What Do You Do When Your Mormon Husband Loses His Faith?

In case you need a good read, Maren Stephenson has a wonderful story at Alternet.

The short version: She and her husband were Mormons. He lost his faith. Conflict, conflict, tension, tension. Resolution.

A couple of excerpts:

We rarely talked about religion, yet it consumed us. When Sean replaced his temple garments — the sacred underwear he’d promised to wear day and night — with boxers, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much betrayal. I called up a neighbor with a husband like mine and cried. But instead of empathy, she offered questions that stunned me into silence. Was Sean addicted to pornography? Watching R-rated movies? What sin had brought him to this terrible place?

This started my brain twitching. I knew Sean was still a good person, that he still maintained the same moral standards he had when he married me. The Church was wrong about him. What else might they be wrong about? I shoved the thought away.

It’s really a lovely piece — with a happy ending!

Equally interesting was Jamie Huston‘s rebuttal to it, from a Mormon perspective.

(Thanks to Luther for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Trevor

    I’m sorry, but the Mormon response was the same religious vomit that happens EVERY time someone accepts reality as their personal savior. It’s always “they just don’t understand how the church REALLY works.” Funny how everyone in the religion would’ve accepted what was being said about how their faith works if it was in a sermon. But as soon as someone sees it for what it is – a manipulative lie – then suddenly “they just don’t understand.”
    I have gotten this argument SO many times when pointing out Christian stupidity. “You just don’t get it,” or, “That’s not how MY faith works.” Yes. it is how your faith works, you have just chosen not to accept that portion of your dogma.

    Thanks for posting this!
    Trevor

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=35702181 Christopher Check

      He was “No True Mormon!”

      • Patterrssonn

        Aye there’s naye doot aboot that.

        • Sindigo

          All the likes.

          • http://www.facebook.com/waqasqta.qta Waqasqta Qta

            Do Mormon brides wear the Mormon Underwear under their wedding gowns? I don’t know why this question occurs to me.

    • Tinker

      If she didn’t understand how the Church works, then who’s fault is that? She grew up in the Church and even went to BYU. They had plenty of time to indoctrinate her. 

    • Alice

       ^This. It really irritated me that he kept pointing out that he didn’t know her, but then he kept making snide insinuations about her intellect and motives.

  • Glasofruix

    “When Sean replaced his temple garments — the sacred underwear he’d promised to wear day and night — with boxers”

    I’m sorry, but how can you be serious about your “beliefs” when they dictate you something so ridiculous?

    • Gringa

      I thought the same thing!  I didn’t know they wore them to bed.

      • EivindKjorstad

         That’s a major part of the point actually. Their primary function is to be un-sexy and thus discourage sinful sex. You see, even sex between married partners is a sin, only to be tolerated as a necessary evil in order to produce offspring.

        • Elizabethbrooking

          That’s a completely false statement.

          • EivindKjorstad

            It’s flippant, and may be a *slight* caricature, but no it’s not “completely false, the official mormon church is *very* negative to sex, including sex in marriage. For example Spencer  Kimball, then president of the church said this about “indiscriminate” sex in marriage:

            The union of the sexes, husband and wife (and only
            husband and wife) was for the principal purpose of bringing children
            into the world. Sexual experiences were never intended by the Lord to be a mere plaything or merely to satisfy passions and lusts.
            We know of no directive from the Lord that proper sexual experience
            between husbands and wives need be limited totally to the procreation of
            children, but we find much evidence from Adam until now that no provision was ever made by the Lord for indiscriminate sex. Married persons should understand that if in their
            marital relations they are guilty of unnatural, impure, or unholy
            practices, they should not enter the temple unless and until they repent
            and discontinue any such practices.  The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice.
            You’re not allowed to talk dirty either, not even with your husband: ” Because it is ordained of God,
            the intimate physical expressions of married love are
            sacred. Yet all too commonly, these divine gifts are desecrated.
            If a couple allows lewd language or pornography to corrupt
            their intimacy, they offend their Creator.”

