Happy Sunday

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Jack T
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Happy Sunday

Post by Jack T »

If this isn't the appropriate place for me to introduce myself, I apologize. My long time friend AtlanticMike has invited me, or should I say cajoled me, into joining the board. We've known one another for more than 40 years, and spent our formative years in the Mormon church, went to scouts together, and participated on numerous youth sports teams. I am considerably more to the right of Mike politically. I identify as a spiritual atheist and think that all things, living and inanimate, are inextricably linked.

Mike showed me a Mormon stories video of former Mormons essentially testifying to John Dehlin's excellence yesterday while we were playing golf. What I was seeing and hearing astounded me. I was reminded of a testimony meeting on first Sunday by the appreciation the folks in the video were giving John. I couldn't help but think that if the early saints had access to video equipment they could have created a similar video to the one Mike showed me, but instead of glorifying John, they would have been glorifying Joseph smith. I suppose that's why I'm here, to learn more about how ex-mormonism has developed into such a cynical movement. I'm curious to learn if there is a good place for someone to go if they want to leave the religion. Finding that location is proving to be challenging. I don't recall there being this much animosity for Mormons more than 25 years ago, when I left Mormonism behind. Where does the hostility originate? Why does it seem that ex-Mormon community depends on a few men who want to profit off people's emotions?

I'm not sure how long I'll be here, but I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my perspective as an ex-Mormon.
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canpakes
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by canpakes »

I'm curious to learn if there is a good place for someone to go if they want to leave the religion.
I know of a great Thai restaurant worth checking out. Do you like Thai?
Philo Sofee
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by Philo Sofee »

Jack T
I'm curious to learn if there is a good place for someone to go if they want to leave the religion.
And besides finding a good Thai restaurant (great suggestion by the way!) I would propose one does not have to leave religion, unless it is a man organized thing. Religion does not have to cease being a part of our lives just because one quits a formal organized one. Or perhaps, to be more accurate I could say one does not have to quit being spiritual, since I don't see that it is only organized "church" religions which give spirituality as if they are the only way to such a way of life...
I also would suggest a good Mexican food restaurant as well... :D
dastardly stem
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by dastardly stem »

Welcome. There are at least 2 things I can agree with you on right off the bat. I’m an atheist to whatever extent that word Carrie’s meaning and I’m at least concerned and perplexed by the exmembers who fawn over Dehlin, and frankly disappointed in plenty of what Dehlin has to say. Other than that I’d imagine a good deal of disagreement. I don’t know if remember Atlanticmike too much as he flew in here kinda angry and unwilling to engage, but I read him as pretty far right as I recall. I’d wonder how anyone takes it further. Sounds like I may have misread him.
“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
dastardly stem
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by dastardly stem »

Philo Sofee wrote:
Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:55 pm
Jack T
I'm curious to learn if there is a good place for someone to go if they want to leave the religion.
And besides finding a good Thai restaurant (great suggestion by the way!) I would propose one does not have to leave religion, unless it is a man organized thing. Religion does not have to cease being a part of our lives just because one quits a formal organized one. Or perhaps, to be more accurate I could say one does not have to quit being spiritual, since I don't see that it is only organized "church" religions which give spirituality as if they are the only way to such a way of life...
I also would suggest a good Mexican food restaurant as well... :D
As much as I want to give credit to all the great food cuisines around the world, great Mexican food always wins. Can’t beat it.
“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
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Dr Moore
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by Dr Moore »

I wonder if those who figured things out the hard way (visiting libraries and studying source materials), before the mass distribution miracle of Internet came along, weren’t just as cynical as any of the exmo reddit meme droppers are today. Only difference being, now the salient info is readily available and essily digestable by younger generations.
huckelberry
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by huckelberry »

Jack T, I think there are a variety of ways people leave Mormonism. A period of anger is common but that at least cools down for most people over time. ExMormons are a variety of people. I do not find John Dehlin interesting so have no positive or negative concern about him. It is possible that the internet incubates some hostility about Mormonism in some places. In my view this place occasions some interesting discussions about a variety of aspects of religious experience for people.

