Originally posted by Annee
I was Mormon in Los Angeles. When we'd get a member who moved from Utah - - we'd say "settle down dude". They were so intense.
So not all Mormons are like those in Utah. Just like not all Christians are the same.
Annee, I am always impressed by your defense of the LDS church as a non-believer. I really respect you for having the intestinal fortitude to respect
a religion that you yourself do not believe; it's a level of intelligent and rational thought that escapes far too many people these days!
(And as for your comment above, I moved to Idaho from NorCal and I saw the mirror image of what you did, this culture is whack!)
I've been lurking in this thread for awhile, not quite ready to jump in till some of the dust settled from the rants and ragings. But I suppose
now's as good a time as any.
I'm LDS. Raised LDS from a very young age, I have been active in church, I have been inactive, I have been faithful and diligent, and I have rolled
around in all the sin I could stomach. I'm not a cookie-cutter LDS defender...I have wrestled in my own mind and heart with many of the issues and
topics that are being thrown around these days. I am a Geologist, and am able to find balance between science and religion with very little
If someone would like to 'point the gun' so to speak at me, I would be glad to try and answer questions to the best of my ability. If I don't know
an answer I will say so. What I am not known for is giving a stock out-of-the box reply to typical questions. If you're an atheist who wants the
answer to life, the universe and everything...all I got for you is 42. Skip down 2 paragraphs to see why.
In response to the OP of this thread: The temple ceremonies are held sacred by members of the LDS church. Not secret, sacred. The difference is that
a faithful LDS person wants to share everything they know, but (as judged by many responses to all this) to drop temple knowledge on someone who knows
nothing else is akin to teaching Particle Physics in a 6th grade math class. This is why we are instructed to not share the details of temple
services. And no, it's not an indoctrination/brainwashing thing.
One of the fundamental tenets of any religion is having a personal testimony ("realization," "witness," etc.) of various principles of faith.
This personal testimony is the very cornerstone of believer/nonbeliever debate. A believer holds that this life is a spiritual test of faith, and the
witness one receives is something that cannot, nor will ever be, quantifiable, provable or testable. The intimate and unique nature of each person's
witness affirms the broader belief of this individual spiritual test. If one has never had a personal witness affect them spiritually they cannot
understand what it means in the heart of those who have. Arguments ad nauseum have thus ensued since humans began scratching stories into rock.
But back to my OP point. In any religion, a person must be taught the fundamental tenets and have this personal witness of their truthfulness before
deeper understanding can take root. I have personally experienced (and heard countless little old ladies talk of) reading a scripture and getting one
message out of it. When that scripture is revisited maybe years later after kids, or tragedy, or simply life experience, the meaning and message of
the particular verse is totally different and often deeper.
Same for the temple. Without the testimony of basic tenets, the temple ceremony seems disjointed and out of sync with the style of teaching found in
weekly meetings. But even though the temple ceremony is completely structured word for word, members often talk of the messages they take from it
changing based upon their personal circumstance.
As Annee often says, most of what you find on the internet about the LDS church is wrong. Even if something is factually true, taking a small part
out of context and without the foundations of the faith is like hearing the last line of a really long joke.
"...and then the Mormon missionary said, "But the cow sure liked it!"
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ See? If that were a punchline to a joke, it might be really, really
funny. But you'd never know because there's no context.