            Okay, I’ll grant you that he doesn’t put a *total* ban on sex for reasons other than procreation in a marriage, he does say that it doesn’t need to be “limited totally”, but also that sexuality was “never intended to be a pure plaything”,  and that “unnatural, impure or unholy” practices are banned, even in marriage – and oral sex is an example of such a practice. (this is consistent with the general idea that procreation is the goal thus the only sex that is “natural” is penis-in-vagina)

  • Huston

    Hello, friends.  Huston here.  Thanks for the link.  As you can see, I actually closed the comments on my post a few days ago because they were getting pretty redundant and petty, on both sides.  Some of the things you’ve already brought up here have been addressed in those discussions, though, so you might want to review them.  Here’s wishing you a substantive and productive conversation on this thread! 

    Also, Hemant, excellent ambigram in your logo!

    • Geoffreygriffard

      Huston: true intellectual inquiry never closes down comments.  It doesn’t matter that your page had this discussion already–it will be had here as another witness to your logical fallacies and your adherence to the party line.

      Your rebuttal followed the standard pattern for dismissing the actions of an apostate:
      1) the apostate never really understood the doctrine (No True Scotsman logical fallacy)2) the apostate was offended by members and had been harboring a secret grudge (members aren’t perfect, but Church is perfect)

      3) Joseph Smith didn’t get everything wrong so he must be right (he wasn’t perfect, but he was a prophet)

      4) apostate secretly wanted to sin (not pay tithing, drink coffee, etc.)

      5) apostate was unhappy to begin with having failed in some way to live the Church doctrine “deeply” 

      6) apostate should have known all of the ‘disclosures’ such as the stone in the hat (the majority of Mormon depictions both in word and art show Joseph hard at work translating the Golden Plates without the use of the hat or a seer stone–because that’s too ridiculously embarrassing so it’s de-emphasized in the Church’s correlated teaching curriculum and simply disclosed like the bad side affect of a medicine)

      7) Anti-mormon materials–you completely confuse the issue by bringing secular BYU classes into this–that’s not the issue.  Whenever a viewpoint is contrary to standard church doctrine it is labeled “anti” and is never touched by “True-Blue Mormons” because it’s from the Devil.

      8)  Helen Mar Kimball.  There is no pure and chaste reason under the sun for a middle-aged man to marry a 14 year old girl, especially when that man is the President of the organization to which the minor belongs.  Joseph had many wives–most sealed to him in secret, some were already married.  Helen Kimball is not an isolated incident–she’s just the youngest.

      9) Only in Mormonism can one find the “unique joy” of believing in what’s right.  This is an echo of Mormonism being the “One true church on the face of the earth.”  Which it’s not.  Nor is the joy found there unique.  You are no more special than Maren so stop elevating your feelings above everyone else’s.

      10) False compassion: at the end you again state and use a quote from Mormon leaders to back it up that the reason people apostatize from the church is that they were not fully converted in the first place.  And that makes you sad…but you’re happy you’re so much more right (and righteous) than them.

      • Glasofruix

        7) Basically you should only believe what we say. I believe it’s called control through ignorance, the less people know, the less they rebel.

      • Huston

        Geoffrey, thanks for the detailed reply!  I didn’t realize I was working from a
        template!  J  I wasn’t dismissing her, but a publicly
        written narrative invites analysis, of course. 
        Hopefully you’re not inclined to see any criticism of her methodology as
        automatically dismissive.  If I may respond
        to your concerns:

        1.  The fallacy you cite
        doesn’t apply.  I’m not saying that she
        was not knowledgeable in the faith as a de facto result of her leaving.  I suggest it as a result of a close reading
        of her arguments.  It is possible that
        someone could reject something without adequate comprehension of it,
        right?  I think the text warrants
        considering that.  Feel free to
        rebut. 

        2.  She may have been
        offended or not—there’s no way for us to know. 
        If she said she wasn’t, I could only take her at face value.  As it is, her text suggests otherwise.  I’m not allowed to posit this as a factor
        even though her writing clearly implies it might be? 

        3.  Of course I didn’t
        say anything as nonsensical as this.  My
        point is simple: one would have to explain how he got things right in his
        scriptural writings that he shouldn’t—couldn’t even—have been able to, in order
        to definitively rule him out as a prophet. 
        Anything less is dodging the issue. 

