Do You Wear the Right Panties?

PantyLine

The Good News

I have discovered a new church that can get you into heaven.

The Catch

You have to wear the right panties!!!

And…you have to regularly report that you have the right panties on.

And…women report to multiple men about their panty wearing habits.

And….you have to wear them all day and all night.

And…not just any pair of panties.

Panties from Penny’s?  Not allowed.

Victoria’s Secret?  No way.

So….where do you find the only panties that can get you into heaven?   The answer is so beautifully simple.  You just buy them from the only church that can get you into heaven.

Sound Crazy?

Of course, there are other conditions to enter Deity’s dwelling.  But, the panty prerequisite is one of the standouts.

41 thoughts on “Do You Wear the Right Panties?

  1. “…Only so far as you don’t defile them.” We are starting a new service in your area to certify that you possess approved and undefiled panties. Our technicians test for physical and spiritual conditions and in most cases can recertify all your panties same day. As an up grade of the in home inspection service we offer pantie stickers that change color when pantie defilement is nearing a critical condition where the Shield and all Protection power has been expended. We will also provide a free keychain with a moving pointer reminder that points to the source of any and all defilements that have occurred. Do not risk P.P. or as we call it, Partial Protection!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Still smiling!

    And, Larry, you needn’t stop at my home. I do indeed where the right panties; and they are every color of the rainbow! 💜💛💚💙❤️🖤

    Oh, black, you say, isn’t in the rainbow? My bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. . . . . . . aaaa-nnnn-dddd . . . the Church is TROO!

    Even though I snipped off my rich genetic Mormon heritage on-both-sides way back in 1980, I still felt betrayed when The Brethren got the revelation and switched the Saints from traditional onesey garmies to two-piece nearly-normals. After that, the boys would not have to endure so much public locker room embarrassment at the pool or gym when they undressed or redressed to expose their amazing mono-colored one piece Kolob Body Kondom.

    Same story when The Brethren got the revelation to cease and desist with the throat slashing and disemboweling high points of the Endowment ceremony.

    They (The Brethren) should run a Halloween Special Throwback Weekend in the LDS Little Shop of Horrors to entertain the patrons with Utah Chainsaw Massacre follies.

    That will do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gary,

      You neglected to mention a couple of very good revelations that I personally love. Like the one in 1978 to end the priesthood ban on black men. It also ended our ban on black people from entering the temple. Then the one in 2013 that condemns our past racist polices, practices and teachings. These are the types of revelations I can raise my hand in full support.

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  4. Sam, you have crossed the line and finally shown your true colors. To poke fun at something that is sacred to TBM, you have in essence spit on the face of the Church you claim to still be a member of. Why haven’t you left yet? I think it is because you like the title as if it makes your speeches more real if you can add to your rhetoric that you are still a member….a title…worse yet ….pride. I never thought I would see the day when someone I had admired for so long would turn from being so humble to so prideful. It’s the pride cycle in human form. God Bless you my friend. For you and I both, I am glad for forgiveness and the Atonement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janice,

      I agree with your sentiments regarding Sam’s curious combination of maintaining his Church membership at the same time he is indulging in the High Blasphemy of ridiculing one of the most sacred aspects of the LDS belief system.

      I personally respect the right of each human being to believe whatever they want to believe for whatever reasons they want to believe it. Whether or not a particular belief or ritual is God’s truth or pure BS is determined in practice in the eye of the believer or non-believer. No other opinion matters.

      I also respect the right of each human being (including Sam and yours truly) to freely lampoon beliefs or practices we happen to believe are absurd or ridiculous … using whatever flavor of humor or cleverness we are able to muster to get the point across.

      I happen to fully agree with Sam regarding his assessment of LDS temple garments. Most of my own extended family are TBM, plus I work on a daily basis with TBM engineers (one who is a local bishop). Out of respect for their right to believe as they choose, I never say anything disrespectful about the Church to any of them, and never will.

      If Sam’s intent with this post was to deeply offend TBMs, I have no doubt that he has succeeded. If it was to entertain me, he also succeeded, with no offense taken. I see the extremely aberrant behavior of the wearing of garments as proof positive that the Kolob Kool-Aid has taken full effect and inebriated the brain of the wearer into total subservience and Mind Control by The Brethren.

      By the way, I have the perspective of “been there, done that.” Fifty years ago I would have probably felt about as offended by Sam’s post as you are expressing, Janice.

      The decision is left up to you as to whether you want to continue exposing yourself to Free Speech that offends you. I realize it’s probably complicated by your personal history with Sam, who is an amazing human being, in my opinion, and someone I consider a dear friend myself.

      The reality that Sam is navigating himself away from the belief system you once shared is complicated by his zigzag trajectory. That will all sort itself out eventually, but in the meantime, Sam is complicated.

      Aren’t we all?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Sam, I’ve appreciated your past comments and have been open to reading your thoughts on different matters concerning the church. Some of those have helped me to broaden and enrich my faith and for that I thank you and for your sincerity to help make the church a better place, which by the way i hope you continue to fight the good fight for. I must admit that this post hurt to read from someone I admire deeply. As I’m sure your aware the garment is not what saves, it is our faith in Jesus Christ. All the other stuff (garments, sacrament, church attendance, baptism etc.) are just an extension of that faith, and our hope to remember Him always. Continued good fortune to you my friend and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello, Mirza,

        Thank you for your eloquently well-spoken response to Sam’s post. As a former TBM myself, I fully appreciate your feelings on topic. I could have written your post myself 40 years ago.

        I will remind us that the Temple Garment is more than a symbol in Mormon Lore. Stories abound of the physical cloth protecting the wearer … like from burn trauma, etc. No doubt you’ve heard some of the accoounts.

