The Bloggernacle: The Church’s Unofficial Complaint Department

Jeff Spector Bloggernacle, church, faith, LDS, Leaders, Mormon, Mormons, Peace 40 Comments

Since I began using the Internet, I discovered both the positive and negative aspects of it.  One can find a wealth of information heretofore unattainable for most people to the vilest, debase and disgusting things imaginable.  The Internet can be used for both good and evil.

One of the great things is the ability to communicate with a wide range of people well in excess of our normal circles of friends, relatives and acquaintances.  For members of the Church, it is chance to exchange ideas and thoughts with a wide range of church members, ex-members and non-members.

The so-called “Bloggernacle,” has in many ways turned into the Church’s unofficial complaint department. The Church itself does not have a complaint department, either official or unofficial.  In fact, many would say that not only does it not accept complaints; it discourages them and some leaders  complain about complainers.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has said: “I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course.

“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults.” (Ensign, Apr. 1986, pp. 3-4.)

Another  aspect of blogging is the ability to be anonymous, if one chooses.  Under the cloak of anonymity, one can write practically anything one wants with less worry that someone will discover who he or she really is.  And many avail themselves of that opportunity.

In fact, we have some people who post here under different screen names and actually argue with themselves on some topics. I can’t figure that one out.  Shades of Sybil, I guess.

Some of the more common complains one reads about the Church are:

1.       The Church is boring, out of touch and too old fashion

2.       The Church is too restrictive and discriminates against people

3.       The Church is too conservative on some social issues and should be more in tune with societal reality

4.       The Church is phony

5.       The Church is rich and will not spend its money or tell anyone how much it has

6.       The Church is lying about its history, won’t apologize for perceived wrongdoing nor admit its past errors.

7.       The Church and its leaders refuse to listen to its members, especially me! (Meaning the person complaining).

The list is endless.  In many cases, these complaints come from upset or disaffected members, or people who have left the Church or in the process of leaving.  It comes from folks who often hide behind their screen name. In some cases, for good reasons.

All of us can find things about the Church, its leaders and its practices that we don’t like.  But, one of things I notice is that the complainers often take over every Church-themed blog, as they have to point out why the blogger is wrong, the Church is wrong and they are right.  Their hardheartedness, resentfulness and bitterness is obvious and painful to read.

Mormon Matters strives to be open to all points of view on Mormon topics and we do not censor comments like some sites. But really, can’t we have a reasonable conversation about topics without nasty complaining about the Church and its leaders.  We can disagree and we can do it respectfully.

let’s give it a try.

Comments

comments

Comments 40

  1. Jeff:

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been having related thoughts recently, viz., that after spending all week in the ‘nacle and hearing how dysfunctional / unauthentic / ineffective / insincere the Church and its members are, I go to church on Sunday and am pleasantly surprised by just how functional / authentic / effective / sincere my ward and its members are. The upside is that my Sundays at Church (and in my case, it’s about 7 hours’ worth of meetings) are almost always quite pleasant.

    That said, I don’t mind the criticisms as such. I fully appreciate the struggles that people in and out of the Church have with the Church and its members. My wife and I spoke in church on Sunday, and while sitting up on the stand, I found myself looking over the congregation and wondering how many of those members (almost all of whom I know) have similar struggles to those I read about online. I think for a lot of people (including myself), the ‘nacle provides a safe place to voice concerns that really have no proper forum in our Sunday meetings.

    That said, your points are good ones. It is human nature to extrapolate and overstate — this bishop did something I didn’t like, therefore all bishops tend to do the same thing, therefore the fundamental structure/doctrine of the Church is hopelessly flawed — and the ‘nacle can prove to be quite an echo chamber. The broad brush used by some in painting (or smearing) the Church and its members often fails to meet the simple guidelines my (non-LDS) mom raised me on: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

    In fact, we have some people who post here under different screen names and actually argue with themselves on some topics. I can’t figure that one out. Shades of Sybil, I guess.