        4.  I did not say this,
        nor do I believe it. 

        5.  Actually, she says
        this herself, by implication in this essay, and more in depth in her previous
        blogging.  You’re right, though—it’s a
        fallacious view, and it’s tragic that it would emotionally hurt anybody.

        6.  Shouldn’t someone
        be as fully informed as possible before passing judgment on something?  Also, why would using a seer stone be any
        more “embarrassing” than the Urim and Thummim? 
        Where do you see evidence of this embarrassment in any LDS
        publication? 

        7.  As in Stephenson’s
        essay, citation needed.  Where are we
        taught that any differing opinion must be hostile, is “from the Devil” and must
        be avoided?  Good grief, are there any
        negative stereotypes about Mormons that you don’t believe? 

        8.  “No pure and
        chaste reason?”  That’s only true if you discount
        all the evidence that disagrees with a preconceived notion.  Though this institution has never been fully
        understood, then or now, by anybody, the most reasonable explanation is that it
        involved the kind of extended eternal family sealing that we still practice in
        temples today.  You’re insinuating
        lecherous motives where simpler explanations make more sense. 

        The thesis that critics insinuate for polygamy—that church
        leaders lied about the revelation to justify sexual activity—doesn’t stand up
        under scrutiny. There would have been far easier ways to “get away” with it.
        Far more than sex was involved, and sex often wasn’t involved at all. Its
        practice was rare and heavily regulated. Those in the church’s “inner circle”—men
        who could and did try to hurt Smith—were excommunicated for abusing the
        practice.  Sexual hedonism is
        inconsistent with the lives of consecration and sacrifice by those who
        practiced it—these men were not Warren Jeffs.

        9.  Again, you’re
        putting words in my mouth.  I did not say
        that only Mormons have our kind of joy and, in fact, I clearly wished Maren
        happiness in her life, whatever form it takes. 
        As I would wish the same to you or anyone.  Speaking of…

        10.  Wow.  Read a bit of my stuff one Saturday morning
        and you’re ready to condemn me as a twisted hypocrite.  Nice.  That
        last bit of yours about me being happy in alleged superiority is pretty vicious,
        don’t you think?  For someone who wants
        to call me out for apparently questioning the motives of others, you seem
        pretty comfortable being judge, jury, and executioner here. 

        Still, I respect that you wrote this at all, and I
        appreciate the real thought that goes into it. 
        I actually hold atheists in very high regard for that, and think we
        could have a great conversation about this. 
        We just need to get past any one-dimensional boogeyman images here, and
        give each other an intellectual benefit of the doubt.  We may not share faith, but we can all
        practice charity. 

        • Fsq

          ah yes, the smiling and friendly Mormon act. Sorry sister, you are full of poo-poo.

          Not one of your rebuttlas makes any sense at all. And your defense of the myths and made up fairy tales of your poison is ridiculous.

          I have had to deal with Mormons, and you, as a group, as simply untrustworthy. Add in the fact you act in a lobotomized fashion when dealing with your made up world and you become dangerous.

          And if there is one thing to always look out for, it is someone who smiles too much, or tries too hard to come across as “understanding” and “loving”.

          Also, you simply are not an inmtellectual equal if you believe in any of the bullshit that is the Mormon doctrine. How any reasonable person can believe one iota of that crap (which was made up by a man with obvious mental illness) is incredible. Because of this, you simply, are not an iontellectual equal to those who go forth to find hard truths and evidence.

          And your kind DIRECTLY hurt many of my friends. Prop 8. I am a Californian. You HURT MY FRIENDS. And that is unforgivable.

          • Huston

             Hi there, FSQ.  I’d say that the dice in this game appear to be a bit loaded, but I see at the end that you share where some of your anger comes from.  Look, since you equate politeness with insincerity, I’ll get right to the point: what’s not at issue here is whether anyone agrees or disagrees with our stance on marriage, what ultimately matters is whether the assertions of the LDS Church about their doctrine and the Book of Mormon are accurate.  If they aren’t, then you’re right.  If they are, then the church’s stance on Prop. 8 is understandable. 

