Monday, August 31, 2009

The problem with golden plates

What happened to the Mormon Golden Plates? —Jack

Gone. Disappeared. Whisked away by an angel. It happens with golden plates you know. I see you doubting, but that's actually Satan trying to keep you from finding truth and happiness. And also if you don't believe you won't be with your family in the eternities. Sorry, dude. You couldn't muster a little faith? There were witnesses you know. They all signed the testimony Joseph wrote for them. That was good enough for Mark Twain.

"I could not feel more satisfied and at rest if the entire Whitmer family had testified." —Mark Twain, "Roughing It"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

To teach and preach and work

How do I tell my parents I don't want to go on an LDS mission.? —Red Shift
This is very hard for me. Both my parents are Mormon and expect me to go on a mission. For years I've been seen as the golden boy of my church and of my family and everyone expects me to go and set an example to those younger than me. My grandparents on both sides are absolutely staunch LDS members and also have these same expectations for me. However, I simply do not believe in my church enough that I could go about for two years trying to convince other people to join it. How do I tell my parents that I do not want to go? I think my mother will be more understanding than my father. If anyone who answers here went on a mission, LDS or otherwise, please tell me if I am missing anything.

A couple of thoughts here, and for background I was raised Mormon and served a mission in Korea, but am no longer LDS. The fact is, there's very little I like or admire about Mormonism now. I think it sucks for families like yours (and mine) where not everyone wants to participate, but the church causes believers to feel hurt when loved ones don't conform.

But, having said that, I have never regretted the time I spent as a missionary. Now granted, I was a total believer at that point, so it didn't cause me any grief to share what I "knew," and the Koreans never really took to Mormonism anyway. And while I was there I did a lot of growing up, made some lifelong friends, learned a language and culture and learned to survive on my own in a relatively safe and controlled environment. Kids can do a lot worse in their first years out of high school.

So I guess my point is you can still choose to go and make the best of it if you see no way out or don't want to make waves. You'll have some good experiences, and you'll be a lot better off mentally than most of the other "elders" who buy into the guilt and power trips that mission leaders lay on. Maybe submit your papers and see where you get called. If it's Bolivia or Cuba or some other dangerous third world country, say no! You can always back out and reapply later.

If, however, you feel you're ready to assert yourself and step off the Mormon assembly line, I think you can best do this by simply delaying. Tell the bishop you're not ready spiritually or whatever. Tell your parents the same thing. And your aunts. And anyone else who asks. Decline to speak about it further. Mormon culture does not teach people to respect personal boundaries, so you might have to get used to just saying no or walking away. You don't owe anyone an explanation. Best of luck to you.


Evangelical fail

Why didn't god include the book of mormon in the old and new testament? Why did he hide it for 1900 years? —I CURED MY YELLOW TEETH

He did. It's called a triple combination, and you can ask any Mormon to show you theirs. As for hiding it for 1900 years, turns out not all events happen concurrently. Sort of like God hid the New Testament from Moses. Fail.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


What should i do! My life is crumbling down on me!? —Shelly

Ive been having a hard time beliving in God and Jesus. I wonder how can i belive when my life has been horrible. No matter how hard i pray and pray nothing turns out right. About 3 or so years ago my mother was faced with a disease, one with even now the doctors cant figure out. But when i was younger my biological father ssexuallyabused me. Lucky im not able to see him anymore. But when my mother got married again, i get to wake up with my step father on my bed every morning touching me inappropriately. And my motther dosnt believe it. How can i belive in a God who only makes my life miserable? Any advice?

Shelly, none of this has anything to do with God. Please, talk to a counselor, call the police, let someone in an authority position know what's happening. Your life does not have to be like this, and people who do these things need to be held responsible for their actions. Wondering why God would choose this life for you is pointless, because God makes no sense in cases like yours.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blasphemous rumors

Strange Mormon beliefs? —Karmen I am a mormon and i just heard a couple of the weirdest things that people think that Mormons believe. I was just wondering if you guys have heard things that were strange things about mormons and I was just wondering what they were.
Oh, and, if you have any questions about mormons, you should ask a mormon because most people don't know a lot about us and that is how things get made! Now...what strange things have you heard?

Yep, I've heard a few. Here are some, just for laughs. I once heard that Mormons believe that the sun gets its light from a star (or planet? I'm not sure) called Kolob, and not from nuclear reactions. I heard they believe that ancient inhabitants of the Americas were farmers with all the same animals and crops as we have here today. There was also a story about a floating white Indian zombie with a treasure map, and another about a talking sasquatch who claimed to be Cain from the Bible. Wasn't there also something about John Smith, Jr. telling young girls that a sword-wielding angel would decapitate him if he didn't "marry" them in a private ceremony that conveniently he was authorized to perform himself? That one kills me. Like people would really follow the dude if that one were true. What next, did he scam people out of their money in a banking scandal? I suppose people will next be inventing stories about Mormons thinking dinosaurs lived on other planets.

Mormons do have horns though. That one is true.