There was a time when I was PROUD of being Mormon, GRATEFUL for the LDS Church, PEACEFUL believing that God was in control and that the Church had EVERYTHING I needed to be "saved." I felt SAFE and SECURE in the "fold": spiritually, physically, socially and financially. I would ALWAYS be a Mormon, I thought. A member of the kingdom of God on earth! A true follower of Jesus Christ.
I was deceived.
I was no more "safe" than a shopper at Downtown Disney! I was no more securely a member of the kingdom of God on earth than I possessed a lifetime passport to the "Magic Kingdom."
Once "management" of the Mormon Church determined I wasn't "buying" EVERYTHING they were "selling," they labeled me a "threat" to the "business" and the "brand," accusing me of "disturbing" their other "customers" by encouraging them NOT to buy all the "merchandise." They said I was no longer welcome in ANY of their "stores" and I was BANISHED from ALL Mormon properties WORLDWIDE. (Seriously.) They gave me a letter warning me NOT to return to the church, under threat of arrest for "trespassing." (I'm not making that up.)
Since then, they've made no effort to "reclaim" me. The Donald has his "deplorables." The Mormons have their "undesirables" and "irredeemables." I am now one of them.
So, technically, I broke the "rules" yesterday when I showed up at magnificent Mormon Church-owned City Creek Mall -- let alone Temple Square -- to introduce my partner to how "magnificent" the Mormons really are. (And, yes, they really are, by and large, magnificent and, yes, they still show videos on Temple Square calling themselves "Mormons.")
Fortunately for us, none of the Church's missionaries, tour guides, or employees recognized me for who I am or knew how "evil" I have become. Instead, they treated me like a saint! I walked among them again as one of the "faithful" and, sadly, reminisced about what I once thought I had. (I felt nothing but appreciation and pity for these fine people. For decades I was honored to serve with and among them.)
Mormons take GREAT pride in their facilities and Church membership. Their "workmanship of men's hands" and their "works" are truly amazing! Hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars have been spent making Mormons and the Mormon Church what they are today.
Their beautiful temples, chaples, tabernacles, and conference centers, choirs, campuses, storehouses, factories, farms, and welfare programs, museums, libraries, humanitarian efforts, ecumenical alliances, political clout, financial acumen, business investments, Church leadership, and MANY accomplishments are all standouts. As a people, Mormons have MUCH to be proud of. "Mormonism" is a substantial, highly "polished," and SUCCESSFUL religion and enterprise (as far as this world is concerned). It is as beautiful and inviting and "real" as Disneyland.
And just as well run.
Even as Walt Disney brought "magic" to the Magic Kingdom, Joseph Smith brought true prophetic gifts to "Mormonism" from the kingdom of God. With their passing from mortality, each of these men left shoes no one else was able to fill. There was no replacing Walt. There was no replacing Joseph.
The Disney organization now continues (falteringly) to build on Walt's foundations. They are no longer a "family friendly," virtue-oriented enterprise, but one wholly devoted to merchandizing and seeking the greatest bottom line. (By contrast, Walt's main concern was just making people happy.) Disney now has become a major marketer of evil, DESTROYING Walt's legacy in pursuit of greater profits.
And Mormonism today? It's NOTHING like what Joseph Smith decreed or bequeathed to the Church and world. It has become, by and large, a corporation which measures "success" by worldly standards: numbers and figures -- baptisms performed and temples constructed, sacrament meeting and temple attendence, tithing receipts, business profits -- and the gain and praise of the world.
In other words: mammon.
Modern Mormons seek all the "good" -- and goods -- THIS world has to offer.
They used to say "Be in the world, but not of the world."
Today Mormons are VERY much "of" the world. Just look at the stores in their Salt Lake City mall : Rolex, Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss. I didn't even bother to walk in! Who has THAT kind of money? ("Enough" Mormons, apparently.)
They've come a long way from their muddy dugouts in the desert and bloody footprints in the snow.
Today Mormons are the most "glorious" example of a "worldly" kingdom of God on earth that I can imagine! Mormon temples dot the land! Gleaming chapels stand seemingly on every corner! Mormons are in possession of power and influence. They are captains of industry, CEOs, members of the U.S. House and Senate, even presidential cadidates. There are MILLIONS of current Mormons, including MANY "happy" families. (Mine was one of them.)
If Mormonism ISN'T the kingdom of God on earth, what is?
But Jesus said: "My kingdom is NOT of this world."
The divine faith, powers and gifts now extolled, portrayed, and proclaimed by Mormon missionaries, scriptures, sermons, and artwork are seldom, if ever, seen or manifest among the "faithful" membership. Mormon "power in the priesthood" is as real as the "magic" at Disneyland.
You can have anything in this world for money.
One WEEPS for what has been lost!
After this year, this magnificent Mormon Temple in beautiful downtown Salt Lake City is closing, I'm told, for the next four years -- for renovation. They are expanding it and making it "earthquake proof."
God laughs at such folly.
The Mormons today, like Jews of old, LOVE their temples! They glory in their supposed prophets, scriptures, powers and authority, rites and rituals, status, customs, traditions, history, accomplishments, and comandments of men.
I am no prophet, but I will be amazed if that temple is NOT slated for COMPLETE destruction by the Almighty, as surely as was Herod's temple: the one Jesus called "my Father's house."
I suspect, like then, NOT ONE STONE will be left upon another. It will ALL be leveled to the earth and taken away.
And what will Mormons do then? What will they say? When EVERYTHING they love, trust in, rely upon, and work for is lost?
Who among them will then have faith in Jesus?
I guess we'll see.