November 25, 2006

In answer to some questions

My blog was found by an interesting person, (whose blog I will read through soon) My Marrakech, who asked if I ever sent a letter to my relief society president to explain I don't want visiting teachers anymore, like I posted about previously.

I did send her an e-mail. I outlined that I wouldn't be visiting teaching anymore, because I have recently discovered that the Mormon religion isn't all I thought it was. I assured her I wasn't offended, nor was I just quitting to lead a life of sin. I outlined a few of my biggest discoveries that pushed me into non-belief:

1. Joseph Smith gave the priesthood to a black man, Elijah Abel. Why did he do this if it was against God's will, as later prophets preached? Why did the black people get denied the priesthood until 1978?

2. Joseph Smith had many wives, behind his wife's back, some of whom were already married to men Joseph sent abroad on missions for the church. Some of them were only young girls, and Joseph promised her families eternal salvation if they'd give their daughters to him. This screams of lecherous, wrong behavior. And he did it in the name of God.

3. Why did Brigham Young teach that Adam was in fact God, the Father? As in the father of Jesus Christ. If this was taught as revelation by Brigham Young, why was it later renounced by the prophet Spencer W. Kimball as "false doctrine?"

4. Why did the church not acknowledge the fact that the papyrus that was "translated" by Joseph Smith to become the Book of Abraham, was actually a funerary text, having nothing whatsoever to do with Abraham? Many Egyptologists agree. The church has the original papyri and keeps them locked away and out of the eyes and minds of its membership.

5. Why were there so many differing accounts of the vision in the Sacred Grove? Some of these differing accounts are even by Joseph Smith himself!

6. Why does the temple ceremony so closely resemble the Masonic practices?

7. The church is full of racism, sexism, and homophobia, and I can't condone it.

8. Why did Joseph Smith form the Kirtland Safety Society by telling everyone to put all their money in that bank because God had revealed to him that it would be the biggest, most powerful bank in the land...only to have it fold shortly thereafter? Nobody recovered their money. But Joseph got plenty.

9. Why were we not taught about Joseph using a rock in a hat to "translate" the gold plates into the Book of Mormon?

10. Why, if the Book of Mormon is the "most correct book on earth" has there been no evidence of the people who lived in the Americas from the Book of Mormon? Why did the DNA study prove that the majority of native American people actually originated in Asia?

Then I told her that my biggest disappointment came from the fact that the church hid all these things. Yet they are true. And I can't be part of it anymore.

I never heard again from her. I did find out that she was released, and the other counselor I had worked with in the primary at the time I quit was made RS president. And I found out that the first president forwarded my e-mail to the current one. She and I have been e-mailing on a friendly basis since I quit, and haven't touched on any church topics, because I asked at the beginning not to be contacted in any way but friendship. She told me that she got that e-mail. That's all.

So.....I'm wondering now if the primary president got the e-mail forwarded to her as well, because she never called me like she was going to for a lunch date a few weeks ago. Interesting. I have no doubt they have talked about me amongst themselves. Not that it matters. It's just a fact, I'm sure.

Now, in answer to MM's second question...Last night I did my personal equivalent of Drunken Blogging: I posted while I was still mad. Mad Blogging should be avoided. This, at least for me, is not so wise to do. In future I will probably wait a full day or two, and if I'm still upset, then I will write about whatever it was, or not.

Today I feel much better, and my man is acting like nothing is wrong and is being nice. Of course, we are alone as a family and mine is not here right now. The test will come in an hour when they come over.

My mom and her boyfriend are visiting us from Salt Lake City. They came up on Wednesday night and stayed at my sister's house. We did Thanksgiving day with my husband's family while my mom and sister did Thanksgiving at her house. It was a great day, and none of the things that made me mad happened on Thursday. But Wednesday night when my mom popped in to say hi and Friday was a different story. That is what made me so mad, the difference of how he acts when it's my family vs. his.