    They’re called “sock puppets”, and with good reason. ..bruce..

  2. Jeff

    Thanks for this informative post and thanks to bfwebster for explaining what a “sock puppet” is. I am astonished–again.

    While surfing the Bloggernacle I’ve observed that many of those who write and comment are not at their spiritual best–I’m referring to active church members. This is evident in the subject matter these well educated disciples choose to write and comment on. The most popular blogs in the Bloggernacle simultaneously mock and praise the church, its leaders, history, and doctrine. I can relate to this duplicitous behavior, to a certain extent, because I am drawn to it myself. However, I have a testimony born of sacred experience that I make sure others know I have. And this is my point, if you have been given a testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ then make sure it’s evident in your writings and comments.

    I’m thankful to the Lord for the manifestations of His Spirit in my life and I hope that all who write and comment in the Bloggernacle, and process a testimony, will be as quick to express their testimony as they are to express whatever else is on their mind.

    In matters of study, we should be wise in how we exercise are discipleship. Study is good, isn’t that what we’re taught in the scriptures? Well, yes and…maybe no. We’re taught there is opposition in all things. In my estimation it is not good to drink deeply from the nectar of the tree of opposition, and then merely wet our lips with the Ambrosia from the tree of life. We’ll end up with a PhD in the things of this world, and a elementary education in the things of the spirit.

    Consider what the Lord is teaching in this verse:

    For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish. D&C 19:22

    This verse makes it clear that receiving some things (meat) prior to receiving prerequisites (milk) can be harmful to a disciple’s spiritual well being. We should be wise in what we spend the bulk of our time studying.

    I’m often astonished to find some who write with exceptional clarity on obscure gospel subjects and then unintentionally expose ignorance to basic principles of the gospel.

    I recently observed this. A blogger who is known for his whit and agile mind make it clear that he thought the gift of the Holy Ghost was received at baptism. I suggested it was the right to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost that was conferred on us, but that the actual gift came later for nearly all members. He quickly sought to change the subject and deleted any additional comments I made.

    It seem like the most prolific naysayers often have the thinnest skins.

  3. Jeff,

    There is an element of truth to each of those complaints. As you present them (or caricature them) certainly they are one-sided and narrow-minded, but they are not wholly without truth.

    So I’m not quite sure what your point is. Is your objection to the complaints themselves? If so, I can’t agree with you. The complaints have some legitimacy IMO (although of course Mormon Matters has the right to prohibit their airing here). Is it the threadjacking character or unreasoning nature of some comments that you object to? In that case, I’m right there with you in hoping for on-topic discussions and reasonable discourse.

  4. The “bloggernacle”, as it is called, appears to be a place where those (me) who have issues with the Church for a variety of reasons, can engage in reasonable non-ecclesiastical discussion with other members. I don’t try to be a Jerk about my participation, I am sorry if am anyhow. If spitting acid was the intent then that could be more easily accomplished on any of the dedicated anti-Mormon pages. It is enlightening to engage issues with so many members of the Church, many of which offer unique perspectives on their interaction with the Church in all of it’s forms. It is also helpful that many of those who participate in the ‘nacle’, of any persuasion, are often very intelligent and well educated in all things Mormon. So, in short, many of us see the ‘nacle’ as place to have the discussions which, I think we can all agree, would not be welcomed at Church. At least, not without closing that conversation privately with the Bishop at some point.

  5. Kuri:

    As I understand Jeff, he is saying that we are letting these “shades” of truth become the “Truth.” We don’t try hard enough to keep the negativity in correct proportion to the positive things about the Church. And I would say it takes a doctrinaire person indeed to focus on the thorns of a rose, the blemish on a person’s skin, or even a person’s missing limb at the expense of the person’s character and accomplishments. Jeff’s objection is to the tone with which we approach these topics, not the fact that we approach them.

    I know some who scorn those who try to “play nice” re: CHurch history, but playing nice is really an element of pleasant society and not just supposedly oppressive superstructures who try to keep their masses in check.

