all the other things. I became delusional and even started to claim that I was second in greatness to only Jesus Christ himself. And I don’t think those involved in my church court saw any humor in me crowning myself “King of the World” either.

Bottom Line: I deserved to be would any person who did the kinds of dastardly things that I did. People would be "CRAZY" to believe ANY thing I might claim if they were aware of my entire personal history.

I hope this personal confession of the major sins that led to my church court will help quell further questions regarding why I was excommunicated. You see...I deserved it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Short List of Some of the Things I would have to Believe in to Accept Mormonism Again

A recent anonymous poster sugggested that I would someday return to the religion of my birth...I disagree...but it made me think of some of the things I would have to believe to again return...this is a start to the list of things I would have to believe. (I will be adding more items to this list from time to time, as I have the time)

1. That God actually exists, I see no evidence of this. (he never helped me find my car keys I guess)

2. That this non-existing God created our earth, heavens, solar system, universe {again there are better, more logical explanations for how our universe came into existence excluding a God figure}

3. That God created Adam and Eve…the "FIRST" earthly humans.

4. That Adam and Eve, according to Mormon doctrine, exited the Garden of Eden, which was in Missouri, 6,000 years ago, after the Fall. That with the Fall, physical and spiritual death entered the earthly realm for the very first time. This is where the wheels of belief already start to fall off. The evidence so overwhelmingly supports the existence of man on earth for 100’s of thousands of years and death has been a constant part of earthly existence since life began, literally millions and millions of years ago. Only in Mormonism’s “reality suspension” was there no death prior to 6,000 years ago.

5. I would have to believe that the earth is 6,000 years old as stated in Mormon scripture D&C 77, something that I just find totally unbelievable based on all of the examinable evidence to the contrary.

6. That God lives on some actual planet near some planet called Kolob which shares its light with our sun. Now the interesting thing is that the word “Kolob” comes from the Book of Abraham, a book that has been so summarily debunked and proven to any thinking person, to be a fraud…that to again be able to believe in Kolob I’d have to believe in the Book of Abraham.

7. So let me address the Book of Abraham. It claims to be a translation of an Egyptian papyri written by Abraham, in his own hand. (see title page) The book is clearly NOT what it claims to be. Only in Mormonism’s twisted convoluted world, where actual truth and reality don’t matter can the BoA be real. So to believe in the BoA, I can’t believe in it for what it claims to be…but I must make some huge mental gymnastic leap and view the papyri as something it never claims to be…”a mystical revelation channeling device” through which Joseph Smith decoded some secret code, only he could see, imbedded within the papyri. But the evidence doesn’t support this. Joseph claimed to translate the papyri, he even took characters from the papyri and wrote their so-called translations in long hand. Clearly he wanted his audience to think he was making an actual translation of the papyri script. Bottom line, the Book of Abraham is a poorly crafted fraud which I would have to suspend reality in order to regain a belief in.

8. I would also have to believe in the Book of Mormon and believe it is what it claims to be. So let me examine what it claims to be.

A. a translation of a never discovered language

B. a religious history of a bronze-aged civilization living among a stone aged civilization with NO transference of their bronze aged technology.

C. A middle eastern Jewish people that left NO DNA footprint.

D. A people with horses, cows, camels, elephants, goats, yet were able to remove all evidence of their existence.

E. A people that were proficient in the working of metals such as gold, silver, steel, etc yet were able to remove all evidences of excavations, mines pits forges and all other sign of this technology.

F. A people who didn’t eat any of the known fruits and vegetables in the America’s such as the sweet potato, corn/maze…yet ate fruits such as figs, grapes whose pre Columbian existence has NEVER been found.

G. Basically the Book of Mormon describes a bronze aged civilization that thrived in the America’s yet left not one trace of their existence.

9. I would have to believe that the man Joseph Smith who claimed to see the physical God the Father and Jesus Christ couldn't get the details of his story right with each retelling of this fanciful story. (not something one would do if the story was actually true) In fact with each retelling the story only became more glorious and spectacular. I would also have to beleive that this same Joseph, who saw them in their physical bodies would within 10 years teach that God had no physical body and was merely a spirt...THEN...change his story again and claim that No God actually had a physical body. Joseph's godhead in reality...evolved throughout the years.

10. I would need to believe that God would command Joseph to use a stone Joseph had dug up while digging a well, to help in the translation process for the Book of Mormon. That God would instruct Joseph to use this same rock that Joseph had knowingly used to defraud people out of their money in his treasure digging scam. That God would instruct Joseph to place this same stone used in Joseph’s fraud in his hat and by putting his face in the hat with the stone he could also translate golden plates that were given to him by an angel named Moroni.

11. I would also need to believe that Joseph could translate these Golden Plates without the plates actually being present in front of Joseph…as he claimed that sometimes he would place them in a tree truck out in the woods and still be able to translate.

12. I would need to believe that this translation, from God’s mouth to Joseph’s ear via the peep stone, was so perfect that it only required a couple of thousand corrections after God had given Joseph Smith a word for word dictation on special parchment that would appear in his magical hat and then disappear once the correctness had been confirmed.