            In six short paragraphs of serious negativity (I counted 16 examples of abusive language that–even worse–were unsubstantiated), you could talk about loving “hard truths and evidence” without offering any?  Please, let’s talk.  I want to know what you know.  I want you to know what I know.  Isn’t that how the marketplace of ideas works? 

            • Fsq

              your response was straight out of missionary training. Keep smiling and trying the “kill ‘em with kindness” bullshit.

              I have no need, nor desire to try and argue your myths. You believe them to be real (which has no merit) and that makes you inferior intellectually because you are irrational.

              Mromon stances and myths have no place in real world politics, and when you them to fuck people over, you become a vile entity. If you tithe, you are guilty.

              • Huston

                 Sorry you find basic civility so offensive! :) 

                If a Christian refused to talk to you and then claimed an intellectual victory, you would call him out on his ironic failure of logic, and you’d be right to do so. 

                If you ever change your mind, let me know. 

                • Fsq

                  Go try and find another investigator Missie.

                  You are intellectually dishonest and foul.

                  And for you to even try and plant or sow a seed that suggests ANY shred of hope that Mormon doctrine is real or fact is stunningly stupid.

                  I hope you one day see the errors of your ways and find true skeptical freedom and rational, intellectual honesty.

                  Until then, I fight against your tax-free status because you are homophobic bigots and distasteful people who “preach from the pulpit” – which is illegal.

                  As for basic civility, you tithe and support a horrific organzation that fucked over my friends and hurt people. Fuck yourself. That is your “civility” in action….much more powerful than a crocodile smile and fake friendliness.

                • Wooget_eater

                  As a Mormon, I too wish the LDS tax exempt status would be revoked. Currently the Church makes attempts to distance itself from political issues. If it [LDS Church] paid taxes, it wouldn’t have to do this and could openly challenge political issues that are contrary to its position. The 1997 Time Magazine article Mormons, Inc. estimated the church to be worth upwards of $30M. Estimates of the current value are anywhere from $48 to $60M+. Yeah, take away the tax exempt status and let us use those dollars to fund our interests in the political lobby. You think your friends got fucked the Prop 8, tel ‘em to bend over. Of course they would probably like that.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  You’re really LDS?  I only ask because the few Mormons I know would never make a rape threat.

                • Wooget_eater

                  Really, really. You’ve never met a Mormon like me. I’m not as nice as my bretheren and sisters

                • Geoffreygriffard

                  I’m guessing this is why you closed the comments on your own page — people saying ‘uncivil’ things to you.  Dear, your people called me worse when I left the Mormon church.  Your thin-skinned act is see-through.  All of your accusations against Maren were leveled against me by other worthy, happy, full-of-joy Mormons.

                  We will not let you hide behind your veils and curtains any longer–the truth will out and someday real light–the light of the sun–will be felt in your sealed up temples when they are opened to ALL of creation’s children.  Stop selling your religion and just live it–you’ll find that there’s room enough for all in the loving home of a benevolent god.

              • Wooget_eater

                Tithing money is not used to fund political positions you ignoranttwat. Thou knowest not of what thou speakest.

            • Darth Cynic


              If they are, then the church’s stance on Prop. 8 is understandable.”

              If they are then their position on marriage is understandable but still wrong.  However, as I understand it your church has no business involving itself in political actions and thus had no business involving itself in heavily campaigning for Prop. 8.

          • Baby_Raptor

            They don’t believe that they hurt us. They’re “saving our souls.”

        • Darth Cynic

          1.  “The fallacy you cite doesn’t apply.”

          I beg to differ, you are basically suggesting that through your reading of her work she was not fully comprehending the faith and thus left.  That is to say, if she had truly comprehended the faith she would not have left and therefore those that do leave never were truly Mormon.  That’s pretty much the No True Scotsman fallacy. 

          2.  “She may have been offended or not—there’s no way for us to know.”

          I don’t read any offense beyond what one might expect from having being duped for so long.  However, if it is so ephemeral as to warrant, “She may have been offended or not—there’s no way for us to know,” then you should not be reading it in and positing it as a factor.