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    Kuri:

    I think there is a need to air legitimate concerns about the Church and its practices. Certainly, I have a number of my own issues as well. But if you look through many of the posts and their comments, some feel the need to engage in nasty retorts because of their own issues with the Church, not the issue itself.

    Here is an example, BiV writes about the Visiting Teaching message entitled “Defending the Family.” As I read it, it is a pretty standard Church message about strengthening the family against the “evils” of the world. Evils are not listed. Some folks, because of their own agendas, call it “sneaky, coded language” against Same Sex relationships and families. And what follows from there is the typical stuff about how wrong the Church is because they will not endorse SSM and families.

    We are all entitled to our opinions and to voice them. It just can be done in a more civil manner.

  7. The Blogernacle blows me away! I’ll be honest! I go to church every week, partake of the sacrament with my fellow saints, go to sunday school, then RS. We all seem(ed) to be pretty in synch, well some of my fellow saints are little more hard line & a few seem a little more liberal(and I stress little, mini, NOT give the women the priesthood liberal, more like if you ran out of milk it would be permissible to go to the store & get some). But who knew they all came home and posted what they were REALLY thinking on the internet!
    Quite frankly it has been eye opening. And I am now slightly scared of my RS sisters . Now I am the one who feels judged and that they think I am plain & simple, and uneducated because I am not a radical. I wish on Sunday’s people would wear shirts, that said “I post on ____.com ” That would be awesome!

  8. If the bloggernacle became a happy-go-lucky merry-go-round (like church is every week), then I would leave this place too.

    I’m not saying that I think bloggernacle blogs should become swarms of dissidents (of the not faithful kind) overwhelming faithful members, but seriously, the bloggernacle’s strength is in, as Jared said, the simultaneously mocking and praising (but then he calls it duplicitous.) Really, this brings reality to something that so often becomes sickly sweet. Church isn’t necessarily “phony” because of reasons you might expect; it’s phony because of an attitude that we have to stay on the positives, stay on the happy, and “speak of another’s virtues (but only when it applies to the church and faithful members…definitely not to apostates, generally) more than we speak of another’s faults.” So the church environment is phony because it isn’t realistic, or, if it is realistic (which I think most members think they are being realistic), that realism is incredible. (I mean, I’m 100% positive that everything Jared posts is “realistic;” because he KNOWS and has a testimony of his spiritual experience…but for everyone else, most of the stuff he says sounds just incredible. I’m sorry to gravitate to an example, but Jared is a GREAT example.)

    re 5:
    The problem is that for some people, negativity *is* in correct proportion to the positive things about the Church, and so they *are* putting it in correct proportion. Especially when the church environment is one that is a “pleasant society” where people “play nice,” there MUST be another environment to put things in correct proportion…and the bloggernacle has sprung up for that purpose.

    For certain ex-Mormon sites (some of which are TOO WHINY even for *me*), I can’t deny that all they are doing is putting the negativity in correct proportion to the positive things (it’s just they have much much much more negative than you or I do).

    I mean, I guess we should all be like Saint MikeInWeHo (I guess he comments more on BCC, so I don’t know if he’s famous around all the bloggernacle), who can trudge along through it all and not become a cesspool of negativity…but in my life, I have come to learn that while I can do that, it’s *terrible* for my health, my attitude, my mental image. Staying silent, playing nice, is hell.

  9. I understand your point, Jeff, but I agree with Andrew S. in the sense that, if we didn’t want to vent or air frustrations about the church, at least to some degree, there would be no point to the bloggernacle. This is a venue to say and discuss things that can’t be said or discussed in most “legitimate” LDS forums. Again, I understand that you’re not saying there should be NO criticism or negativity, but I think there are many issues that are going to naturally gravitate that way. In my mind, the analysis should be whether the tone and content of posts are civil and uplifting. I think that even posts that are critical of the church can be very uplifting, and there are many opportunities for learning and growth.