13. Perhaps the most difficult thing, regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon, I would have to again believe in to be a faithful believing the Official whitewashed translation story...which is actually a bunch of unbelievable bunk and lies...taught as the church had wanted this foundational story to have happened rather than how it actually did happen.

14. I would have to believe in a literal flood and a literal Noah of which even God’s so-called late-prophet believes when he declared…“There was the great Flood, when waters covered the earth and when, as Peter says, only ‘eight souls were saved’” – Gordon B. Hinckley, If We Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear, 175th Annual General Priesthood Meeting.

But was there really a great flood that resulted in only 8 surviving humans as declared by God's so-called prophet? If not, it significantly discredits Christianity in general and Mormonism specifically. Perhaps the greatest arguments against the traditional Mormon view of the universal flood, which supposedly baptized the earth, a doctrine proclaimed by Mormon’s so-called prophets, can be found HERE This article ironically written by two BYU Professors…pretty much sums up the impossibility of Mormonism’s traditional flood doctrine and why I find it impossible to reconcile it with reality.

To be continued…

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.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I Wanted Mormonism's Claims to be True...But instead, It Broke My Heart

I absolutely loved the LDS Church. I loved the culture, I loved the people, I loved and looked up to the GA’s as examples to base my life on and I loved the comfort that I had the TRUTH. I could with an aire of confident pride look at my fellow man and feel sadness and compassion for their lack of belief in accepting Mormonism’s truth. I took comfort in knowing that I was not just another human being walking blindly on the face of the earth... I knew who I was; I was a Child of God... a God in embryo. Yeah, I bought the “Snake Oil” and all its promises of families being together forever.... eternal marriage.... Godhood...eternal progress...That’s what makes it hurt so much even today. To discover the lies, the whitewashing, and the glorification of history to make it more spiritually uplifting, to have been taught the foundational stories as the church wanted its history to have played out rather than how it actually did play out.... I feel lied to and deceived by the very people I had placed such total confidence in. They lied to me and continue to lie to promote their agenda of belief. But belief in lies is just a false hope.

Coming to the realization that the LDS Church is not what it calms to be…has been the most painful experience of my life…yes even more so than being subjected to the church court which led to my excommunication (which was the second most painful experience of my life) Discovering that the church of my birth, has lied about its foundational claims…is more than I care to bare. Yet the facts that lead me to this conclusion seem beyond reproach. I just can’t fake it any longer; I can’t hold the pieces of the puzzle together in my head any longer. Much like the Dutch boy with his fingers in the dike holding back the flood. I had been plugging the many conflicts in my faith in Mormonism since my mission and the dam just finally broke. I can’t hold all the conflicting so called truths…one must be true while the other false. Conflicting claims of truth can’t all be true. I have to accept reality!

Mormonism is amazing to me in that regard...its ability to get its "knowledgeable" members to ignore credible information that conflicts with the offical church scrubed stories. How do these active members maintain these conflicting bits of information in their head while still being able to maintain faith in the church. God bless em I say ...I just couldn't lie to myself any longer. I no longer had the ability to maintain the cognitive dissonance.

Gordon B. Hinckley and many others have said that the church is either the truth or it’s a fraud...its either what it claims to be or it isn't. The fact that the church needs to lie and cover-up and whitewash and doctor and change its history and foundational stories in order to make them more faith promoting, finally collapsed what faith I still had remaining. I asked myself.... Would Jesus need to lie to support belief in Him? I answer that by saying NO, He wouldn't need to lie...which begs the question...then why would HIS church need to lie? Gordon Hinckley challenged members of the church to stand for something…well I decided to stand for TRUTH.

But most active Mormon’s won't expose themselves to the conflicting’s just too painful. My dear wife, whom I love to death...barely listens to anything I have to say on the subject. I have no credibility with her. It has broken her heart to see me lose the faith and belief I once held so dear, but I couldn't live a lie any longer. I refuse to live a lie for anyone. The church may be the greatest thing ever invented…but if it was invented…and its not what it claims to be, then I want nothing to do with it

The average run of the mill active believing member of the church won't listen to reason....they have been so conditioned by the church that they won’t listen to alternative ideas when they come in conflict with the church’s version of foundational claims. Questioning is not encouraged…if in so doing it questions faith in official stories. Even when confronted with factual documented members discard it as anti-Mormon falsehoods. How do I know this...that description used to be me.

My ah hah moment was when I finally decided that I had to know the truth no matter what the consequences...When I allowed myself to search for the truth even at the cost of my was over. The truth won out. I didn't like the truth...the truth was extremely painful, but I couldn't deny it either…the evidence against Mormonism is overwhelming.

I have no agenda against the won't find me at conference holding up signs promoting what I’ve discovered... I just want to live an honest athentic life and be the best person, husband, father I can be….

One thing I’ve learned through this process of discovery is that it is not possible to accept reality unless you are willing to accept the remote possibility that the church may not be what it claims to be. If you can't accept that possibility...then you will never accept reality when it comes to church claims.