My Church Murdered My Church
My church taught me I could become like God and have my own planet and universe. I would talk with my fellow Mormon boys about how my planet wouldn’t have ugly deserts or tornados but it would have the best fishing you could imagine and people could fly . . .
Now my church teaches I don’t get a planet and leave it at that.
My church taught me the Native Americans were descendants of Israelite immigrants. The mighty civilizations throughout the continent had hidden histories that would be shown founded on pre-Christ, Christian values like the Book of Mormon talks about. The Book of Mormon was written to convince the Gentile and also the descendants of the children of Lehi (Lamanites) of their true history and that Jesus is the Christ.
Now my church teaches the Lamanites are unknowable and we don’t know whose history we’re teaching or who the book is meant to come forth for.
My church taught me that God prepared a pair of seer stones for the eventual translation of the Book of Mormon. It taught me that possession of these stones, fitted together kind of like glasses, identified a Seer – which is greater than a prophet. They were the Urim & Thummim.
And my church taught me that these have been passed down to special people since Abraham or even the Tower of Babel. And my church taught me Joseph Smith used these to translate the Book of Mormon.
Now my church teaches they weren’t used because Joseph had a rock already.
My church taught me that people of color carry the mark of the Curse of Cain and that while we don’t know why, God’s doctrine was to exclude them from full membership in the church, holding the priesthood, and receiving temple ordinances. But don’t worry about it much, for other unknown reasons, God lifted the ban in 1978.
Now my church teaches this ban was policy, not doctrine, and the faults of men.
My church taught me that Joseph practiced polygamy but it was on a small scale and as up-and-up as he could manage and that he was a faithful and doting husband to Emma throughout and that their marriage was practically divine. My church taught me that Joseph was not breaking the law to take more wives but that it was unpopular in the secular world so they didn’t talk about it much for safety reasons.
Now my church teaches that “small scale” means 33+ wives; “up-and-up as he could manage” includes marrying teens and sisters and his maids and claiming an angel would destroy him if he didn’t; “faithful and doting” meant lying about polygamy to Emma and secret marriages behind her back and staged weddings in front of her and marrying her friends without her knowledge and marrying other men’s wives; and that these extra marriages were illegal by state laws and rather than just not talking about it Joseph and his cohorts would craft “carefully worded denials” and hide behind their own definitions of words.
My church taught me that the Book of Abraham was translated directly from the papyrus purchased from Mr. Chandler and that it had been written by Abraham himself directly on that papyrus.
Now my church teaches the papyrus has nothing to do with Abraham and was 1500 years or more too late for Abraham; but it was a catalyst that launched Joseph into channeling the Book of Abraham.
My church taught me that polygamy was because so many men were murdered by anti-Mormons and⁄or died on the trek to Utah that there was an abundance of women as a result. As a way to care for the widows, polygamy was instituted and spread.
Now my church teaches that there was an over-abundance of men at all times.
My church taught me that as a boy, Joseph never did anything particularly bad. He wasn’t perfect but the kinds of misbehaving you’d see on his list would be common for boys in general, a bit of dishonesty to avoid getting in trouble, skipping chores, that kind of thing. He was a good upstanding, respected lad until he started talking about his mission from God.
Now my church teaches that he used seer stones to hunt for magic treasures and would charge money to scry for lost objects.
My church taught me in 1820 Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ and God the Father one spring morning while praying in the woods to know what church was true because he had been studying and thought one must be, but could figure out which one.
Now my church tells me Joseph couldn’t keep his story straight and that the vision happened between 1820 and 1823, there was between 1 and multitudes of heavenly visitors, the visitors may have been angels rather than Jesus and⁄or God, they forgave him of his sins or didn’t, and Joseph had already concluded no true church existed or hadn’t concluded this. But the newest version of this story is definitely the most reliable version.
My church taught me and my sisters to cover our bathing suit areas to be modest.
Now my church teaches me to cover my bathing suit areas and my sisters to cover those areas plus their shoulders and thighs to be modest.
My church taught me that the greatest honor for a woman was a temple marriage and staying at home raising children in the gospel.