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    Let’s face it. For many people, a lot of what goes on inside the confines of the Church building on Sunday and other activities is an act. People are expected to “act” a certain way, say things a certain way and “act” as though they all believe the same exact way. Pretty much what Andrew S was saying. On the other hand, most people who are active in the Church do so because they sincerely have a testimony and are trying their best to live the gospel as they see it.

    The Bloggernacle is one way of getting a hearing about a belief that is more ‘exploratory” than the mainstream and to do so in a relatively supportive environment. We all have slightly differing view on things, even the most dogmatic, tried and true principles. It’s nice to be able to express them without someone running to the Bishop. Like if you tried to do it in Sunday School.

    That’s what I like about it. But, just like hearing talk after talk about how perfect some people’s kids are when your are not, it gets old to read the same litany of complaints about the Church and the bitterness some seem to have. We all need to bust out with a tirade now and again, but really….

  11. Russell,

    “And I would say it takes a doctrinaire person indeed to focus on the thorns of a rose….”

    Unless you happen to fall into a rosebush. I think then even you would probably say, “Darn these thorns” rather than “What beautiful flowers” while you were trying to extricate yourself. And if somebody said, “Hey, stop struggling and look at the beautiful flowers,” you might say, “Are you kidding? I’m caught in a rosebush, and you want me to look at flowers?!”

    And that, unfortunately, is what’s happened to a lot of disaffected members and ex-members. For them the Church has become a rosebush they’ve fallen into, so they focus on the thorns instead of the flowers.

  12. Amen, Andrew #8.
    Jeff, I liked what you said in #10, but it seems completely at odds with what you were advocating in your post.

    Will Wilkinson, when reporting on why Utah is the self-reported “happiest” state, says,

    “Having worked two summers as a tour guide at Mormon historic sites teeming with families from Provo and Logan, I’ll vouch for the fact that Utahns are exceptionally chipper. Though perhaps it should be noted that some Mormons are almost ideological about the idea that they ought to be happy. (Google around for Mormon mommy blogs and enjoy all the “I’m sure glad I studied physics at BYU, but gosh nothing could POSSIBLY be more satisying than reading the same dang story to my sixth precious, precious baby for the ninety billionth time because each and every one of my perfect babies is such a blessing and there is nothing more fulfilling to me as a woman. Ted [who’s so cute I let him cheat off me in physics!] is such a good provider, and sometimes he even cooks! Most days I smile so hard it hurts because Heavenly Father has truly blessed me with the best life possible.”) So I suspect a skoche of culture-driven upward inflation.”

    We Mormons know we are “supposed” to be happy, and we are not “supposed” to complain. And it causes all kinds of angst and built-up pain bodies, which tend to spill out when we have an opportunity to discuss them in places such as the Bloggernacle.

  13. Ya know Jeff, since the church doesn’t have a complaint department, I wonder how much these blogs get monitored. I see two possible purposes: (1) to try to guage member attitudes, and make positive changes to church policies (ie teach bishops to be more compassionate, etc), or (2) to try to find out who the anonymous people (like me) are, and try to retaliate for unflattering things we may say. I can’t believe they completely ignore these blogs altogether, especially in light of Elder Ballard’s admonition to blog about faith-promoting topics.

  14. Somehow, I don’t think, MH, that the church really monitors these blogs as constructively as they could.

    Let’s say a person takes everything that is not correlated and faith-promoting and views it as “Anti-Mormon”. These people aren’t going to start addressing the criticism in these pamphlets or pieces of literature to try to change the church. Instead, they are going to shun these things and try to promote more faith-promoting literature instead.

    That’s what I think Elder Ballard was really going for. When he calls for more faith-promoting blogs, I think it is to try to turn away from blogs that may feature touchier issues.

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    “We Mormons know we are “supposed” to be happy, and we are not “supposed” to complain. And it causes all kinds of angst and built-up pain bodies, which tend to spill out when we have an opportunity to discuss them in places such as the Bloggernacle.”

