Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mark 16:6

I've noted an emerging trend in Mormonism: Jesus Christ is hardly ever quoted anymore (or even referenced, except tangentially) in any LDS sermon or lesson on any given Sunday. He is almost never the focus. Many meetings -- in fact, many Sundays! -- pass without our Lord being quoted even once. This phenomena is so common I will no longer observe it, except to note, perhaps, its rare and dramatic obverse. 

Today in Sacrament Meeting several current and returned missionaries "testified" of...what would you guess? Jesus? Guess again! Missionary work! It was almost, it was exactly like...every "sales" meeting I've ever attended. The keynote speaker identified various strategies one may use to "invite" others to learn more about the Church, gospel, etc. 

He even introduced a novel approach to "sales": set a goal to have your "close" rejected a certain number of times. Then, if you "fail" to reach your goal -- because someone actually accepts your invitation! -- you won't be disappointed! If you do "reach" your "goal"...hey! You're still a "winner", see? 

How clever is that?!

Can you imagine anyone using this "strategy" in Rome or Carthage or Jerusalem in 50 AD? 

I can't. 

I think they just shared the marvel that is Jesus, who is called Christ, because their hearts were filled with love for Him and gratitude for what He did and had done for them.

That, somehow, was enough for them. That was their "missionary program".

It was "enough" for me when I was a kid. Christ was the only topic that drove my "missionary" efforts. I wanted people to know how great Jesus was, how I felt about Him, what He had done for me, what I had received from Him -- not how great our Church's Boy Scout program was or what a great lifestyle Mormons live. (Sadly, that changed as I became more "institutionalized" by the LDS Church. And I found the LDS "gospel message" less fulfilling.)

I was asked to give the opening prayer today in Sunday School, but when I explained to the good sister that I had just been excommunicated for apostasy, she recoiled in disbelief! 

"What? I don't believe it!"

"Yeah, I know! Tell me about it!" I shared her dismay and incredulity. I suggested she invite my wife to pray, but my wife declined, somehow failing to "feel the Spirit" at that particular moment, I wonder why.

The Sunday School lesson was on the tribes of Israel following the prophet (Joshua) to wage war, conquer and kill. (How perfectly that lesson dove-tails with what Rock Waterman is teaching today at Pure Mormonism!) 

Combined Priesthood/Relief Society was an hour-long presentation on how to get a college degree from BYU Idaho online by paying just $65 a credit hour! 

Isn't that wonderful?!

How to succeed in direct sales; how to wage and win a war of aggression (while tooting your own horn!); and how to buy a college degree through a Church-sponsored university -- these are the "stuff" of the "gospel of Jesus Christ" nowadays, don't you know?

I thank God that the LDS Church is true and that I'm the only one who is apostate!


My "unofficial" home teacher called today. I'm really grateful for him. The other ward members are taking this "ex-communication" very seriously! As in "no communication". You might be surprised how many, knowing of my "status", don't even look at me now -- as if I were one "diseased", perhaps even contagious. (I'm not sure if that's any different, however, then how they treated me before! I've always been a "cast-away" Mormon of sorts.) Certainly no one from my ward has called, emailed or come by since April 9, except for this "home teacher".

And a few friends in the stake: one, in particular, whose "child"-like love, faith and friendship will never be forgotten.

I know how Joseph Smith felt when he wrote: "[I was] persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me" (JS-H 1:28).


  1. Lately it feels like I'm starting to lose control of my Primary class (8 year olds). Your post, plus a comment over at the latest Pure Mormonism post, has shown me what I need to do; be more concientious and diligent in teaching about the Savior during the lessons.

  2. Amen, Will. If anyone ever asks me why I read my scriptures through church, I will tell them because I would actually like to hear the word of God.

  3. Your closing paragraph quoting Joseph Smith says it all, Will. IF those who condemn you feel you have been deluded, why won't they at least offer to patiently point out our errors and guide you back onto the true path?

    The answer is that they are uncomfortable facing your truth.

    It's been my observation that when someone in the ward is excommunicated for sexual sin, that person is lovingly embraced and loved back into fellowship. You're learning what it's like to be the faithful dissident who spoke the truth. They don't know how to engage you in love, so they shun and ignore you.

  4. If you were close to me or in my Ward, we would be hanging out everyday at least every Sunday :-) I appreciate your desire to serve the Lord and share his message. I have just recently found your blog and have been reading it everyday. your words are powerful and I'm filled with the spirit when i read them, just only wish i felt that way when i left chruch...God bless men like you and Rock and others who are willing to do as the Lord has asked them. Thank you again, and hang in there, you are loved, and i don't even know you haha...

  5. I visited last night with a friend of mine whose father and mother left the church after serving in all the normal positions ,including as bishop, for many years and now have regular blog casts about why the church is a fraud. We talked freely about his fathers concerns, including changes in the B of M etc. He was astonished that I was willing to discuss his fathers apostasy and the theological issues that underlay it .He said both the bishop and the stake president recommended that he not talk about his parents decision and especially not discuss the reasons for it. I told him it was fear. Fear of contamination and fear of being presented with questions that they didn't know the answer to.It was better to pretend it didn't happen or hush it up rather than dealing with the reality. Even his own wife refused to talk about "it" and was fearful her husband might catch the same disease. The non communication you face shouldn't surprise you .People always fear that which they don't understand. Our prayers are with you. All we can do is teach and preach the truth and pray for a brighter day.