Oh My Heck! Episode 9 – Mormonsplaining

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Welcome back to Oh My Heck! The podcast where I poke fun at myself for some of the wackadoo religious things I believed and offer up some – I believe – fair criticism of my former faith, the Mormon Church. If you’re new, and welcome! You’re listening to episode 9 and might want to back up and listen to previous episodes before continuing, but you do you. If you’re new, I’ll stress that this is fun-poking and criticism-directing done at the church. The organization. I’m not mocking the members, because again, I used to be a devout one of those. My family—almost all 100 and change plus first cousins, etc.–are all still Mormon and I love them dearly. Well, not all of them. I mean, law of averages, you’re going to have some knuckleheads in a group that large.

Mocking self. Critical eye at the church. I’m not calling your lovely aunt MaryJean a sadist or evil person or something if she so happens to be Mormon. Although I am going to ask you to have her send me a pan of funeral potatoes, because that’s a much better State Dish than Jello.

No, I’m sorry, Jello is made out of horse hooves, and if it isn’t it just feels like it is? And also, it isn’t a side dish? Unless, of course, you’re eating in the Jello Belt, aka, the part of the US that extends from BYU-Idaho down to QueensCreek, Arizona.

Where was I? Oh yes, thanks for tuning back in! Today’s podcast is about a really tricky subject. And I say that, because for some folks, it turns into gaslighting. 

If you’re not aware of the term “gaslighting” it’s this:

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It’s a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed.

And hey, because it’s good to know and we’ve got the time (sings: you’ve got the beeeeer! Sorry, that was a really effective commercial from back in the day). Here are some techniques used by those who gaslight:

  1. They tell straight up, blatant lies. Like, to your face. You can’t believe they said what they said. You’re shocked. They keep on living because they know you won’t challenge it because you’re off-kilter from their lying lies.
  2. They deny they said… whatever. You can have proof! Say, a text message or letter. You can see the truth. But they just deny it exists. You start to wonder if you’ve taken crazy pills.
  3. They wear you down over time. This is the really bad part of it. That blatant lie, the denial of fact, it’s slow and steady. It’s like putting a frog in cold water then turning the heat up. IT’s so gradual the frog doesn’t realize what’s going on and can’t save himself.
  4. Their actions don’t match their words. For example, the LDS church says they love their gay members, but then they insist their gay members live an entire life without love or feeling complete.
  5. They try to align people against you. They get people who will stand behind them no matter what malarky they’ve said, what garbage they’ve done, then use those people as a sort of army to get you back in line. “Everyone here thinks I’m right. Everyone here knows you’re wrong.” And the thing about this is, often times the people aligning with the gaslighter never even said that explicitly. BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THE TRUTH IS, because the gaslighter has been lying to everyone.

Okay, that’s the end of our foray into what this horribly manipulative and disgusting tactic is, and stick to the end to see if it lines up with today’s topic: MORMONSPLAINING.

When I was a devout apologist for the Church, one thing that always gave me comfort was the scripture in the Mormon canon called the Doctrine and Covenants that reads, “The Glory of God Is Intelligence.”  I love that. I still do! My favorite subject in school was science, particularly Life sciences like Biology and Microbiology, which was my course of study in college. Later, I went back to school and became a Master Gardener, and love to immerse myself in horticulture and botany and environmental science. Since I was little, I “yearned for knowledge” and wanted to know everything I could.  I loved that the Church appeared to support this idea.

Mormons are encouraged to go to college and study, the ultimate goal being to get a degree from BYU, also known as “Breed ‘Um Young.”  What I always found interesting, and when I was a believer, really loved to point to was how from the beginnings of the Church the leaders grappled with the world of science and attempted to fit the round world of religion into the square hole of fact, as many religions do. But the Mormon church is a little different. Instead of calling Copernicus a heretic for daring to challenge what the Catholic church taught was the order of the universe, the Mormon church teaches that God is the author of science, so all scientific laws obey him. And if the law of science isn’t understood, that’s on us. God is waiting for us to learn where the anti-matter goes. There’s no challenge to the laws of gravity or thermodynamics. If it doesn’t make sense, then we mere humans just aren’t in the know yet.

I could live with that.

In 1993 while I was still in college in southern Utah, a massive controversy was sweeping the Jello Belt. Professors from the Lord’s University, aka BYU, had “discovered” information that was contrary to the Church’s teachings. The September Six. They were fired or forced to resign from BYU, then were all excommunicated. After this, the Church’s “research” division started chugging away again on the “prove our way is true” train.

