I try not get too emotional when discussing the LDS church. But religion is a very emotional topic, like politics, it can become very polarizing. There is an old statement by the church's founder Joseph Smith Jr. that said something along the line of: those that leave the church can never leave it alone. As a member, we were always taught that those who left the LDS church were so bitter and filled with so much hate that they will do anything to attack the church. I thought this way at one time.
Fast forward a few years. I still attend church (for saving a marriage), but my wife knows my disbelief. She hears my concerns but doesn't want to know. For lack of a better word, she wants to remain uninformed. That's her choice, so I must tiptoe through a mine field when discussing religion. I don't blame her. She is just reacting the way her church taught her. I was there 3 years ago. I would have probably reacted the same. To quote the movie The Matrix Reloaded. "We only do what we're programmed to do."
The church has done a number on its members. Reading the current 6 grade level manuals, you can see the white washing done on the history of this "church". Listening to current leaders in General Conference, you can see the condemnation of those searching online for historical fact. Elder Cook stated that those who have searched information about controversial topics can repent. Excuse me, I didn't know that seeking knowledge or information is considered a sin.
The last conference President Monson stated that those with questions don't need to search anywhere other than church sources. He claimed that God has given us the answer to our questions. The answer is obedience. Obedience is the answer to all our concerns about the church and its history. Just blindly obey the leaders and everything will work out. What the....? The same logic was taught at Jonestown-just don't drink the Kool-Aid.
Struggling through my own questions of faith, I have asked high ranking local leaders, temple presidents, professors of religion at church owned universities, and the PR department of the church. No one can give me a real answer to my questions except; just put it on the shelf and ignore it. God will take care of it. We may not get the answer in this life.....
Struggling with faith, has caused conflict in my marriage, which leads into the title of today's post. I have found from my own experience that the church programs its members to respond a certain way-through the teachings and doctrines. When a spouse begins to voice doubt and concern over the claims of the LDS church 4 response begin to surface:
1. Tell the spouse they are proud and "hard hearted". God can't help you because you are being prideful and not humble.
2. Satan is deceiving you. The spouse is being tricked by Satan. Maybe I should just try to shake his hand. (That is an inside joke for you members).
3. The spouse has lost God's spirit. God or Christ's spirit has left them so they can't get an answer.
4. The spouse only criticizes the leaders of the church. They are only cynical.
The TBM (True Believing Member) doesn't want to know any of the negative things of the church-even if those things are fact and were said or taught in the past. They don't want to understand what caused their spouse to stop believing. They only resort to ad hominem attacks on the individual rather than objectively looking at the underlying problems. In their mind if they can discredit the "messenger" than their belief system is still intact. Nobody wants to be told that their whole belief system; that which they base major decisions in life on- in essence, their whole well being is a LIE. I know, because it happened to me.