          3. “…one would have to explain how he got things right in his
          scriptural writings that he shouldn’t—couldn’t even—have been able to, in order to definitively rule him out as a prophet.”

          What would these be?  Btw you’re not going to play that claim of Joe being some poor dumb, uneducated farm boy who couldn’t have known anything are you?  But I digress, all we need is sufficient failings that should not be reasonably expected from someone chosen by god himself to restart his ministry on Earth.  Enough errors and we can be justified in questioning his claims to be such an important prophet.  Errors like mistranslating Egyptian hieroglyphics or making up excuses as to why he cannot relate the exact same version when Martin Harris’s wife – smart, smart, smart, smart, smart – removed the 116 pages Martin had borrowed.  Particularly when translating ancient texts was his raison d’etre.

          4.  “I did not say this, nor do I believe it.”

          No I’ll give you that you do not appear to directly have said they secretly wanted to sin.  However, when you say, “We choose to do the things that develop private spiritual strength, or we don’t,” you do imply that she was failing to live up to the proper standards of a good Mormon.

          5.  “Actually, she says this herself,”

          To be honest I only got the impression she was unhappy after her husband fell from the path, not that she was unhappy before.

          6.  “Shouldn’t someone
          be as fully informed as possible before passing judgment on something?”

          And yet Mormons are more than happy to give the prospective supplicants their six lessons, have them feel the holy spirit move them and schedule a baptism pronto.  The entire missionary MO is shock and awe and then to get the baptism done whilst they’re still reeling, all without making the supplicant fully informed.  If it’s not required for getting in why should anyone have exhausteively researched every last nook and cranny before leaving?

          As for the embarrasment, well whether you use seer stone or urim and thummim hardly makes any difference to the basic absurdity of Joe’s face in his hat with a stone in it to translate plates hidden away over there.  The evidence of this embarrasement is not written down as should that get out it would reflect even worse by admitting it’s an absurdity.  But it is most clearly alluded to by its careful ommision from the story, particularly to the potential supplicants.  Believe you me, had any of the missionary attempts to sucker me mentioned that little gem I’d have remembered it.  The embarrasement is in the omission but it’s easier to reconcile the cognitive dissonance by pretending that it’s a triviality they can learn at some later stage when they accidentaly stumble on it.

          7. Where are we taught that any differing opinion must be hostile, is “from the Devil” and must be avoided?” 

          This is a seemingly common piece of advice for Mormons and one I’ve heard related to me by member relatives who also tend to view non-member or lapsed member information as inherently tainted.  That such work it has been produced because they have an axe to grind against the church and is  inherently untrustowrthy, thus the only trustworthy source is a church source.  Bit like you’re trying to do with Maren’s work.

          8.  “  You’re insinuating lecherous motives where simpler explanations make more sense.”

          Actually the lecherous explanation is simpler, could easily have passed her off to someone more appropriate or waited.

          9.  “Again, you’re putting words in my mouth.”

          Oh you did wish her happiness but no one is putting words in your mouth, these are your unequivocal words, “I only wish that she, and everybody else in the world, would really come to know the unique and profound joy that comes not just from being a member of the Church, but from a personal spiritual witness of the truth of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”

          10.  “Wow.  Read a bit of my stuff one Saturday morning
          and you’re ready to condemn me as a twisted hypocrite.”

          I’d concur with the false compassion assesement, you keep saying how sad you are, you wish her all the best but at the end they were never truly a believer – and look here’s a church luminary to prove my point, they’re lost, you’re saved and you know it.  Your hyperbolic reaction to that observation is somewhat OTT, it was not vicious.

          • mike

            Did anyone else read the sources that he cited in the article?  It’s worth a cheap laugh.  Apparently Joseph Smith was the “Village Seer”.  There were also other seer stones owned by other people.  Now the important seer stones and those plates got magicked away, but what about those other seer stones.  Do seer stones still exist?

            I also learned that they love those names not found in the bible.  For example, Alma is apparently a Hebrew name of a guy.  Of course, I already knew that Almah is a Hebrew word for maiden.  I may be unversed in Hebrew names, but wouldn’t those two words be written the same way?