Yesterday my mom & her BF left and went back to my sister's right before dinner, and the plan was to go to her house for dinner. That's when I told my husband that he shouldn't come if he was going to keep being an ass. That's the fight we had, and the frustrating part of the whole incident. I don't like having to ask him to be nicer when my family is in town, I don't feel like I should have to. He thinks he wasn't acting any different than usual or that he was behaving rudely. It's hard to reason with someone who doesn't see it in himself. He did end up going to my sister's and after about 45 minutes he was acting fun and nice as I knew he could.

The whole thing is irritating because it's stupid and unnecessary. It doesn't mean I don't love him or that I want out, but in the middle of my anger, sometimes that's the only solution I can see, since reasoning and talking about it gets me nowhere. Each time I'm forced to be mad on my own and then accept whenever he feels like it's OK to act nice again. It bugs me so bad.

Any person who doesn't have a spouse who does this will have a hard time understanding my frustration. It seems so simple to people who live with easy-going, non-stubborn spouses to say "I wouldn't put up with that." I have no clue how to prevent stuff like this from happening again. I have no clue how to make it be different. Counseling for communication improvement will never happen, as I'm the only one who would go. When I say something is wrong and spell out what behavior bothered me, he denies he behaved that way. It's very frustrating to deal with.

This morning my mom called and asked if we could find the BYU/Utah football game on our TV...we found it, so they are coming over to enjoy the game on the big screen. Let's hope it's more fun this time around. We'll see.

In the meantime, I've eaten the donut my man went out and bought this morning as a peace offering (I think) and I plan to be nice, and we'll see where this leads us today!

27 comments:

Cele said...

Jazzy, I know exactly what you're going through. I know men that way, and I know women that way. If you love them, at some point you realize
that you at times will have to face the annoying/bad/nasty, but leaving isn't an option because the good so out weighs the bad.

A soul, finally free. said...

Hello there. Well I hope everything is going okay. I like the top part of your blog and all those points, they are great, I brought them up to the missionaries who came and paid me a visit and there whole thing was that the thing with pilogamy and blacks was that god said all things had to be restored. Okay but they only found that verse in the Book of mormon...EXACTLY MY POINT. But they didnt see that. When I brought up the historical fact that in Palmyra where Joseph Smith founded the mormon church is called the burnt put area because so many churches were made up then in the same area all in the same time period...so what did the missionaries say, "well with all of that going on don't you see why joseph would want to find the trurh?...well yes I do see that but i dont think making up your own religion is the awnser. haha. I didnt really voice that because i didnt want to be rude. So we had this meeting at my house and I guess the missionaries and the YM president had a meeting with the bishop and told them that I just wanted to argue docterine, and that I had anti mormon material. Okay it wasnt anti mormon, it was the truth about mormonism that the mormons just leave out and dont teach. But it isnt anti mormon, unless they think there past and where they came from was anti mormon. And I guess they pulled in my mentor at faith chapels mom to tell her about all this.....my mentors mom has nothing to do with this. I was mad when I found out all of this because they seemed to be okay with everything at my house but then had to tell the bishop and everyone else. Okay sorrt i totally just vented there instead of commenting on your blog...hahaha, sorry. Anyway, I need to tell you the story in person...its long. But yeah they dont acknowdledge any of those claims or they have anwsers but they are all from the B.O.M. Anyway, I havent read the blogs under this yet, but i hope you and your hubby are okay now. Oh and Im almost done with this awesome book, Under the Banner of Heaven...it is sooooo good. I am reading it for history, but it traces the early church and how it started, it focuses a lot on poligamy, but it is soooo good. you should read it. Okay well I am going to be done now, but i love ya. Hope everything is okay.

Bishop Rick said...

Two words...makeup sex.

A soul, finally free. said...

hahaha I like bishop ricks, lol

Sideon said...

Men are incredibly stupid sometimes - and for no logical, rational, sensible reason. (I'm re-reading after previewing and I had to come back and point out that I know several women who are just as incredibly stupid - JUST to be fair. BOTH genders can have moments of selfishness that make Narcissus look like a pushover.)

