Honesty is an Admirable Quality–Not!

 

IMG_0182Delightful Mother’s Day.  Church.  A leisurely drive to Surfside beach–a popular place on a holiday Sunday.  Then to historic Galveston for an hour long stroll, followed by lunch.  The weather was amazing.  Temperature perfect.  The steady breeze refreshing.

When we arrived home, my daughter was watching “Anne of Green Gables.”  My wife settled in for a nap.  I plopped down with a bowl of ice cream next to my daughter.  Within 30 minutes, I’m blubbering like a baby.  The drama was heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time.

Then this.  Marilla asks young Anne for forgiveness.  She had mistakenly accused the vulnerable orphan of theft.  “Please forgive me.  Now I know you are honest.  And honesty is an admirable quality.”  I was already having great difficulty controlling my emotions.  The statement “honesty is an admirable quality” brought a new wave of sobs.

You see, over the past couple of years I have found out that honesty is NOT always admirable.  Not when it comes to the Mormon religion.  My religion.  Silence and just going along are viewed as admirable.  Honest examination and discussion of truth is not admirable.  In fact, it is forbidden and not condoned in the church.  Honest dialogue is dangerous to family relationships and friendships.  Don’t ask, don’t tell are the best bywords.  Honesty is not admirable.

Some people have told me that you can discuss any of our church’s history and doctrine without any problems.  Those “some people” obviously don’t live in my ward or stake.  They are not members of my family, nor in my circle of friends.  In fact, I hear from people all over the world who have stumbled upon the same discovery as me.  Honesty is not admirable if you question, doubt or reach new conclusions.  Being honest and open is perilous.  Families have been and continue to be ripped apart.

Dear Marilla Cuthbert, your wisdom is so needed in my church.

10 thoughts on “Honesty is an Admirable Quality–Not!

    1. Hi Rob,

      I wish you could, too.

      My journey may be coming to an end. Stake Conference is coming up next Sunday. Tonight, I decided to not attend. I had planned to vote opposed. A general authority will be visiting again, like last year. But, I have become so disenchanted and frankly disgusted with what the church has become that it’s hard to muster the energy. Up until tonight, my fight had been to help the church. It has been slowly sinking in that the church could care less about me, unless I fall in line and become a blind disciple of the apostles. Well, that’s not ever going to happen. I’ll gladly be a disciple of Christ. But, not of men.

      It has been a hard realization that the current church structure requires it’s members to be accountable to their bishops. The bishops have no accountability to their congregations. Nor do stake presidents. Nor the general authorities. This is totally backwards from the Law of Common Consent.

      All my friends who see the problems have left or plan to leave. Almost no active members are willing to express their true opposition to the objectionable parts of the church. It’s too dangerous to relationships with family, friends or business.

      It has also become evident that the church doesn’t really care about people leaving. Someday they may. But, not today. If they don’t care, why should I?

      So, my dear friend Rob, you are the first that I’m telling about the end of my long journey. At least, in this moment, I hope it to be the end. Putting it in print may help me stick to it.

      I feel like you have walked by my side over the past 1 1/2 years. We’ve never met, but you have been there. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought I’d seen you referencing me (I had to run when it first popped up) but I am glad I have found it now that I am back home.

        I do believe many are inhibited (and feeling unsettled and lonely ). I think there are a lot of people who have followed at the expense of their own nature. Some people are really inner directed and not able to conform with group doctrine of any kind.

        I have seen a lot of frustrated people in year and a half. I spent half a dozen years before that in Edmonton ExMo group (and that only happened because I was newly divorced, and learned about Jean Bodie by chance- asked her to meet me at BP… my first ‘new friends’ as Rob without wife).

        I would have never expanded into Mormon Stories IF it were not for the fascination that piqued me when John D was ‘feeling the heat’. I would have probably not stuck around too long except for fact that I soon noticed Todd and Sharon finding their way over there.

        I actually have been too harsh in my criticisms of religion and Mormonism at time. Heck, I totally believe there is ‘some unfathomable God power’, but feel annoyed that people think they somehow know what mankind can’t know.I think there is an inner voice- and it might involve following Christ.. BUT it certainly does not involve blindly following every powerful Mormon figure… and on I go (smile).

        But there you were- quite a unique position you aimed for between two worlds. So many people who leave church feel very ‘bitter’ largely because nobody in the LDS religion saw them as good people making a decision from their own inner voice (as valid to Christ, or any higher power) and/or from their true and thorough investigation. So I read a lot of good things written by very disenchanted people.

        I guess your journey has been uniquely interesting to me. Even made me better understand that Mormonism is very branded in the hearts of even it’s disenchanted adherents. Following your story reminds me not to be too intolerant towards people who know no other way… or people who would not want any other way. I still feel Mormonism strained my family in ways none of them fully understand (well except for that one feisty one…lol…) but I will try to see it less harshly in future..

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  1. Wonderfully written. And I kind of hope I’m one of your friends (new at least) that are finally seeing the light and leaving. Maybe? I just say that because you have already taught me so much in how to act and behave when deep inside you’re pissed the hell off.

    Side note, this reminded me I need to find DVD copies of the entire AGG series and the continuing stories. I miss them and can’t find them streaming or ever on a channel. I used to watch them once a year when PBS scheduled to show them during pledge season, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can be honest as long as you don’t bring up anything that makes the church leaders look bad. As soon as you do that, you will be in trouble.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sam, I totally understand where you are coming from and I’ve been on a similar journey as you, yet not as visible as you have been. I admire your efforts.

    The church preaches honesty, but has a miserable time practicing what it preaches. I think the church leadership finds themselves in a quandary where if they admit to their deceptive past, they open the door to open dialogue within the walls of local church meeting houses and to mass exodus of members. Once open discussion takes place within the walls, the blinders so many wear are taken off and the church is exposed for what it is (or isn’t). The blinders are put on in Primary and we’re instructed to never take them off. The leaders in SLC have painted themselves into a corner with no way out but to keep pushing the same narrative that has been pushed for over a century.

    I believe in a God, but I don’t believe he concerns himself with what underwear I have on, or what church I sit in on Sunday. I don’t believe that the loving Christian non-member family across the street from me will be denied access to their children in the next life because they weren’t married/sealed in a temple. I don’t believe in the need to confess sins to church leaders to obtain forgiveness. If someone feels the need to do so, then let them confess on their own terms and not because it says so in a handbook of questions from the church. My list goes on, but I can’t include them all here. I think Shakespeare said it best when he said, “to thine own self be true”. This is how I am choosing to live my life. I want to be kind and compassionate to everyone and find ways to provide service to others (loading a moving truck doesn’t count in most instances). I want to be non-judgmental. When I’ve been asked in interviews if I’m honest in my dealings with my fellow man, I can truthfully say that I am. While trying to be non-judgmental, I wonder how leaders of the church can honestly answer this same question?

    Liked by 1 person

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