I left 55 years ago. I have not noticed any uptick in anger but I have rather limited contact with exMomons. I personally know a few. They do not spend their time dwelling on the LDS church but have moved on to other interests in life. There is a wide range of possibilities.
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Dr. Shades
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by Dr. Shades »

Jack T wrote:
Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:01 pm
I'm curious to learn if there is a good place for someone to go if they want to leave the religion. Finding that location is proving to be challenging. I don't recall there being this much animosity for Mormons more than 25 years ago, when I left Mormonism behind.
A good place for someone to go if they want to leave the religion is the same place you yourself went 25 years ago when you left it.

It obviously worked for you, so why wouldn't it work for them?
"I know of a case in which a woman made a confession to her Bishop, and told him that he must not disclose her confession to her husband. This put the Bishop in a bind because he was her husband."

--Malkie, 08-18-2022
Res Ipsa
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by Res Ipsa »

Hello, Jack and welcome. For what it's worth, here's my take on the "ex-Mormon community." Strong communities are built around shared interests or values. I have two basic communities in my offline life: boardgames and walkers. I have a community of friends who, like me, really enjoy boardgames. It is composed of a pretty diverse group of people who share a passion for board gaming. Some of them I have known and played boardgames with for years. My board gaming community is filled interesting and pleasant people that it's a joy to spend time with. And our common interest in board gaming is what stitches the entire community together.

Walkers is the same thing, but with an entirely different group of people. I belong to a walking club and love both walking in interesting and fun places and interacting with lots of different and interesting folks.

In my opinion, it is very difficult to build a stable community over time on something you used to be. I tried being a part of an exemormon community quite a few years ago. But I'd been out of the church for a much longer time than most, and talking about mormonism over and over and over just got boring. So, I quietly stopped participating.

Former mormons are such a diverse group that it's simply hard to find meaningful shared interests. There was one on-line community that I think took an approach to a community of questioning and former mormons. It was called postmormon.org, and I was a moderator there. The approach was to see the community as a temporary stop for people questioning their faith or leaving it. The purpose was to provide support for those going through the transition. It tried to form local, in person groups, but that didn't last too long. Some of us were folks who had left the church some time ago and were interested in sharing our own experiences with those going through the process. But there was no expectation that those folks would stay an join in a former Mormon community. We provided support as best as amateurs can, and expected that most folks would wave good bye and sail off in search of new, stable communities built on shared interests and values. We were like the old Motel 6 commercials you probably remember -- we'll leave the light on for you.

The range of experience of folks who transition out of mormonism is, in my experience, incredibly broad. Some simply decide not to be mormons anymore and move on to new things with little or no fuss or trauma. Some experience a high level of trauma, including permanent damage to marriages, family and friendships. Even after watching lots of folks go through it, I can't explain it. I just acknowledge that each person's experience is different and, if you want to offer any kind of help, you have to meet them where they are and go from there.

Like you, I am very wary of idolized figures like a John Dehlin. I guess I'm not surprised that former mormons sometimes gravitate toward cult-like groups and figures. One of my conclusions is that leaving mormonism doesn't come with a free personality change. You're still the same person with the same faults and weaknesses. Leaving mormonism can be the catalyst for personal growth and change, but that requires awareness, effort and work.

When I left mormonism in the late '70s, there was no internet and there were no ex-Mormon communities that I was aware. The experience disoriented me, and it took me quite a while to get my feet back under me and change some of the mormonish behavior that I had unconsciously carried forward. That caused to make some mistakes that I wish I hadn't made. Maybe if I had folks to talk to who were going through the same process or had gone through it and came out intact, I could have avoided some of those mistakes. Who knows.

That's my 2 cents (well more like 6 cents) for what it's worth. If you know someone who is struggling with whether to leave mormonism or the fallout from leaving mormonism, I'd be happy to talk to them. Sometimes, hearing "no, you're not crazy. What you're experiencing is 100% normal" is enough to help someone get their feet back on the ground. For some, it's a harder and longer process. Having sorely missed just having someone I could talk to who could have understood what I was experiencing, I kinda feel obligated to be a sounding board for folks in the position I was in decades ago.

I'm happy to chat, in public or through PMs.
he/him
"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see."
– Rene Magritte
drumdude
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Re: Happy Sunday

Post by drumdude »

John has made some valiant efforts to create a post Mormon community, but even he admits they are all basically a failure. Nothing can compete with religion, on a large scale. It’s not surprising that whatever small success he had was based on a kind of worship of his personality. That’s just human nature.


I think humanity will eventually find something similar to religious community, if people continue to leave religion. But it’s not going to come from John Dehlin, no matter how hard he has tried.
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