Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I felt like adding a post about something that has been on my mind lately. After a discussion with a loved one, I have come to the conclusion that out of all living things on earth, we as humans, are the most messed up.  A simple cartoon, ScoobyDoo revealed the most shocking truth; the only monsters on earth, are humans.  I believe we, as humans, have become so blinded by the fast paced life, education, family traditions and beliefs that we have forgotten what is most important. Love....

There is so much hate and judging in the world.  Everyone has met someone they didn't like, it is human nature, I guess.  But deep down if we look at some of the reasons, I wonder if there is one underlining common theme? I think in my case, there was. I feel it is because someone is different than me.  Maybe they looked different--making me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps they have a tattoo, multiple piercings, drank alcohol, or a radical appearance. In the past, I do know that if someone had a different belief system than I did, I tended to judge them unfairly.  I apologize to everyone out there I may have judged and perhaps not have engaged with, although I doubt they are reading this small little blog. But at least it is out there.

Traveling down my path has brought a couple of ideas into my field of vision. I am not going to lie, I have been to my own personal hell.  It has been like coming back from a long hike under a scorching sun in the desert. I was tired, beaten down but grateful. I would never wish my path on anyone else, but I don't regret it. I learned how beautiful life is when there is variety and differences. When I look at anything in nature, whether an animal, fish, flowers, trees, etc...the most beautiful are the ones that are different and have many colors and patterns. I try to apply that same belief to humans now. I wish I could have seen the beauty in others earlier in my life. I missed out on possible friendships because I was only comfortable with those that looked and acted like me. Again I am sorry...

The second theme ties in with the last paragraph. I have finally become more empathetic with others who are different. I have learned to try to hold back judgement, because I haven't walked their path. We all have different roads we travel.  Some paths are wide, some are narrow, but they are each our own. All we have to judge is our own perspective, and that isn't enough, we need to try to understand others.

 I know I have been guilty of doing both of these. I have judged family members, loved ones, friends and complete strangers. I can only continue to try to love those around me.  Love really is the way for me now. Thanks for reading

Dave Johnson

Friday, November 20, 2015

I guess Elvis has returned from the grave....

Just a few more thoughts running around in my head...which I wanted to voice on virtual paper.  The recent "clarification" of the new policy of the church has done little to stop the criticism nor the pain created from their handbook change.  I have talked to several believing friends about their feelings of the change. Their response has been the church's reason; "the protection of the children".  I cannot fathom the pain this policy has caused to children of the LGBT community nor to the parents  themselves.  Even many believing members are struggling with this change.  This policy has been the final straw for many fence sitting members to resign.  I  understand the struggle to leave the church.  It is not easy nor would I wish it on anyone, but I am so happy I did it. 

I just wanted to vent about this policy and the new class of member it created.  As an apostate, it seems weird and surreal to think that my children can progress and move along in the church but a believing gay person, who is living with his/her spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend cannot.  If I didn't resign from the church, I should have been kicked out.  It would have been a matter of time. I came to the conclusion that it was all a lie. I ranted and posted things online. I was active on ex-Mormon chat groups and sites.  I debated my bishop in his office for over an hour toward the end of my belief.  I was becoming more outspoken and vocal about the church and its teachings/policies/doctrine.  Considering all this, my kids could still be baptized, ordained to the priesthood, and even be on the records of the church.   My gay neighbor, sorry you are out of luck.

I have since gotten to a better spot.  I don't feel the anger as I once had.  I have "moved on". But I don't think one can totally and completely "move on"....we all can slip back into the anger phase.  We are all human.  But to be honest I am not angry about this handbook change, only sad by this whole circus.  I am married to a beautiful wife who is a complete believer, my children are active and fully participate and believe in the church. We are doing the best we can to navigate my faith change.  We have grown as a family and are dancing around the elephant in the room. 

The point of this post is to show that if the church was really concerned about the children, they would apply the same policies to my children and their situation. They are hearing that their father, who is not perfect but a good person and father, is wrong, mistaken and lost.  I know it has and will continue to confuse them. But the church doesn't apply the same rules and restrictions to my family as it does to my neighbor who is gay.  The gay members are a new class of members.   The church has created a new caste system.  And I, in all my apostate "ness", is on a higher level than my gay friends.   I know it all comes down to perspective but the rules should apply to of us fellow apostates.

Dave Johnson
Salt Lake City, UT

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I had to dust off the keyboard to write one more entry....

I know this topic has been discussed multiple times over the last week. It has been picked up by the AP.  There are many blogs and podcasts that are far more articulate than mine.  But borrowing a Mormon phrase, " I would feel remiss if I didn't tell how I feel..".  In all seriousness, I am completely floored by the latest "disaster" created by the Mormon church.  Who is in charge of the Mormon church?  What the hell is going on downtown?  It is almost as if Jesus really isn't in charge..... mmmm, interesting thought.  This organization has shaken the bee's nest instituting this policy. People are upset, and rightly so. This decision is showing what the Mormon church really is; an out of date, uninspired, ethnocentric and bigoted "good old boys club".  Run by a group of men out of touch with what is really happening in people's lives.  They are surrounded by "yes" men that will roll out the red carpet and hang on every word spewed out of their mouths, as if God Himself has issued it.  And now look at the fallout.