    Was that what I was talking about……?? 🙂

  16. #11 Kuri —

    Excellent post. I need to remember some folks are in real pain over the same things that give me such bliss 99.9% of the time, that it’s tough sometimes to relate. I suppose the reverse is true for many, who can’t see life as I do. Works both ways. How great the divide?

  17. BiV – Great Will Wilkinson quote! I think I threw up in my mouth reading that.

    I really do love the GBH quote in your post, Jeff, and I personally believe in the power of being positive vs. wallowing in negativity. Still, I also feel that people need a supportive and safe place to discuss their concerns and explore the things not appropriate for Sunday School or RS, like deeper theological questions or cultural concerns or frustrations. The b’nacle provides a more moderate alternative to the ex-Mo sites out there by combining voices from across the ideological spectrum.

    IMO, the b’nacle just holds a mirror up to us all. In many ways, people start out talking to themselves, but over time we gain appreciation for others’ viewpoints and increase our compassion. That’s what happens at its best anyway.

  18. I’ve enjoyed this post and the comments. Honesty and sincerity are always inviting, and rewarding.

    #8 Andrew–I agree with many things you said in this comment.

    I think it’s important to deal with our feelings. I suggest taking them to the Lord and with meekness and sincerity express how we feel. Believe that He will respond and then just wait on Him. If we do He will respond. It is not possible for the Lord to ignore us, but we need to be meek and sincere to gain access to His grace. The answer may come in a completely natural way. Or it may come through a powerful Spiritual experience, or a mix of the two.

    I’ll give an example. I feel the Lord would have me share it. I am not drawing attention to myself, but I am most anxious to let it be known that the Lord will respond to each of us when we really want Him too.

    I have had health problem for several years that I was told needed surgery. I successfully ignored it until late last year when it got worse. I decided to get a priesthood blessing. As a result of this blessing I asked Heavenly Father to heal me so that I wouldn’t need to have surgery. I went into great detail in my prayer. I explained to Him that I knew He could if it was according to His will because of other experiences I’ve had. But I added, if it was His will that I have surgery then I asked Him to lead me to a doctor. I didn’t stop there with my request. I asked that this doctor practice at a particular hospital (I didn’t want a hospital where student doctors practice) and that he have at least 20 years experience.

    About ten days later I received a call at my office. This individual name was the same as my wife’s deceased sister who died recently. She said she worked for a doctor and needed something that I deal in. It’s unusual to receive calls from doctors offices. As I talked with her I asked her what kind of doctor does she work for. She said a surgeon. I asked if he did the kind of surgery I needed. She said yes, he does about 150 procedure of that kine a year, for the last 25 years. I asked what hospital he worked out of. It was the one I had prayed about. I told her I needed this kind of surgery. She replied using a word that has special meaning to me that I don’t hear very often, “Isn’t that serendipitous”, she said. This had the Lord’s finger prints all over it.

    I had the surgery a few weeks ago and everything is fine. I have even been blessed to have another problem that is unrelated to the surgery, that is miserable to deal with–well it appears to have been healed.

    Elder Scott calls this kind of answer to prayer, “packets of help”. I have these kind of experiences frequently.

    The Lord will be our friend if we invite Him into our lives. I’m sure many of you can relate special experiences like this.

  19. Playing nice does not=playing silently. Just civility and respect. That’s all.

    And I myself experienced such a severe “rosebush” on my mission (not the time nor place…but let’s just say that there’s nothing like having flaws magnified by uninformed parties). And, of course, we all need healing time, sometimes away from “the Church.”

    But that said, I have healed. I know others who have healed. THey don’t talk about the thorns for the rest of their lives.

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    Russell,

    “Playing nice does not=playing silently. Just civility and respect. That’s all.’

    Excellent summary of my point.

