Lots of people ask nowadays, especially lately. What is the truth about Mormons? Good question. I’ve had to think a lot about that since officially leaving the Mormon Church four years ago, and I’m not one who likes to look at anything from one-sided viewpoints. So, today I’m going to attempt to answer it as honestly and as unbiased as possible.
I know that I have an international following, the majority of whom have few (if any) ties to the Mormon Church, but I think it’s important to talk about it for a moment with all the recent going-ons here in Utah that have been making such major national headlines because what’s happening here is going to majorly affect what happens across the nation when it’s over.
Those headlines all started with a federal judge striking down an amendment here in Utah. An amendment that made it so that same sex marriage could never be legalized in this state so long as the amendment was still in place. The amendment defined marriage as being strictly between a man and a woman, and was put into place a decade ago as a preemptive strike to the legalization of same sex marriage. The amendment was voted in by the people of Utah, and struck down by one single federal judge who declared it unconstitutional.
Now, I use the term “people of Utah” somewhat loosely. Utah is a state that is predominantly Mormon. The majority of its three million citizens, lawmakers, business owners, and government workers are Mormon. Some big cities boast upwards of 90% Mormon population with an almost 100% activity rate. Little has changed in that regard (in most of Utah) since it was settled by the Mormon pioneers in the 19th century.
This means that here in Utah only one vote has ever counted, and only one voice has ever really been heard, and that’s the majority Mormon vote (I don’t think anyone really disputes that). So because of that (and because it’s a situation that exists in many states via other religions), the national spotlight centered on Utah when this federal judge struck down the “Mormon vote” as unconstitutional and ruled that Utah lawmakers were unable to prove any way that current marriages and families would be affected by offering the same marriage rights to same-sex couples. This basically made same sex-marriage legal with the unexpected snap of a finger which sent Utahns into a bit of a pandemonium.
Most Utah officials obliged and began handing out marriage licenses and performing marriages to same sex couples. Some refused. And one in particular, the county clerk of the second biggest county of the state (and one of the highest Mormon-rate counties) literally was slamming his door in the face of same sex couples who came to get licenses. He refused to hand out any license despite the judge’s demand that he would be held in contempt if he didn’t.
The county clerk was a Mormon.
And this brings us to the discussion at hand. What is the truth about Mormons?
When it comes to the fight for same sex marriage, the Mormon Church is staunchly against legalizing it. They are so much against it that they have pumped millions of dollars worth of its members’ donations into fighting the legal battle to prevent it anywhere they can (we all remember Prop 8 in California).
The Mormon Church actively declares that any act of homosexuality is sinful, and it encourages any homosexual person to fully repent and live a heterosexual life as they are commanded by God to choose. The history with Mormons and gays has been consistent and sometimes extreme. In the past, the Mormon Church even used electroshock programs in which gay church members had electrodes hooked to their penises and received painful shocks to the genitals in an attempt to rid them of their attraction to men. The Mormon Church has organized rallies, and sent “citizen-missionaries” door to door to help garner support for anti-gay-marriage legislation. They do not let gay men serve as leaders in the church or in the Boy Scouts. They do not let them go out as missionaries. And they actively teach and preach to their congregations and classrooms about the dangers that normalizing homosexual behavior will bring. Members are taught that homosexuality is unnatural, sinful, and fixable.
Now, some of you active Mormons (who I very affectionately call Mo-Mos) probably think I’m criticizing you with those paragraphs above. Every time I mention certain acts or beliefs of the church, a handful of active Mormons tell me to quit bashing on the church.
But here’s the truth, I’m not bashing members of the church. At all. I never have and I never will.
I’m explaining actual current beliefs and recent actions of the Mormon Church as an organization, not its members. An organization that also actively teaches its members to love each other, serve each other, be good citizens, and strive to become better in every way. They teach so many fantastic and powerful teachings that people of any faith (or outside of it) would agree with. There is a lot of good when it comes to the Mormon church.
If you have a problem with me mentioning those earlier facts to such a large public forum, I encourage you not to be frustrated with me, but rather look at the source from which those facts came and ask yourself if 1) they are true, 2) what you really think about them, and 3) why does it bother you so much to have them discussed?
Because you see, to me… Those facts are not about Mormons at all.
The truth about Mormons themselves is simple.
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