Blog Archives

The 2011 Brodie Awards!

The 2011 Brodie Award nominations are in, and I’m in two categories! If you have enjoyed reading my blog, you can vote for me in the following two categories:
Best New Blog: Progressive ExMormon
Most Poignant Personal Story: “Life After Death

The third annual Brodie Awards are to highlight excellent work from all over the LDS-interest internet (both critical and apologetic views). The awards are named after Fawn M. Brodie, who authored one of the first comprehensive (and critical) biography on Joseph Smith entitled, “No Man Knows My History”.

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UPDATE:
Unfortunately, I didn’t win the Brodie Award in either category, but would like to congratulate all those who won. You can click here to see the list of the winners.

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Review: Tell it All, A Woman’s Life in Polygamy

Tell it All: A Woman's Life in Polygamy
Tell it All: A Woman’s Life in Polygamy by Fanny Stenhouse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tell It All is the heartbreaking autobiography of Fanny Stenhouse. Her story begins with her as a young woman returning home to England, after spending some time in France, to discover that her family had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While investigating her family’s new-found faith, she became the object of one of the Elders’ affections. They were soon married and subsequently ‘counseled’ to serve a mission for the Church while in impoverished conditions. It was only after years of whispered rumours (and public denials by apostles) of polygamy being practiced among their American counterparts, that Joseph Smith’s polygamic ‘revelation’ was finally disclosed in England. Her adventures only truly began when she and her husband were later ‘counseled’ to emigrate to the ‘promised land’ of Utah, where she learned, first-hand, the detrimental effects of Brigham Young’s institutionalized polygamy.

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The Family (via The Blissful Heretic)

I recently came across a blog post called “The Family“, by The Blissful Heretic. I thought it was really well written, and successfully illustrates the contradiction that exists with the LDS Church’s marketing strategy of promoting themselves as a ‘family church’, while actively preaching against any and all family types that don’t fit it’s patriarchal, heterosexual, and procreational ideal.

I highly recommend my readers to follow the link below to read her great post. Here’s a sample:

In recent years, the church has been trying to enhance its image as a “family” church. It has always been adamantly opposed to homosexuality and gay marriage, and it has received a lot of press for this since its involvement in Prop 8. Nary a conference goes by without a veiled reference to “the family” being under attack. The current threat is the gay rights movement, but historically the church has also identified feminism and interracial marriage as threats to the family.  READ MORE…

Understanding Atheism

AtheismI’ve decided to expand on my previous post entitled, “Atheism vs Agnosticism” where I explored the different ways of thinking about atheism. The reason for this is because since writing that post, I’ve further explored what atheism means to others and have done a lot of reading on the subject. Some of the books I’ve read are: God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, Letter to a Christian Nation, and An Atheist Manifesto by Sam Harris – all of which I highly recommend. In addition to these books, I’ve come across a wealth of information on various websites and especially YouTube.

As my original post talked about, there are a number of ways to define the terms ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic’. My exploration of these terms were on a more passive level, that is to say I didn’t apply an active component to the definitions; the words were simply defined as what they mean separate from how they’re used. I’d say that most atheists, like myself, use a strict definition where ‘a-theist’ means, “not theist” (just as ‘atypical’ means “not typical”), and opposed to “a disbelief in a god” (since this would indicate a type of belief itself). I tend to like this definition for its simplicity. However, I’ve noticed that most theists (meaning ‘religious believers’) tend to view the term as having much more intent behind the term, such as “against religion”, “god hater”, or “anarchist” (the last two making absolutely no relevant sense). There are many atheists out there who either don’t subscribe to the label (though fit my definition) or don’t actively oppose religion at all, while others are in active opposition to specific theistic beliefs or all of theism. It’s important to remember that atheism is not an ideology, nor is it a religion unto itself as some people like to think.

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Changing Views on Drinking

One of the defining aspects of Latter-day Saints, is their abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and all kinds of illegal drugs. In this regard, I continue to be the poster-boy for Mormonism. I haven’t had a single alcoholic drink, cigarette, cup of coffee, or illegal drug in my entire life. Only recently, after having distanced myself from the Church, have I started to truly consider my reasons for maintaining this abstinence. For this blog post, I’ll be focusing on alcohol portion of the Word of Wisdom.