That outfit, incidentally, was known as FARMS, which stands for Foundation of Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. That site has since been morphed into another group called FAIR, the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, which I’ve mentioned in previous podcasts. That world “apologetic information” should be a HUUUUUGE red flag. Both outfits exist to prove Mormonism is true through academic documentation.  This is what we talked about before. If I say I found a once-believed extinct bird, a Dodo, and tell my friend, who then writes an article for “ARE DODOS EXTINCT.COM” and then a third friend writes an article for “DODOS NO LONGER EXTINCT.ORG/the truth is out there”

[MUSIC clip from X-Files intro]

Citing friend one and two, and now claim to the Ornithological society at large via TedTalk that they have absolute proof about the DODOs comeback and just cite themselves… That is not how research works. That’s not how smarts work? Yet somehow, SOME. HOW. This is precisely how the Church’s “research” organization works.

(whisper) Step one. Blatant lies.

Because… Funny thing about that academic documentation FAIR.org provides….  It all comes from Mormons: Mormon book publishers, Mormon schools, and Mormon academics. This whole methodology is a lot like how those weirdo climate denying scientists still manage to not be run out on a rail. By the way, the world is ROUND and is getting hotter. Because…. SCIENCE!

When those folks of the September Six lost their jobs and membership in the church, I was working for my college, and more specifically for the professors. It was awesome. I could do my homework and get paid. Pretty cush gig. Plus, I learned not all of them were LDS, but they were all LDS-adjacent, being in Utah and all. I could ask them all sorts of questions. At the time, I believed that this was where my troubled soul would finally get all the answers I needed to keep the faith.

One of my professors and I had lunch; he wasn’t a member any longer, although he had been raised in the church, had served a mission, married his first wife in the temple, had callings in the priesthood, the whole nine yards to get the planet of quesadillas. (Plan of Salvation, episode 3. And if you’d rather a planet of catdogs or beluga whale, that’s up to you. I want a planet of quesadillas. You’re not the boss of me and if I get to be a goddess with my own planet because I did all the Mormon steps, Imma do what Imma do.)

Back to my lunch with the once-pure Mormon, now intellectual parasite. (Hahaha, he was a great guy.) I’ll call him Dr. Ned. Dr. Ned asked me in a very delicate way if I actually believed in it all, the vision of golden plates in the ground thousands of miles from where they’d allegedly been written, the revelations, the polygamy, the doctrine, the fact that there is absolutely no evidence what so ever that a Jewish prophet froooom Northwest Jerusalem born and raised, tribe of Manasseh is where he spent most of his days. Chilling out maxing, relaxing all cool, trading olive oil and leathers with fellow Jews, when a couple of tribes who were up to no good, started making trouble in the neighborhood. My family took flight and my Lord God cared: “Build a boat. Take this ball. It’ll direct you to where.”

Yes, Mormons believe a jewish merchant family was told by God to randomly march to the ocean, build a boat, sail to the promised land, they had a magic eight ball that said, “Try again later” when they were wicked and “my sources point you to 17 knots due west” when they were good. And this is where Native Americans came from.

No, really.

So my professor Dr. Ned is asking me if I really believed this stuff. I took the opportunity to bear my testimony of it’s truthfulness, because when it feels good, it’s true. Right? And right there over burgers and fries at the town’s Frostop, I explained how it was all true and that we just needed to be patient. Heavenly Father would reveal why there was no accounting for all of these once Hebrew-originating folks gallivanting across the Americas, or why DNA evidence shows unequivocally that there is absolutely no correlation between Israelites and the American Indian. Nor are there any signs whatsoever of these epic cities they built where the Book of Mormon claims they are. Or any sign of them ever existing. Not a spear, a wall, a bone, a tooth, nada. But that’s just because we don’t understand yet, you guys, oh my gosh.

He looked at me for a minute, patting my hands the whole time I spoke, then he said, “Well, I guess if you believe a virgin gave birth to a demi-god, then it’s all downhill from there.”

For me, that was all I needed to hear because I did believe in the virgin birth. But there’s an important message in what he said–faith doesn’t require logic, and in most cases, defies logic. Western religions, both Catholic and Protestant, have come to an agreement that certain aspects of the Christian Bible, the stories within, may or may not be historical, depending on the current flavor of the day.

