Today I had the opportunity or "blessing" of attending a fast and testimony meeting. I'm sure many are asking why am I torturing myself, sitting on the hard benches, inside a building that must not have a working air conditioning unit. I ask myself this question every Sunday. Quick answer, I'm trying to save a marriage. Mormon theology and/or doctrine doesn't favor a mixed belief/religion marriage. So I am keeping up appearances to "keep the peace". To be fair, my wife has been a real trooper but it hasn't been easy on her. This then puts strain of our marriage.
While sitting I noticed something that I have known but it really hit me today. These people sharing their testimony or beliefs, really believe it. The tears are real, the emotion is real, it is real to them. It is part of their human experience. I wondered how they came to this point in their lives. These people would be willing to die for the church. It was a surreal experience for me. The answer hit me like a brick, indoctrination.
As I watched 4 year olds go up to the podium and state, " I want to bear/bare my testimony-I know this church is true....", I realized the sinister and genius plan at work. The church/corporation knows how to mold people. It has been doing it from the beginning. The programming begins at such an early age, no wonder it impacts and shapes member's self worth and identity. Just as the church=God, the individual=church. There is no separation. It is taught and programmed into the minds of its members. That is why the process of discovering and leaving is so brutal and difficult. After witnessing fast and testimony meeting, is it a shock that it is so painful and traumatic when a member finds out the truth?
It becomes like killing part of one's self. Maybe that is what Jesus was trying to show in his example of His life. We have to kill our old self and allow a new one to emerge. Or in other words, A "God" must die, and it is going to be the most brutal and painful of all deaths but a new "glorious God" is resurrected. Our new self emerges. We then become a new being, free from all the shit this organization teaches. The windows become clean for the first time and we can really see. This process isn't easy, in fact it really parallels the story of Jesus. It is painful, it hurts and generally it is done without support. Loved ones hate you for it. Friends shun you. Members think you are lost and once it is done, you are not welcomed back. But you then are a new God, and doesn't Mormonism teach we will all become Gods?