  21. I’m happy to have the bloggernacle. It has been, overall, enlightening for me.

    That said, let’s not delude ourselves. It is still but a small percentage of church membership that reads, posts, comments on LDS blogs. I would guess the Church *does* monitor what is being said about it in the blogosphere, including on these blogs. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the ‘nacle is propped up by a few dozen dedicated posters and commenters (and don’t get my wrong, I love you guys) — some of whom are openly no longer involved with the Church — who probably do not represent a statistically significant cross-section of Church membership.

  22. One of the reasons I participate a little in the ‘Nacle 🙂 is that I really like the wide range of perspectives found on multiple blogs. This is one of my favorites, because it is more diverse than most.

    What I find interesting is that human nature propels us far too often to make assumptions about each other based on initial reactions to posts and comments, and it often is difficult to move away from those assumptions – even when further posts and comments add things that probably should alter our perceptions. We do it in face-to-face relationships, as well, but it’s exacerbated when there isn’t a personal history attached to the names.

    Frankly, I like one aspect of the Bloggernacle functioning PARTIALLY as a complaint department – the fact that it allows the Church itself not to have to wade into the fray on all the stuff we discuss. I want the Church to focus on its core mission and let us (the Mormon “priesthood of believers [of whatever level and stripe and stages of belief/disbelief]) work it out where I think it should be done – at the the individual level.

  23. WMP,

    Let me quibble a little bit with what you said. I think that the bloggernacle is probably a statistically significant population, but it certainly does not representative of the general feelings of church members (which is what I think you really intended to say). Or to put it another way, a sampling of the bloggernacle is a biased sample, not a random or representative sample. The b’nacle may better represent intellectual, liberal, or former mormon sentiment, rather than your average “Joe Mormon”.

  24. As someone who has been pretty consistently critical of the church on this blog, I have to say that this is pretty much the only LDS related blog I engage in anymore. My point is, even though I’m very critical of the church, to the point that I find myself on the opposite end of most issues, I don’t have any desire to go to a mormon bashing blog where everyone hates the church. For one thing, the intellectual level of the posters here far surpasses anything else I’ve personally experienced. For another thing, I want to engage in conversation and debate that is informative and enlightening. There’s nothing enlightening for me about listening to 100 people who all feel the same, piling on the church. Finally, it provides opportunity to have some of my unobjective beliefs challenged, and in many cases I can see that I am being unfair, or am flat out in the wrong. I might see it as an educational opportunity, but from Jared’s or your perspective, Jeff, or for many other posters, it might be a great missionary opportunity.

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    Brjones,

    I appreciate your recognition of what I and others here try to do. I don’t think we have what might be called “100% homers” for the Church posting on this site. Most have strong testimonies but, in many cases, willing to challenge and discuss things in and around the church that we have issues with. I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth and they will correct me if I’m wrong.

    But I have found this group here on Mormon Matters to be among the most open minded, fair folks I know in the Church.