            • Darth Cynic

              I looked at em, bar one Wiki link they’re all Mormon in origin.  Now whilst that does not make em wrong in and of itself, believers are inherently biased towards maintaining the faith.  A bias that could / would lead to selective interpretation and the myriad conflation and coincidence of barely similar items being called evidence.   Therefore, like any internal religious source, their objectivity is questionable and thus their claims are also inherently questionable, and requiring extensive research to confirm or deny.  I’d prefer some independent sources rather than those disposed to proving that which they already think is true.  

              I also like this disclaimer right in the intro, ”
              Intellectual evidence of Book of Mormon authenticity is an issue worthy of careful consideration. However, intellectual evidences on their own do not change lives and bring souls to Christ–that requires a spiritual witness through the power of the Holy Ghost.”  Evidence is good but hey, don’t worry about it, it’s not really relevant or required.

              • Fsq

                Sir Branson should look into space flights to planet Kolab, where the Morom “god” lives. Branson could really make a fair bit of money fleecing these idiots.

                • Darth Cynic

                  Another priceless gem curiously left unmentioned in their conversion process. :D

          • Geoffreygriffard

            Thanks for clarifying, DC!  Couldn’t have said it better me’self :)

            • Darth Cynic

              Ahh I’m sure you would have and sorry for butting in, couldn’t help it.

        • Glasofruix

          ” This article
          made me sad.  Not because it mischaracterizes my church, which it does,
          and not because I think Maren Stephenson, the author, is an awful
          person, which I don’t, but because I think she totally misunderstands
          what she rejects and needlessly misses out on something wonderful
          because of it, even though she must have been so close to it.”

          Right from the start, “She’s just saying bad things about my church because she never was a true mormon to begin with”. Come on, there must be a limit to your hippocrisy.

        • EivindKjorstad

           I disagree. This was my overwhelming impression from your “rebuttal” too: She left, because she hadn’t *really* understood what Mormonism is about, she had misunderstood, was confused, failed to research etc.

          In reality offcourse, those people who leave church on the average have done a lot *more* and thorougher research than those who stay. Thus the argument is precisely wrong.

          If more people did more honest research, you’d experience more people leaving, not less. Thus a lack of research cannot reasonably be cited as a reason for leaving.

          If you disagree – please point me at a few people who, in your opinion, *have* understood what mormonism is really about, *have* done research on the matter, and nevertheless choose to leave, because they just don’t agree with the teachings and just don’t believe that mormonism is, at it’s core, *true*.

          I suspect you’re thinking that such people don’t exist. Atleast that’s the impression your text gives.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Oh my god, someone noticed the ambigram. *Happy dance*

      • JoeBuddha

        You mean there are people who don’t?

      • Deven Kale

         Those things have names? :O I always just thought it was a neat trick!

  • Nunya Bidness

    Paraphrase of the response:  I am so sad that she no longer believes the fairy tale.  It is SO COMFORTING to believe a fairy tale!  I can’t believe that she is happier without the fairy tale!   She must not have understood it.

  • MegaZeusThor

    I’ve only read the one by Maren. It’s interesting to see people’s pathes out of religion. (It may be non-sense, but it’s compelling non-sense to some, that has built in protections to deal with scrutiny.) Glad she found her way out.

  • MotherDemeter

    I sometimes wonder if life long Mormons realize how absurd their claims sound to those of us outside their religion.  

    Although all the Mormons I’ve ever known: don’t wear the temple undergarments, except to Temple probably, have had alcohol and coffee and tea, and have seen R rated movies – so maybe a lot of them do realize it.

    It’s the history they lay out that gets me though.  All religions have certain rules that look silly to people outside, but trying to rewrite history in such a demonstrably false way is pushing it a bit.  

    One of my closest friends is Mormon and our religious differences have never been an issue which is great because I treasure her friendship.  Her church encouraged her to date and then marry another member of the church who ended up being not just totally wrong for her, but a truly terrible husband and human being.  The fallout of this marriage (temple sealed) is a very long and ugly divorce and a baby that was conceived essentially on the honeymoon and will now almost certainly be raised by a single mother.  There has been little support for my friend who has had to give up her temple privileges and change wards though her husband has not.  