Please note that I am not betraying my gender. All I'm doing is pointing out that men typically have two moods: hungry or horny. If they don't have a hard-on, they're hungry. (Please note, I'm attempting a little levity here...)

If your hubby is predictable (and you'd know by now), then pre-empt him at your next gathering with a friendly warning to your family. You can't change anybody, but you can choose how you act or react to somebody - even a sometimes frustrating spouse/partner/lover.

I wish I had some words of wisdom (but not like the icky Mormon kind - that would suck).

Be well.

My Marrakech said...

I am so sorry if I sounded pushy or nosy in my comments. And I appreciate very much your answering some of my questions. I have been married for almost 10 years myself, and I know first hand that relationships can be difficult at times. I didn't mean to insinuate that you should leave your marriage. But I do think that the key to a good marriage is respect and a realization that both partners are equals in the relationship. In any event, I very much enjoy your blog and appreciate your insights.

LDS Patriot said...

Sister Mary Lisa, all your questions have answers and you will find them on http://www.fairlds.org/ ... have you been to that site?

Just one of many said...

How about the towns in the BoM? I personally researched the towns and found a half-dozen in the new England erea! what a f*&^%# belief thank God I am free!! BTW, where is my letter!!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

LDS Patriot, that site has no answers. Just a bunch of people trying to convince others that a square peg actually can fit into a round hole too small for it. Thanks anyway.

Freckle Face Girl said...

I too would like to see good answers to those questions.

Sometimes I think men get mad only because we are mad at them for acting stupid. At least he went out & got you a donut. :)

Genilimaa said...

Thank you for sharing all this, Lisa.

These are difficult issues and no situation is the same although many can relate to it.

All I can say is that even if I get frustrated sometimes by my husband's behaviour, he's got a lot to put up with too. We're simply very different people - and I guess that's what attracted us in the first place!

Kimberly said...

It's sad to see that your basis for leaving the church lies in those examples...I'm sure you have many more. I wonder if you ever felt the spirit testify truth to you about anything in the church...If so, how does one turn away from that? I don't know if you were raised in the church or a convert later in life. For me, I'm a convert. I have also served a mission. Those items you listed don't make a bit of sense of what the church teaches. How can those items be make it or break it with you or anyone for that matter? Is it really that important? I personally don't care about it. I don't careif it's true or false. Does that affect me today? NO. I don't hear those things when I go to church. I don't hear our prophet or local leaders teaching those things. I don't learn that in the temple. My children don't learn that in Primary and YM/YW. You have lost something precious along the way and "your list" seems irrelevant and full of excuses.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Kimberly, my list is all the things that ARE TRUE but aren't taught to the members. Why do you think this is? It's alarming when you realize that all these things happened and are true, yet the church teaches things entirely different from them.

If Joseph Smith lied, or made it all up, would you want to know?

from the ashes said...

Oh, look at that! You got some lds trolls. Congrats!

"7. The church is full of racism, sexism, and homophobia, and I can't condone it." Amen. Those are my top three why I can't keep going to church (different than the reasons I stopped believing, but they helped).

kimberly is right that they don't teach those things in church, Sunday school, etc. You have to go outside to even hear about the church's history, its coverups. They only teach the mythology in church. How can someone "not care" that she goes to a church that lies? Many other churches acknowledge that the Bible stories are mythology and glean what good they can from them. Not so Mormonism; they pretend the mythology is The Truth.

And the "It doesn't affect me" attitude is troubling. Being white and straight, racism and homophobia "don't affect me" directly, but they do indirectly, and they certainly hurt others. I can't condone that.

Kimberly said...

