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Cutting ex-Mormons some slack, eh?

March 28, 2009

So, Jeff Lindsay with his site Mormanity is one guy I don’t really spend too much time reading…and I don’t know why…he doesn’t enrage me with nearly everything he says (which is kinda the feeling I get from reading Millenial Star), but somehow…I dunno…just incompatible, I suppose.

Regardless, from his twitter @mormanity, he advertised a post of his about “cutting a little slack for ex-Mormons.” I clicked to see this post, realized it was from 2006 (I just get this bad sense about commenting on posts that are so old, you know? but it seems to be super popular so instead, I make a post here about it), but I read it anyway.

The thoughts I get while I’m reading this are what I get whenever I read something that’s speaking about ex-Mormons…does the person understand ex-Mormons? Is he trying? Does he take some awkward stereotypes for granted? And finally…does his faith prevent a concession?

I mean, Jeff starts out to say that ex-Mormons “may be much more honorable people than we have realized” and he even admits that they “may have entirely logical reasons from their perspectives for leaving.”

He cuts through some stereotypes (it’s not just because there was some hidden sin somewhere or they got offended), but I…dunno…

In the end, I know he can’t concede something that would make it legitimate, but still, it seems to cheapen everything when he says:

There is a power and a reality to core parts of the Gospel. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. The Book of Mormon is real and divine. The Temple is divine. Prayer “works.” The gift of the Holy Ghost is real. The blessings and miracles associated with Church service are real.

Something is going on here that cannot be explained by any hypothesis that begins with Joseph as a charlatan who fabricated the Book of Mormon. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything the Church has done, but there is at least something going on that needs to be considered.

This is unfair of me. I can’t expect any true believer to suggest anything other than this. I can’t expect a true believer to wholeheartedly suggest that the Book of Mormon isn’t for everyone…it isn’t universal truth for everyone. I can’t expect a true believer to take the divinity out from the religion.

…anyway. So much for that. The fun part is…as I said, this article is two years old. So, we have two years’ worth of comments!

Cutting a little slack to Ex-Mormons starts with a better understanding about why they left, as opposed to the stereotypes you seem to have. It could be something so simple as that some look at LDS Church theology, compare it with orthodox Christian teachings, and arrive at a realization that the two do not match.

So, first you have the ex-Mormon Christian who slyly suggests that his ex-Mormonism is a natural result of coming to The Real Truth of Jesus and leaving the Mormon Jesus. This kind of comment annoys me; it makes all ex-Mormons look petty and bad.

Dennis,
THAT IS A GREAT POINT TO BE MADE. I DON’T SEE HOW INDIVIDUALS WHOM CHOOSE TO REMOVE THEMSELVES FROM CHURCH CAN’T FEEL GUILT ASSOICATED WITH THEIR DECISION, AT LEAST AT SOME LEVEL OR ANOTHER. FOR THOSE OF US WHO WATCH CONFERNECE LAST MONTH, PLEASE THINK BACK TO ELDER BEDNAR’S TALK ON SUNDAY. EACH INDIVIDUAL WHO DECIDES TO QUIT ATTENDING CHURCH OR TO HAVE THEIR NAMES REMOVED FROM THE RECORDS OF THE CHURCH WERE OFFENDED AT SOME TIME OR ANOTHER.

Then you have the guy who completely misses the reconciliatory nature of the original post.

I think there is a danger in being too tolerant and friendly with non-mormons, but especially ex-mormons who had a perfect undertanding and yet chose perdition. Think of Lucifer in the garden of Eden (the very first ex-Mormon). Don’t you think Eve should have been a more particular about the company she chose? There is a lesson to be learned here. Sure, she was offered repentance for her sin. But wouldn’t it be better to never commit the sin in the first place?

Hardcore conservative fringe member who takes doctrine and metaphor too far (but probably believes his is The Truth).

…Jeff says: “The gift of the Holy Ghost is real.”

You have yet to have your first personal experience with the Holy Ghost. I used to think like you do, until I was baptized in Spirit and then I knew what a fool I had been.

Another ex-Mormon Christian as mentioned above.

Maybe the title would be more accurate if it read: Cutting a Little Slack for Those Who Believe in the Biblical Jesus and His Teachings. That would be greatly appreciated.

Do I even need to comment? It’s like ex-Mormon atheists don’t even exist.

Jeff, your post was in very good taste, well written, and your intent Christlike.

The comments that follow it however are downright depressing. It’s heartbreaking to see so many who have lost their way coming out of the woodwork to proclaim how wonderful it is that they have given up the Gospel of Christ.

Maybe it would be in good taste to remove comments and commenting ability from this post. It detracts greatly from the spirit of it.

DOT DOT DOT. DOT DOT DOT. YOU CAN’T GET RID OF MY FUN!

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4 Comments
  1. Andrew, it is rather predictable.

    You might be interested in this post that I wrote a while ago:

    http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2008/09/opposition-to-church-charitable-view.html

  2. haha, within 1 post, you can catch one.

  3. Unknown permalink

    Anti-mormons were DEVIL….

  4. Yes anonymous,

    They WERE.

    But NOW however, they are not. Nice to see people making progress.

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