The entire Earth covered in water at the same time? Sure thing. Man living inside a giant fish, a catfish, or perhaps a grouper, for three days and emerging with all his skin intact? You betcha. Every single living organism from mosquito to elephant living peacefully on a wooden cruise ship for almost a year, aka, the original Love Boat, not to mention someone thinking “We should remember to grab some cockroaches—check to make sure we get one of each?” Pffft. Completely reasonable. Horse and steel in Pre-Columbian America, the land being governed by Jewish descendants, and one story about three dudes who saw Jesus when he was astral-plaining it to the Americas while his body lay in the tomb of Golgotha, and who asked Jesus to be eternal missionaries in the form of Highlander immortal situation and Jesus was all, HECK YES YOU CAN BE THREE HIGHLANDERS FOREVER ROAMING THE EARTH LIKE CAIN and that is in the Book of Mormon and people believe they run into the Three Nephites all the time?

Non-vampire vampires? Are you saying –and yes I am saying this because since I wrote the LDS Sparkledammerung in 2008 I have been THE LEADING MORMON VAMPIRE AUTHORITY—you can believe all that stuff like these immortal dudes who chose to be immortal to serve what is essentially a mission?

Huh.

So while Christian religions are based on faith in a man who took upon himself the sins of the world, also known as Jesus, and really, that’s the relevant part of the story for Christianity; the rest is mostly guidelines for how to give back, in a manner of speaking, to make up for that “gift,” that level of faith is ultimately about belief in the goodness inherent. You can waffle on some of the minutiae. It’s about believing that in the end, the white hats win. I can go with that to some extent.

The Mormon faith, however, requires that you accept the whole story as truth, complete truth. It is perfect. There is not a blemish, not one single flaw in the Doctrine, from Babylonians in wooden submarines with glow–in–the dark rocks (oh, we’ll talk about that next week) to Joseph Smith being commanded to marry and mate with his kids’ nanny or God would literally kill him. You have to give up on little things like well-known facts, logic and science, all while purporting that the Church encourages intellectual pursuits.

The glory of God of Intelligence.

Around the time that those professors were being excommunicated, the Church issued this statement through Boyd KKK. Packer—sorry, he was suuuuuuuuper racist—Boyd K Packer at the General Conference of 2003:

Brace yourself.

“The greatest dangers to the Church are gays, feminists, and intellectuals.” I’m finally a triple threat!

We all know that bra-burning lesbians hell-bent on equal treatment in the workplace are a danger to us all, but intellectuals? Those four-eyed weenies?

Sunday School lessons around the globe began featuring the word “elite” with references to that great white building from Lehi’s dream. Lehi, Northwest Jersalem born and raised, is the first prophet of the Book of Mormon. He had a dream where people were confused on a path to eternity (a tree) and didn’t hold to an iron rod that would help get them there. Instead they wandered off and were lost or worse, joined a group of people in a tall white perfect building who stood at its balconies mocking those trying to stay on the path. ANVIL SOUND.

Smart people are mocking us and they are bad wicked and wrong, is the lesson. So the church has been teaching that from the beginning. But still, the glory of god is intelligence.

And you could also discern that if the smart people (the elite intellectuals, triple-whammied if they were elite GAY intellectuals) if they were in the building and the, well, the not-smart/intellectual/thinking folks were at the tree, then what about the glory of God being intelligence?  Should it be changed to read “the glory of God is ignorant superiority?”

The real problem with intellectuals is that they ask questions, they doubt, they demand empirical evidence to support one’s theories, and, maybe most importantly, a person of intelligence can appreciate that they’ve perhaps been wrong and accept the right answer. Possibly toss in a mea culpa.I don’t know what those feminists lesbians’ problems are, you know.  Probably just haven’t met the right man…

Proof. I’ve always needed it. If someone contradicts me on something I feel confident about, I won’t accept defeat until I’ve been shown wrong. I will admit that I was wrong, however. Well, if proven wrong.  I tried for years to fit into my head all of the Church’s “proof” and quick-retort answers, hoping the weight of all of their “evidence” would dampen the incessant questioning going on in my think-boxer.

Someone insisting that the sun is purple continuously isn’t going to make it so, even if they have their friends and colleagues tell me the same. (whisper) Step Five: they align people against you. Through extensive research testing that theory, I’ve referred to myself as Claudia Schiffer for years, yet my mail is still addressed in my name.