I must be clear, the church has every right to decide who can stay and who must be kicked out.  But when innocent children are involved, the gloves come off.   The church, in an attempt to lessen the damage, has claimed it is for the children. The ironic thing is that many of the people affected by this policy  were created by the church. This occurred  when the church  pressured gay men and women to marry the opposite sex.  They claimed it would help them "overcome" their same sex attraction.   What a complete disaster.  I will state that 20 years ago, the LGBT movement wasn't well accepted or even completely understood. But if God really is charge, I'm sure he would have directed his spokesperson to  not push marriage for these people.  But I am only guessing because I am not a prophet.

To claim that children of gay parents will be protected by waiting to be baptized, or progress in the priesthood is an attempt to save face.  Why does  it only apply to children of a gay parent?  Or a polygamist child? (Again, started in Utah by the Mormons). What about the child of a rapist, an abuser, criminal, drug addict, prostitute, etc...the list is endless. If it is so important to have children wait, why not let all children wait until they are 18.  I don't know one 8 year old  being baptized, mature enough to really understand the commitment he/she is agreeing to.  They say they can still come and participate.  Yes as an outsider.  They are still hearing the anti-gay rhetoric.  Only they are now looking in from the outside.  It shows that they are not welcome.

In my opinion this policy will basically cause two things....1. Further isolate these children who were raised in the church and paint an even bigger Scarlet Letter on them.  2. Force closeted gays to stay in the closet because now their decisions impact the well being and church status of their children.  This policy is indefensible.  I also feel for the members who have to justify and support this policy.  This is a train wreck, pure and simple, and there will be extensive collateral damage.  Pray for the children.

Dave Johnson AKA C.S.
Salt Lake City

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Now Elvis aka Dave Johnson has left the building...

I decided to post one last time. I hope all are well in their battles with this organization called Mormonism.  The reason for this post is to be honest with myself and others.  I started this post under an alias, to protect myself and my family from possible fallout.  I chose the abbreviation of C.S. because C.S. Lewis was my favorite Christian author.  I feel that it is time to state my real name. I'm not worried about the consequences anymore.  The process of going public with a change in faith is not easy, especially in a fundamental religion such as Mormonism. I feel that it has less and less control over my lif-which means I'm healing.  My name is Dave Johnson, I live in the Salt Lake valley and this is my blog.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Elvis has left the building....

I feel this is my last post....this blog has saved me, along with many of those on the different exmo boards.  I have been able to move on, mostly, from this organization called Mormonism.   I am slowly getting it cleaned off my hands.  Sometimes I still feel its residue on my fingers, but the majority of it is gone.  I don't want it in my life anymore.   I feel for those stuck within in grips.  It gives no mercy, and takes and takes.  Sure I will still frequent the boards, members will still say stupid comments, but I feel it doesn't have control over me anymore. I hope this blog may have helped others in some small way.  It was, from the beginning, about helping me.  I hope you all find peace and joy.   Keep up the good fight.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

I've moved on from the last control method of Mormonism...

I was recently informed of some possible copyright violations with some of my posts.  I have always tried to give links and credit where it is due.   I wonder if once a blog or website reaches a certain level- it shows up on the radar.  I guess no more pictures--back to just words. 

I have gone through the stages of grief while exiting the Mormon church.  I have moved out of my angry phase, although the organization and its members can still do things to trigger me.  I just want to move on and be completely free of its reaches, unfortunately,  I still have family members under its control.   Today, I have found that it just doesn't get to me as before.  It is only a belief, just like any other pseudo science product.  The members believe in it.  That's great, just allow me the same right.  Have a great day.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Smithmas....

Merry Smithmas everyone.  Jesus' birthday may be celebrated on December 25th but Joseph's is two days earlier on the 23nd.   See, even his birthday comes before Jesus'.   I never really noticed, as a believer, how much emphasis is placed on Joseph Smith's birthday, until sacrament meeting on December 21st, 2014. 

I will say I wasn't impressed with the "special Christmas" service.  Just look at the picture above,  stark, sterile, no windows,  now imagine it full of people.   That was my experience this year.  It was depressing and, to be honest, very boring.   Where are the flowers, the decorations, the excitement?   I felt empty.   I looked around and felt a sadness for the believing members.  This church is an organization that demands so much, but offers very little.  The time away from family, the responsibilities, the money, the invasion of every aspect of your psyche.   And what does it offer?  All this organization can offer is guilt, fear, control,  and a feeling of inadequacy.   These people are in a prison.  The sad part is that it is a prison they think they need and will even defend it.  They can't see the real truth.   The members won't allow themselves to look behind the curtain.  They can't and won't realize how much control this church has in their lives and that they will never really be happy.   They will say how happy they are and that they would be lost without the church, but that is what they were programmed to say.  Sitting there, I realized how much of an impact the church has in their lives. 

Just a short summary of the service--small choir, 1 piano, 1 violin, slow paced music.  It was an especially boring service with the crowning comment during the closing prayer.    A nice member, closed with thanking God for Jesus--good, then continued by thanking God for Joseph and his life and example--bad.  It was a Merry Smithmas indeed.