    Like the Catholic Church, I have a lot of problems with the hierarchy of the Mormon Church but I do my best to not let it affect my treatment or opinion of individual Mormons (who may prove to be people I dislike on their own merits but generally are very nice).

  • RichardLAnderson
  • mikespeir

    It’s a little dispiriting to read through the comments.  Of course, there are the Mormons trying to get her back, but there are also there are the other religionists who are basically saying, “Well, sure you were deluded.  You were in the wrong religion!”  All I can do is shake my head and moan. 

  • Michael Brice

    I googled ambigram so now I know what it is……………..but, where is the other meaning in the header?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Turn it 180 degrees and it says the same thing.

  • Fsq

    About 10 years ago I was still living in my small town in Alaska. This town is a cruise ship port and is very busy in the summer, with recruited employees coming up from “down south” – i.e. The Lower 48.

    There is a large LDS community in this town, and the cult/church leader owns several businesses like tourist shops etc….They always recruited Utah and Idaho Mormons to come up and work for them.

    One of the employees, a very attractive early-twentysomething, decided to stay through the first part of winter, and we began dating. She was raised Mormon, a fairly conservative form of it, and had gained entry to BYU. Long story short, she was raped by a bishop’s son at BYU, and the school coerced her into dropping charges so the “young man’s future” would not be destroyed. She was a mess.

    She left the church and escaped to Alaska. She had goals of going to law school, and was well on her way to skeptical freedom and intellectual honesty. SHe and I had long discussions about the cult, atheism etc….

    Anyway, she went back down to Utan in early December of that year. The cult and force of it on the members (she being one of them) is immense. Within four weeks she was back in the church, got married, gave up her goals and started dropping out little Mormon crotch-turds like a human Pez-dispenser.

    That cult is hoirrific, dangerous and EVIL. I don’t know how they did it, but the Mormons have figured out a way to give the Catholics a run for their money is terms of vile.

    And don’t even get me going about Prop 8, California and the fucking Mormons.

    • jk2001

      I know someone who left the church because one of the bishops had an affair with her daughter. I believe she was of age, but still, it was cheating. Later, she went back. She’s not in denial, but my sense is that the less fucked over members are.

  • PegK

    The comments from the Mormons were hilarious.  To paraphrase, “Just because someone writes something down doesn’t mean one should believe it.   Unless of course it was from a translation aided by a rock in a hat off of  golden plates found near Palmyra, New York.  Which of course is no sillier than angels visiting or gods resurrecting!”

    Exactly.

  • Shane Evans

    Sean’s story sounds a lot like my story. I lost my faith as a student at BYU. I was a science major and was slowly learning how to think like a skeptic. Thank goodness BYU had an excellent library. I read lots of back issues of Skeptical Inquirer, Sunstone, Dialogue and even American Atheist there. I bought quite a few books on Mormon origins at the BYU library. Took a class from Hugh Nibley. Unfortunately, most of the “anti-mormon literature” was on reserve and I wasn’t brave enough to ask the librarian. Thank goodness the University of Utah had the same books in general circulation.

    Eventually more and more of the Mormon story was getting harder to accept. The final straw was Joseph’s claim that the garden of eden was in Missouri. How in the world did the rest of the bible end up in the middle east? The flood that moved Noah and his family to the Old world. I have a picture of myself standing among the honey locust trees in Adam-ondi-ahmon (Smith’s garden of eden) with a very perplexed look on my face.

    The journey out of the LDS church was a long one. Unlike Sean who bravely switched to boxers completely, I only stopped wearing my garment top. I finally gave up the bottoms and bought some new underwear when I went off to another college for grad school.

    I wish Maren and Sean good luck in their new lives. Once I left the church though, I realized  I had entered the larger sphere of christianity. But that is a whole other story.

  • Keulan

    The original article by Maren Stephenson was pretty good. Parts of it, like the quoted bit about her husband giving up the magical Mormon underwear, really show how religion poisons a person’s mind.
    Jamie Huston’s response was full of fallacies and moronic assumptions, which some previous commentors have already pointed out in more detail.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

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