    Except for Hawkgrrrl, of course, she’s a total Molly Mormon! 🙂

  26. Pingback: Ex-mormons should really get over their problems. « Irresistible (Dis)Grace

  27. okay here is one for you all to chatter about. First I want to tell you that I am not Mormon. However earlier this year my 19 year old daughter was introduced to some male Missionaries through a family member. Now this family member was interested in going to BYU and knew if they were to become a Mormon the price was cheaper. So This person did. However they have changed their mind and actually rarely goes to church, now that they are dating a non mormon. During this time, my daughter started attending what you guys call a ward at the church and she thinking of getting baptised. Well I have to tell you, her father and I are not happy. Recently she was baptisted in another church and up until the Missionary boys came along she was quite happy. Now she thinking hey I want to go to BYU. I hate every university in Canada, I hate my family, and I hate my friends. We have asked her rather then to jump in with both feet, try to attend church and learn about the religion and their beliefs. They are very different from ours and truthfully, (we don’t believe in the book of mormons.) My husband attended as a teenager and he didn’t continue because he said he couldn’t follow the book of Mormons. Now truthfully my daughter who is very bright and talented, I feel she is in love with the idea of a temple wedding. She had an opportunity to see it for herself after a temple was built and they had tours. What girl wouldn’t be impressed. However as time passes and the father she got into it, we realized she is serious. I have explained to her a temple wedding means her father will not be able to walk her down the isle, her best friends will not be able to attend her wedding, nor her grandparents. Only people she has recently met at her new church. she insists she can have a civil wedding however truthfully what girl is going to be happy with a jp wedding? and if her new hubby has anything to say about it, which I am assuing he will, I am guessing we will be left out in the cold. my other grip her is that she is a starving university student who has nothing, yet this church is asking her for tithers. She cant afford it and any money she has left from her student loan she will dig in and give to the church. I just think this is wrong. She is 19, never had a date,and really, the missionary boys made a big impression on her because they are smooth talkers, dress nice and decent characters. Now I realize I am going out on a lim here and asking for advice, but this has caused a great deal of stress and has started causing alot of hurt feelings in our family. Please don’t tell me it’s the best thing for her and or we should consider joining too. We don’t want to become mormons, and I heart broken she is going to join something she hasn’t really given the proper amount of time to think about. She only sees the farily tale stuff and not listening to the differences.
    any suggestions would be appreciated

  28. I just found this site today and would like to comment to All_Spice, though it’s been 3 months. There are many LDS who’d say get her baptized but joining should be considered a lifelong pursuit and a decision not to be made on a whim. No one will stay in the church for the long haul unless they really believe and that takes a “real” spiritual experience. If she gets that answer in 5 days or 5 years, it should be seriously made. And in many cases after the baptism all the friendly support  drops off and routine membership kicks in. So I agree she should take the time to really be sure. Now, I have 2 boys and 2 girls of my own and I know you also understand that we can’t always have the kind of influence we’d like with our kids when they “think” they’re all grown up and living all by themselves at college, (as if that’s the real world). I adapted the rule for my kids that in college their job in life and pursuit in the church is to get the college education. This should take precedence over everything thing else, barring a heavenly visitation or ill-timed marriage proposal they accept. the money received is for college and I don’t look at it as taxable or in this case tithing-able. She should not do it. If she worked an odd job then that is “an increase” if you will and different. There may be some LDS who goes overboard and sacrifices all for the Lord, but really now, that’s a load of garbage. Some things I think you should consider is this: If she chooses the church you don’t have to get left in the dust. You can be as accepting as you can, be assertive and invite yourselves to wait outside the temple if you have to. But it’s not a walk down the aisle, it’s for time and all eternity and there is little room where the sealing takes place and not many people can be there, what parent would want to miss this? But don’t let anyone or anything belittle your role as parents. You can even occasionally go to church with them and I mean to every meeting (sacrament, Sunday school and priesthood for your husband and relief society for you), this isn’t to soften you up, it’s to force the Mormon network to recognize you both and accept that you’re not going away. She’s your daughter and it’s your right to have her and your future grandchildren in your lives. Have them introduce you, have discussions ect. I’m sure this will ease a lot of tensions and while you may not have your optimum life’s wishes, you can make the best of things. These are many of the things I have prepared myself for in the event any of my own children go in some other direction. Most LDS would sooner have a funeral than consider what you are going through and I doubt they would be as open as you.

  29. post for all members and non members
    20 years of investigating the LDS church, most are good folks, some are not. All organized religions have mostly good people in them, it is 1% of the people who are lost to bad decsions. No one knows the truth, no one can really proove anything other than ignorence is everywhere. Good comes from churchs and horrific bad as well. You all debate it up until you pass away. When you have left your body, please remember to go to the light. Nothing more need be said. Unconditional Love is all you must practice to build a good life. The less that you give, the closer you are to being lost. Dogma will teach you someone elses dream, make your own ideal based on your own understanding and experiences. You have two sides, feed the good side get good results, feed the bad side and suffering will become your life. Good choices yeild good results, if the LDS church yields suffering and problems, then get out and find like minded friends. If your really happy and enjoy the LDS church, do not let other opions drive you away, simply follow your heart folks, what you want is what you should want, not what others want you to want. Love is charity so give expecting nothing in return, and I asure you, good things will manifest themselves in your lives.