Alcoholic drinks were never in the house while I grew up. My world was alcohol-free, and I remember being told on numerous occasions that it was evil and dangerous to drink. My parents would even make the odd derogatory comment whenever we’d see someone drinking on TV. This type of teaching method didn’t work in the way I believe my parents intended, in that I made the correlation that bad people drink, opposed to the drinking itself being what was bad. I had always been warned that I should not be friends with anyone who drinks, and that if I found myself in a situation where alcohol was present, I should leave. Again, strengthening the idea that it’s the people who were bad for drinking, rather than the drink. Only bad people drank alcohol, or so it seemed.

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Adolf Hitler & The Plan of Salvation

Today is the 66th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s death, and it got me thinking about how LDS theology views Hitler in its plan of salvation.

We are all well aware of the horrific monstrosities that were perpetrated by Hitler when he became the fascist leader of Nazi Germany during WWII, as well as his role  in the events of the holocaust. To me, such a person as Hitler is beyond redemption or forgiveness. There is no evidence that, if given a chance, he would have changed his ways during his lifetime had he not completed suicide. But what of his next life?

The Plan of Salvation

The Plan of Salvation

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Response From the Church, part 4 (final)

Well, it finally arrived (only 10 weeks from when I sent in my resignation letter)!  I’m officially an apostate!

Confirmation of my official resignation

The official letter from the LDS Church confirming my resignation as a member

It’s interesting to note that my wife wasn’t included in this letter. I wonder if hers is being sent separately or if they forgot about her? I’ll have to look into that.

Church Finance (via Truth Hurts)

The following is an extremely well researched four-part posting by Truth Hurts (who’s an active member of the Church, yet highly critical – a paradox that I can’t quite yet grasp) on the topic of Church finance. As I’ve noticed for quite a while now, the Church is much more a business corporation (with tax-excempt status) than it is a religious organization set on saving souls.

It’s a long read, with a few tangent thoughts sprinkled throughout, but it makes for a very interesting and informative (and well-documented) read. Here are the links to all four parts (I found parts 1 & 3 to be the most interesting):

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Church Finance - Part I As general conference approaches, members across the world will once again convene in front of TV sets, internet connections and in other meeting houses far and wide to hear counsel from church leaders.  Every spring general conference these same members are treated to the report from the Church Auditing Department on the financial status of the Church ™.  These reports are generally banal beyond description, with no specifics given as to the fin … Read More

via Truth Hurts

Rape Apology and Joseph Smith (via Molly Muses . . .)

It always amazes me how Mormons can turn a blind eye to their founder’s sexual “transgressions” (aka. rape) while then taking the stance that all sexual sin is second only to murder (as per Boyd K. Packer’s April 2011 talk, “Guided by the Holy Spirit“) Although I plan to address this topic in greater detail in the future, I thought I’d pass along this blog post by Molly Muses, who has worded things better that I could have done.

What would you say if I told you the story of a man who declared himself to be God’s messenger, published and circulated a document threatening his legal wife with death if she did not allow him to have sex with other women, told his male followers that their teenage daughters or legal wives needed to become his sexual partners or they would all be shut out of heaven, had sex with teenage girls living in his home as wards, and allowed his best fr … Read More

via Molly Muses . . .

BYU Honor Code Debate: Tactics

Last week, I had posted the article entitled, Gay Students vs. BYU Honor Code (archived here), to my Facebook account. This, along with my opening comments on the article, caused quite a debate (you can read more about this on my previous blog post). What really struck me were the tactics being used by those in favor of BYU’s honor code (and by extension, LDS morals). What I mean by “tactics” is the way in which they presented and ‘justified’ their argument, not the argument itself. Some of these tactics are somewhat universal, in that most people use them regularly, including myself (though I’m trying to improve in this area). However, I’ve noticed certain ones being extremely common among Mormons specifically.

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