There are so many cockamamie theories the Mormon water-carriers have come up with about why the Book of Mormon mentions horses for example when there were no horses on the continent,. LIKE, TAPIRS. THE NATIVE AMERICANS RODE TAPIRS. AND SOMEHOW… Lord, this is just too ridiculous to carry that further. TAPIRS. The mighty Apache warrior Geronimo astride his round, lumbering tapir. AHH!! Or! Or how the golden plates that started it all, thin enough to be written on and stacked horizontally, wouldn’t lose those engravings over 800 years time, and how all of those pages would weigh a TON and were—according to the Book of Mormo—carried from the Yucatan peninsula by a gravely wounded man all the way to Palmyra New York… Or! Or how maybe the pyramids in Mexico are evidence that there were indeed Jewish Naval Indians.  (The Jews brought the Egyptian’s secret to building the pyramids with them, you see. Ancient Egypt Secret, huh?)

There’s a phenomenon on the internet called fan-fiction, something I love and have loved for decades, honestly. If you’re unfamiliar…. People love certain shows or stories or movies and write their own stories about their favorite characters, or re-write the story to satisfy their own desires. I’ve said for years that the Book of Mormon is nothing more than an alternate universe piece of fan-fiction of The Bible.

TAPIRS. They rode tapirs.

“When we all think alike, no one thinks very much.” Thank you for that, Walter Lippman.  So many educated men and women in the church have left because of digging around in the precarious world of “fact.”

I returned to the scientific method and to Occam’s Razor: the simplest answer is usually the correct one.

I could detail all of the concepts that I just couldn’t buy in the end., I haven’t even scratched the surface. Things like the theory that maybe the earth is made up of the crusts from other planets, which is why there are dinosaur bones here. Because, you see, maybe the earth is only 6,000 years old; God made our planet like you would make a casserole from leftovers, and we people are the crunchy potato chips on top. Or how people’s goodness and righteous actions could change their skin color to white, and that racist hunk of nonsense is to-this-day-Mormon doctrine. You know, I could detail all of those things, but I won’t.

My main studies in college were the Life Sciences as I mentioned, specifically Microbiology and Genetics. Genetics were really picking up steam at the time, as the Human Genome Project was just ramping up and starting to spit out all kinds of fascinating information about how our chromosomes work and so forth.

A quick lesson on how DNA works as a refresher course: your mom and your dad each give half a puzzle piece of DNA (called RNA) to make a full puzzle piece (DNA) which made you. You inherited some characteristics from your mom (her shoulders, that wonky toe on your left foot) and some characteristics from your dad (his inability to really sell a joke and that hairy mole on your upper arm, and make a point to ask the doctor about that maybe.) But there’s a lot more to DNA than Grandpa John’s horsey laugh. Note that the DNA that for the most part comes from your mother is called mitochondrial DNA, mtDNA.

Why do we care about mtDNA? Because it is rare for there to be any changes. When two people love each other and they put their puzzle pieces together (within the confines of a marriage bed, don’t write me letters) or maybe they just had too much tequila at the club, I don’t want to judge, their puzzle pieces recombine to make a baby’s DNA. You don’t get all of your mother’s characteristics, or your father’s. You get some of each, and it varies, otherwise, you and your siblings would be identical, and where’s the fun in that? Your mother and father wouldn’t be able to keep you in line by comparing you to your big brother with the straight A’s, now would they, Rachel?

But mtDNA only recombines with itself, so it’s virtually the same from mother to child. Scientists can now track families through the mother’s lineage back hundreds of generations. Interesting to note that the Jewish faith considers your Jewish legitimacy through the mother. It’s Mama whose hand rocks the cradle and keeps record of the past. There are some problems with using mtDNA to track changes far back in time, but it’s limited to species change. Now, let’s assume that humans were still Homo sapiens back in the time of Jesus and the “writing” of the Book of Mormon, shall we? This approach is best for intraspecies comparisons, or rather, just one species.

This method was used recently to trace dogs lineage back to ancient wolves. [PUPPIES!!! BIG PUPPIES] In relation to humans, scientists now believe in a Mitochondrial Eve, or, the most common ancestor to all humanity. By the way, African woman, #feminism #blackexcellence

This isn’t to say that Adam and Eve of Genesis has a scientific proof–this just means that the majority of humans descended from a specific ancient civilization.  Let’s say one woman back then had many female children, they were the hot chicks of the village, and they mated many times (within the sanctity of a marriage pelt) and produced loads of offspring–this is natural selection. Naturally, guys pick the chicks that look like they can produce many, say, manly healthy thrivable babies.

Some of their family branches produced female-less lines, so they died out, or the women didn’t have children at all. So we have this one mtDNA line that traces back to this woman. “Mitochondrial Eve” is a woman believed to have lived 150,000 years ago in either Kenya, Tanzania, or Ethiopia. Pretty cool, huh? That’s pretty damned specific–the science behind all of this is amazing and astoundingly accurate. Are we all on the same page? Good.

