First, I want to note that I noticed when I post about "then" that I start the post out in past tense and by the end am writing in the present tense. I could go back and change it and am fully aware it's not "correct", but I've decided I will leave all "then" post as they are because I literally do start out thinking in past tense and as I journey feel I am actually there. (Probably the reason the posts are slow coming LoL).
Secondly, I want to say that three young Mormon Missionaries graced my door while I was posting the last post.
My first thought was that I didn't want them to come in because I haven't started Saturday chores because I was blogging and few chores get have gotten done this month because I worked the past two Saturdays. How embarrassing.
We stood out on the porch for a bit,... a former bishop had given them our names and said we were "good people". He really should have warned them and maybe he did.
Good or bad, I am an honest person. Can we come in... well, no, the house is in disarray ( I haven't even brushed my hair and so am I). I feel caught off guard and struggle with wanting to send them away and the feelings that these three young boys are someone's sons.
These young children saved their money and left their families to have this experience.
Come to the back porch and I'll talk to you for a short visit in the sitting room. We're remodeling the living room and there's drywall dust on everything. Dishes aren't done and the dogs are excited with visitors. Trash isn't taken out yet and our house needs a good cleaning.
I'm very thankful they can't see my car which is much worse since my daughter took it to go to work this morning.
The boys come in and have a seat. Awkward silence fills the room. Finally I say "You realize I'm inactive and have been for more than 20 years right"? They reply yes and I realized they had been warned. " Do you mind telling us what your issues with the Church are"?
Oh good grief... Really?? DO you have all day? I try not to cry. I hate talking about my relationship with "God, the Church, and especially Mormon Doctrine". I'm fully aware that this is an unresolved issue in my life that I try to ignore, but is harder to ignore than any other aspect in my life.
How much is appropriate to talk about? Why open this can of worms? These boys are barely older than my own children. What life experiences do they have that can equip them for not just a non-believer, but someone who carries baggage regarding the Church?
I just sat there embarrassed and wishing my eyes weren't filling up. UGGG. Where the hell is the control you have at work... This is my home... I wasn't expecting this and not prepared to put my armor up. I was JUST blogging which makes me really vulnerable.
"Did you grow up in the Church"? - Yes, my father was Catholic and my mother was Mormon"...
Church babble began filling the room and I can't hear anything being said because my mind is spinning --- "Can we pray with you"?
"You're more than welcome to pray for me when you leave as I'm sure you will, but no, I'm not comfortable with us having a prayer"...
One of the boys is speaking, the other two are quiet. Finally, I just spill it...
"I don't believe... I think the Church is based on a bunch of lies and nit-picky rules that are meant to control it's members and nothing you say is going to change that today... can I get you something to drink"?
"Mr. Bishop did tell us you had some harsh experiences with the Church and feel very hurt by the Church... I've also been hurt by the members of the Church"...
The Missionary talky boy is struggling and has soft eyes. His chin quivered. I feel sorry for him. I'm making him uncomfortable. I again realize his heart is in the right place and he deserves respect and honesty...
I don't have all day for a back story and quietly begin to talk with the young men.
I ask if they ever read a book called "The Miracle of Forgiveness", written by Prophet Spencer W. Kimbell. A book that teaches the six steps to true repentance.
They have read it.
I start by stating that I respect every other person's right to self-determination and that I don't want to share my views of the Church if with them because I just don't have nice things to say.
They continue to press me and I share with them that I believe the Church to be racist, sexist, and harmful.
Most people are aware that the Church did not allow Black and Indian people to hold the priesthood until 1978.
That they were marked with their blackness as a punishment for the sins of Cain.
Prophet Kimbell often talked of the delightsome of their races becoming more white... as can be seen in this quote:
"I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today.... The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl--sixteen--sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents--on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather....These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness."
Prophet Kimball also taught perfection... which plagued my daily life.
But the final straw for ME... was when my mother was murdered... We no longer talked and that's for another post... but I truly believe my mother died due to the teaching of the Prophet Kimball who taught that:
"Also far-reaching is the effect of the loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle."
- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, page 196
These types of teachings caused my mother to 1. blame me for not fighting back an incestuous relationship with her husband... and 2. to lose her own life because she DID fight back. I believe if she had been cooperative she could have escaped with her life... and she didn't.
So Dear sweet Missionary boys... this river runs deeper than any bishop could prepare you for and while I will never disrespect you, because I understand you have the right to do and believe as you will... Life has taught me more than your testimony will ever overcome.
Pretty much after that they left. I should have just let them stand on the porch until they left.
******* I'm moving this post to the "then" section" because I feel like it's a better fit. Hope that doesn't make things too confusing!! ************************