I look at it this way...if Joseph did lie, what affect would that really have on me? If I have lived a life the best I can and followed the teachings of Christ, which is what we are taught in the church...in the end what does it matter? Having good standards and values, and raising children with those standards/values produces great people. I wouldn't want the alternative of all the different things that are happening in the world that truly go against the teachings of Christ. We all live...we all die...and those that are past on, (and many still living) know the truth. And believing or not believing in a prophet who restored the gospel of Jesus Christ...not the gospel of Joseph, but of Jesus Christ, is what we are taught to follow, will still have left me with living a good life and raising good children for this world. A belief in God and our Savior, and those who go to church (any church based on the Savior)to worship are all the better for it. The only way for people to know what is right for them comes through prayer and the feelings from the Holy Ghost. I believe you can get those feelings anywhere truth is taught. The Holy Ghost cannot testify of truth unless it is present. And I for one cannot deny what I know to be true...what I have felt. If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. It's as simple as that. And I don't believe there are 12,000,000+ people who have been led astray by evil. You know these people. They are good people. I guess I would rather be with these good people than any others out there. I have heartache and trials, and wonder sometimes if HE'S above listening to my prayers when life gets hard, and I have a stupid husband like yours sometimes... but that doesn't mean that the gospel isn't true. There are many things that we don't understand, but does it really matter? Why would those things you mentioned have to be taught to members? We don't teach those things in church, conference, etc... Where is the teaching in that? Nowhere.... Fondly, Kimberly

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Kimberly, you wrote "And I don't believe there are 12,000,000+ people who have been led astray by evil."

Believing in the Mormon religion as you do, that means you just think that every single other person who has ever lived who is/was NOT LDS has been led astray and is evil. Doesn't your religion teach you that Satan uses every other religion to lead souls astray?

Kimberly said...

That's not what I said. I don't think people who are not of my faith are led astray by evil. There are good people who worship the Savior and his teachings in their churches and homes. I believe those who follow Satan are led away by evil. I was stating that I don't believe there are that many members of the church, and we've just all been led astray. By your fruits ye shall know them...these are good people, not evil people.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Kim,
I never said that all the members of the church are evil either. I said it's wrong that the CHURCH never teaches us the real history regarding the early leaders, and it certainly practices racism, sexism, and homophobia. So, I choose not to be part of it any more, especially considering that Joseph Smith practiced so many things himself which I'd be excommunicated for if I chose to do them as blatantly as he did. Wow.
Thanks for stopping by.

Kimberly said...

Forgot to answer...no, my faith does not teach that Satan uses every other religion to lead souls astray. If you have gone to the same church as I have, we don't spend time talking of other religions and how they are led astray. However, there are many other non LDS churches who spend their teaching time preaching against our religion. Very productive for those members...I'm sure they are learning a lot about Christ.

Kimberly said...

You are just choosing to not be a part of something that doesn't happen today. If you were taught today to do those things you believe from your views of church history, then I believe we could have issue with that, and you wouldn't be ex'd if that's what the church taught it's members today, because you would be following what the prophet says...right? But the fact is we are not taught your views of church history. So denying and leaving the church for something you haven't been taught, or asked to do...just seems like there is so much more you are struggling with. I wish you the best of luck.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Kimberly, my biggest struggle is with deception. I don't like being deceived. Thanks for trying.

Alison said...

I found this blog extremely interesting. Mormonism has always been very mysterious to me, and I appreciate your open and articulate way of writing about your thoughts.

MattMan said...

SML,

I would ask that you *please* not stop blogging while mad. Of course your viewpoint is going to change the next day, or later as anger subsides, but that doesn't mean that what you feel at the time isn't valid.

I don't know your relationship or your hubby, at all. I can only use my own situation as an example. It has taken me many years to realize and admit that my wife is an abusive spouse. As a man, maybe that makes me a pussy to admit, but it is what it is.

I firmly believe that I would not have reached this realization, nor the awareness of it, had I not started regularly recording my thoughts and feelings even when they were heightened (angry, sad, depressed, whatever). In doing so, I was able to eventually recognize a "cycle of abuse" in textbook form, and from there evaluate my own role in feeding it or not.

I am not saying your husband is abusive, but we all know of people that we scratch our heads wondering why the hell they can't see something. Ignoring or filing away our thoughts and feelings when we're in the heat of the moment is how. Anger passes, we forget.

I'm also not saying that thoughts & feelings during anger are rational. Just saying that I think there is some value in mad blogging. It can provide a perspective on your life that can otherwise go unnoticed.