Sexually derived DNA (oh, behave) has a tendency to mutate (the mixing of mama puzzle piece to daddy puzzle piece) which makes it less reliable than mitochondrial DNA ancestral mapping. This is important. Mitochondrial DNA is the most accurate way to determine matriarchal ancestry, a relatively straight shot back through time because of the lack of mutation. There needs to be a greater pool of samples from cultures around the globe for straight DNA allele (markers that indicate all sorts of characteristics, wonky toe, hair color, horsey-laugh everyone in your family can’t help) we need more of that data for mapping to be more accurate.

Groups that we know are identifiable (relatively speaking) with mtDNA mapping, called haplogroups, include: South Amerindian, native peoples of South America; North Amerindian, native peoples of North America; Mestizo (“mixed”), Native Americans blended with Europeans and Africans; Arabian: The Arabian Peninsula; and as of this podcast, 19 other groups specific to the rest of the globe. This science should cover people from Jerusalem fleeing to the American continent in 600 BC, yes? Yes.

So, for our experiment, you take the mtDNA of the native peoples from Central America, Mexico, and the Native American Indians of the Southwest, and so forth. Then, you take samples of native Jews in Iran, Jerusalem and the Middle East, and do a comparison. The mtDNA should be the same or pretty damn close to a ringer, if the people of the Book of Mormon were who Joseph Smith said they were.

SPOILER ALERT: they aren’t.

Native Americans, who Mormons consider to be one of the Lost Tribes of Israel (through Mannaseh, is their steady claim) Native Americans in the US have five distinct haplogroups that show their ancestry. Not one of the tests done have shown a link to Middle Eastern/Arabian peoples. Not one. The family name “Cohen” actually has a distinct marker, Haplogroup J. This means that a group of Jewish people with claims of being descendants of Aaron, the brother of the Torah’s Moses, actually have an identifiable marker on their DNA, helping prove their claim of belonging to an ancient, and closely related clan. That is so freaking cool.

Note that many Arab groups share a similar, if not identical marker, and then we get into the Abraham argument, and I’m not going there.

Suffice it to say that we can figure out regions from where people have descended.

It would seem that the Jewish Indians like Moishe Longfeather and Great Sky Bergman never lived on earth hob-nobbing with the resurrected Christ, but they can live on in our dreams.  They live in mine…

I will give Joseph Smith a little slack for personalizing the ideas that were flitting about the country side in the late 1700s and early 1800s. A lot of people speculated that Native Americans were possibly descended from Jews, but everyone else eventually gave that up as a bunch of hogwash.  Because, you know, science.

This is a quote from Joseph Smith: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

It is the most correct book on earth. Heck of a statement that obviously isn’t supported by any Earth logic.  You’d think, with all of these pesky “facts” and “understandings,” this “rock hard evidence staring people in the face” would get Mormons thinking, “Hey. Maybe we were wrong. Maybe we should stop pushing this idea, maybe we should stop funding BYU’s FAIR.org division to spend all manner of money on research to prove that the stories of the Book of Mormon are rooted in truth. And maybe that money would be better spent on our welfare and service programs. Heck, we have enough to solve homelessness in the whole of the US, Canada and Mexico with the money we spend on this stuff.”

Well, you’d be wrong if you thought they’d adopt a more intelligent approach.

The church dismisses all of this “science” and “factual information that has stood the test of time” by saying the studies are biased. Members of the church testify that all of this “negative” speech and hate mongering towards their beliefs only bolsters their faith. I’ve heard members say that science and history are no substitute for, and I’m not making this up because I SAID THIS CRAP TOO, they are no substitute for the positive feelings they experience from their beliefs.

Dr. Simon Southerton was a molecular biologist that was kicked out of the Church after coming forward with his findings that nope, the people of the Book of Mormon are not, in fact, Jews that built boats and rowed ashore, hallelujah. Interesting side topic: The official word on why he was excommunicated was him getting sexual with a woman who was not his wife. Amazing timing, that. Almost coincidental…

The mantra began again in the church to focus on the scriptures, to focus on the words of the prophets, to only listen to or read what the leaders of the Church have approved. For someone who loved academia, research, stumbling and finding answers, this was unacceptable and incredibly confusing. I had to accept what I’d been fighting for years  The Church saw the honest and noble pursuit of truth as a four-letter word.