  30. If the LDS church is harmful to your family, ie they are using the enticments of sealed marrige to take your daughter away to some pretend land of perpetual glory where they rule over servents (sounds like meglamania to me) then you have the right to take legal action. Each Ward is made up of very different people, be careful some of them are not good people so take the time to investigate people who may cause harm to your loved ones. Explain to your daughter about Mountain Meadow and all the negatives that make it easy to see that woman are less than men in the LDS ideal, they are servents of men (sounds like old white america survived), and woman must share a husband with many other woman (sounds like these men are lost inside a massive ego), also you must progress through learning secrets, like we made up a ritual where we threaten you with death (sounds like a paranoid bunch of people), so watch out, a good way to know if it is right or wrong is to ask yourself, “Do I even have to question if its wrong, most of the time if you have ask or learn about it, it is a scam, you get what you pay for, look at the product, do you question it’s validity, it’s worth, if it lacks quality, and value, if it has you wondering wtf is this, you should be careful, many many deceptions are about, the LDS church is true for those that make it true with what they provide inside an unconditional love, model, it is when they repeat “This church is true” over and over, and then wait for the church to be true, when they should simply just go be true, and not worry about brick and morter buildings and name tags. Go help a homeless family, do the work, if you attend just to earn some fictional place in a ego driven nightmare world, well have fun sweety, I would choose to build an eternal life based on love not fear, the LDS church uses fear and intimidation, so members are manipulated, this is not unconditional love, so look at the fruit the tree is producing, if it is rotten, do not go near that tree, please.

  31. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE – GIVE SOME TODAY AND WATCH YOUR HEART GROW INTO A FLOWER OF ETERNAL JOY. LDS  – LOVE DESTROYS SATAN.

  32. I attended a Tongan young adult ward in Oakland, California.  I use to be with one of the girl from the ward.  Most of her family is in the ward.  The branch president is her uncle.  Basically,  I attended church today and went with good intentions but those who attended hated me.  One of them actually punched me.  This is the Lords house and I felt when I’m in the Lords house.  I’m safe. 

  33. I wish there were no longer Tongan wards anymore.   I feel sometimes family try to take control instead of doing the Lords work.

  34. Plus me and her broke the law of Chasity.   I told the branch president but he doesn’t hold her accountable.  Just me

  35. well hello there today, i have a new complaint on some mormon sisters of the mormon church, in 2014 of early june, amanda kelly, rachael garbe, and lisa lane, and m austin, and sister bowns, all of the church back in 2014, of early june until late december, when they were transford too other locations, around the globe,these sisters kept some of my personal belongings and i would like too get them back,as soon as possable, and the new sisters today, that are serving there at the mormon church, spilled red finger nail polise, on my new car, and the other day they had my road blocked where we could not get up too our houses, they were out trying too preach the word, in the rain and cold wheather, i dont think anyone care about wanting too here the word, when the wheather is storming, and also tell the new sisters of that same church, that miss vickie mackay, told me too tell them too not be coming back too her house anymore, and tell them too please stay of off mr marion,s property thanks,have a good wonderful day amen,

  36. Hello,

    Perhaps someone can help me identify the right person at the Church who can address my concern:

    I am a neighbor of the main LDS Church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; I overlook its beautiful grounds and structure and admire the care with which they are maintained. Nevertheless, the daily maintenance of the grounds comes at a huge cost–the motors of the mowers, trimmers, and blowers provide for an infernal daily routine that prevents our families from enjoying our homes or work from them. We have addressed this issue with the local maintenance personnel and suggested less frequent maintenance and better equipment. We have fallen on deaf ears. I believe that noise pollution goes against the principles of the Church as well as international best practices. Can someone suggest an effective way to address this with the Church at a higher instance than the local administration?

    Thank you in advance,

    Isaac

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