You may find over time that the stuff is just trivial and maybe you work on ways of letting it go or other ways of diffusing whatever creates the problem in the first place.

Or if there is a cycle of abuse going on, you will see it over time, repeating, and you'll begin to see very clearly each stage of it. Awareness is half the battle.

I have two great book recommendations for you that could help you through these rough spots. "Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay" by Mira Kirshenbaum. I didn't really learn anything new about my situation that I didn't already know, but I found it provided a lot more clarity in my situation and helped in a round-about way to see what was going on with my feelings and why. I think I can confidently say that if your marriage is good, you'll definitely see that from going through the book. If it isn't so good or in danger, that will become clear as well. The other is "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" by John Gottman. He also identifies problem areas with great clarity.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Allison, thanks for your kind words.

Mattman, I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I'm sure that we have much in common. (mine is not physical abuse, for the record...but as for the other kind, well...it's like you said, easy to discount it right after it happens.) I'll have to check the books out you listed.

Anonymous said...

I think that post was great and totally appropriate. I love your humanity and your willingness to give the different sides of yourself a little room to kick and squirm.

I was a little taken aback that the Prim and Proper Sister Mary Lisa would call her husband an ass and he call her a bitch. Your average TBM would be horrified at far tamer levels of confrontation.

You know, one of the things I have learned very well and about which I spend much time talking to my utterly nice, utterly nonconfrontational and utterly self-repressed wife about is the fact that it is healthy to be able to vent and to let out just a little bit of venom when you need to. And it is healthy for us, as partly-rational human beings in a world where we just can't help occasionally stepping on each other's toes, to be able to figuratively growl at each other and for the other to not take it as anything other than a little venting.

I'm just actually kind of wishing my wife could feel comfortable telling me I'm an asshole when I do something equivalently aggravating to her (and I do, here and there).

All this cult-of-positive-thinking bullshit (Seven Habits, anyone?) and all this Victorian aversion to emotional expression is just so unhealthy and counterproductive in the long run.

Small-scale confrontation allows living beings (people and animals) to assert their own dignity and their claims, while avoiding the harms of more serious conflict that come about when aggression gets pent up with no safe outlet. That's a huge problem in the church –- there are no safe outlets for "negativity," as they call it, and it causes a lot of problems and misery, especially among –- you guessed it –- the put-upon women of the church.

Peace without justice isn't peace at all -- it's oppression. This is as true at the micro level as it is at the macro societal level. That means people need to be free to initiate confrontations and express anger in order to rectify imbalances in all relationships.

I intend to write a blog post expanding on this some time, but for now I'll also just say I have considered it at length and think that every possible aversion to "cursing" and "using bad words" is either extremely overblown, sanctimonious or outright groundless.

My goal over the past year has been to get my wife to tell me to "fuck off." She's sinned, denied the church, criticized and expressed horror at the Lord's anointed, violated standards of personal purity, partaken of unholy substances, read unapproved materials, participated in the drafting of a church resignation letter that we will both send in some time soon, and (gasp!) spent periods not wearing her garments. She is happy referring to penises and vaginas and sexual acts (and engaging in them with wild abandon!), and is rather enjoying her feeling of liberation in many ways.

But saying bad words? Nuh uh. No way. That's too far. She's retreated from the field of battle, abandoned the castle walls, fled to the inner keep, and has now, finally, locked herself in the last defensive bastion: prudeness. Very interesting.

Come on, sweetheart. Just one "fuck you." Pretty please? God, what a turn on that'll be.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that last comment was me, Gluby. Lemon Blossom is my gorgeous wife. We share this computer sometimes, and I can tell this is not the last time this is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Addendum to my comment under Lemon Blossom's name:

(Oh, and note that that whole post, and the fairly light-hearted nature of it, changes if abuse is in fact the issue here. In any given relationship it may be the case that the spouses laying invective on each other are certainly not healthy or respectful. So, I'm talking non-abusive situations when I talk about the healthiness of honest, candid and emotionally-less-constrained relationships. The key is that there has to be a certain level of respect and understanding between the partners.)