But it’s more insidious. Anything that challenges ANYTHING the church has taught as truth is wicked. It’s wrong. And this has led to a culture for decades of Mormons braced for “lies” ready to challenge it. Ahh, here we go.

I was told that people would try to convince me that Joseph Smith, for example, had done illegal things before he found the Golden Plates, and I was to know that was Satan trying to keep me from the gospel. I was taught that people would try to make me read materials that called Joseph Smith a con-man, and that was Satan trying to keep me from the gospel. On and on, anything that would make me question my faith was wicked. So I had to be hyper aware of these “lies” and be ready to counter it with the truth, helpfully laid out to me in various church-printed material, books, songs, and lessons. Interesting, mormon missionaries are told absolutely NOT to get into scripture debates with non-members. Hmm, wonder why.

Because you’re taught as a Mormon that you know the truth, you gain an air of superiority. You know the truth. It’s your RESPONSIBILITY to share that truth, because other people don’t know anything. YOU DO. You are the keeping of information. So by that turn, the average devout Mormon believes themselves to be an expert on all things theological because they go to church every Sunday and read books the church wants them to read.

Do you get how arrogant that is? I ostracized myself in the fourth damn grade because I told my class that Jesus was born on April 6th, not December 25th, because the church believes that to be the truth and that’s what I was taught. And I was told how special we Mormons were for knowing that. So dumb. What a dummy I was. I’m not alone in doing this sort of thing. IT’s the whole, “WELL, ACTUALLY…” attitude. Gross. Don’t be that person. I was that person and I had to eat a lot crow. The beaks stick in my teeth…

When I was working on the final rounds of editing and submitting my next book for review-AND IT CAME TO PASS, out May 18th in a bookstore near you—a Mormon got their hands on it and proceeded to dismiss the whole book because, wait for it, I dropped a hyphen in Latter-day Saint and , fair enough, I transposed Utah Valley with Salt Lake Valley, so that’s an error on my part, totally.

But the whole manuscript needed a re-write because I got the Mormon stuff wrong.

I should note that in this novel, my main character goes through the temple, wears garments, describes life as a Mormon, what it’s like on a mission, some deep doctrinal stuff, but because I had typos….

Throw it out. It’s wrong. It’s evil. See, this is how Satan gets you. First you’re dropping hyphens, then you’re dropping trou and having premarital

[SONG CLIP- Berlin’s I’m a… SEX.]

Satan laces his lies with truth.

“What you got to understand is that when they said horses in the Book of Mormon, they meant tapirs.”

Now, wait a minute. Why do THEY get a pass? There have been over 3000 corrections to the Book of Mormon since it’s first, second, fortieth, etc. printing. Oh, because they don’t mean to deceive. Human error! The prophets have all been men, Laura, humans make mistakes.

But by the way, don’t forget to be perfect and never mess up. Be smart, but not like, outside book smart. When we say the glory of god is intelligence, what we MEAN is be smart enough to choose our side and be satisfied.

Stop looking up at that building where people are having interesting conversations and mocking us for loving carrots suspended in Jello. We’re standing at this tree being sad for them. Now shut up and stop asking questions. God will tell you the answers to all of your questions when you’re dead. Isn’t that nice?

[sigh]

I’m just tired of fake experts, aren’t you? I’m tired of people who don’t really know something dismissing anything that challenges what they believe to be truth. I got tired of it being a bad thing to want to learn a dissenting viewpoint. I got tired of being told fact-checking actual sources would take me down a “dangerous path”. I got freaking tired of the fear-mongering.

And I got really tired of having to ignore the truth staring at me in the petri dish while some old white dude told me in his best, banal sacrament service voice that what I was seeing WASN’T truth, and to continue to see that would mean my eternal damnation and loss of my family.

I got really tired of being gaslighted. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me its raining. Even worse, don’t tell me to stand there and take it and wait for the rainbow when you’re done. TAPIRS. They rode TAPIRS??

Always go with knowledge. I do still believe the glory of god-yaweh-a greater consciousness-WHATEVER is intelligence. I do believe that. I’m happy to serve as your control group, if you’re still experiementing.

[MUSIC]

Thanks again for listening. I’ll wrap up Mormon 101 with some of the really esoteric stuff most people have no clue Mormons believe, and then we’re going to have an AMAZING series of episodes where I’m talking with former Mormons who fell in love on their missions, perfect timing for And It Came To Pass, out May 18th. Like, reblog, comment at my site laura-stone.com and I’ll see you next episode!

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