        The history of the official garment design is entertaining. I recall reading long ago that East Coast clothiers were interested in tapping the emergent Utah temple garment market, so they replicated the design and started making bank on the Utah Saints. Brigham Young was not amused, so he got a revelation to change the official garment pattern and put the East Coast intruders out of business.

        I think it’s unfortunate that good-hearted Church members are forced to don blinders to continue feeling OK about their cherished belief system. The chocolate pudding often hits the fan when TBM parents are compelled to confront the reality of their very own beloved son or daughter coming out of the closet. When the core values of The Brethren suddenly attack your own flesh and blood offspring, tunes change. Mothers are prone to defend their babies and let The Brethren go pound the sand that supports the foundations of the Restored Gospel.

        Would Jesus treat innocent children the way the Big 15 do?

        TBMs are required to pretzel their brains (and hearts) into curious tangles and knots in order to connect the Gospel dots. I recently listened to my exmo sister’s lifelong TBM BFF (best friends forever) explain how denying baby blessings and baptism to children of gay parents was actually a kindness to the babies and kids. That tortured logic sounded so egregious as to suggest that some kind of brain damage had to be happening for that thread of logic to sound sane to a rational person.

        I do respect the right of every human being to believe stuff that makes no sense whatsoever for as long as they need to do that for whatever reasons they tell themselves it’s a good idea. I am a good example of persisting with insane behavior for years and years . . . until it was time to close that chapter and move on.

        Thank you again for your well-measured post, Mirza. I perceive that you are most likely a quality human being with core values that Jesus would thumbs-up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Mirza,
        I love your sweet comment. Thank you. You have given me something to think about. One of the reasons I started blogging was to have discussions. I have always enjoyed talking about religious issues. However, I have found that most members are not very interested in talking about church outside of church. And the things I’m exploring today are forbidden topics at church. Fortunately, I have new avenues. Specifically social media and blogging. My understanding grows and is refined as I read the opinions of others, like you. So, thank you for being here and writing what you have.

        All my best, Sam

        Like

    3. Hi Janice,

      Thanks for your comment. And I’m serious about that. I plan to write a longer response. At this point, I simply want to acknowledge your comment and let you know what prompted my post.

      I still wear my garments. I still value my temple covenants. But, wearing the garment is not one of my temple covenants. My entire life, I thought is was a covenant. Not until 2 years ago did I realize this was a false assumption on my part. A falsity that was buoyed up by decades of temple recommend interviews.

      Here is the current interview question: “Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?” A lie is contained in this question. I NEVER made a covenant to wear the garment both night and day. Yet, the question leads every temple recommend holder to believe that they did. To me, that’s a lie.

      I’ve now known this for 2 years. It was brought to the front of my thought in the past couple of weeks. Some one very close to me just had their temple recommend renewed. I fully support this person going to the temple. With my new perspective, I don’t appreciate that there are 6 men in my stake who can ask her about her underwear habits. In a private interview. Especially when wearing garment day and night in NOT a covenant. Even if it was a temple promise, I think it’s inappropriate for any man, but me, to be interested in her undergarments.

      I mentioned as such to her. I also explained that we made no covenant. Her response? “I’m not uncomfortable with the question by the bishop. But, I’ve never thought it should be a requirement that we wear them all the time. I think it should only be a recommendation.” I was kind of surprised by her answer.

      In a nutshell What prompted my post:
      1) I resent that a temple recommend question led me to believe a lie for 63 years of my life.
      2) I don’t think it’s appropriate for a man to be questioning my wife about her underwear.

      More info coming soon.

      All my best,

      Sam

      Like

      1. Hi, Sam,

        Your reply to Janice prompted me to mention the concept and practice sometimes called:

        Cafeteria Mormons

        Of course, it means a Mormon lifestyle where you practice your religion à la carte. Obey what you want to obey and ignore what does not appeal to you from the Gospel Smorgasbord.

        Most unfortunately, The Brethren are Cafeteria Christians. They ignore teachings of Jesus that do not appeal to them, and make up substitute teachings they happen to prefer. Then they impose their choices on the entire LDS Church under penalty of disciplinary council, disfellowship or excommunication.

        WWJD is irrelevant.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cafeteria Mormons? My guess is that every member qualifies for this moniker. For example, the vast majority reject the Law of Common Consent in its application to “policies, scripture, major decisions and anything else that affects the members of the church.”

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  5. Additional names for Mormon Panties: Garmies. G’s. Funny undies. Jesus Jammies. Mormon birth control. Devil deflectors. Mason undies. Kolob Kevlars. Tits to the Square. Wicked wedgies. A filmy coating designed for the body which is worn as a continual reminder of the slipperiness of the doctrines of the Church. Thermal underwear for the righteous. Angel chaps. Pious panties. Magic Underwear. White under burka. Latter-day chastity belt.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Everyone who posts on these blogs is being judgmental. I don’t take the title just for myself. I just expected more from Sam . He started out with good intentions and when that wore thin, he found a different cause…which was okay as well. But, when he ran out of causes, he attacked something that is sacred to TBM, and for what purpose? It was tacky, like some of the other things written here. I have as much right to my opinion as any of the rest of the apostates that love this stuff. And , yes, maybe I am too close to this because I knew Sam when he was a great home teacher and had a testimony that brought me to tears. He helped , more than he will ever know, keep my family together. So I can understand it when his extended family fell away. I totally agree with his enlightenment on Priesthood interviews behind closed doors with YW and YM. I am sad that he felt it necessary to attack the Temple Garment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janice,

      You seem to me to be a fairly atypical TBM, which I do appreciate. My guess is that most TBMs would not be up to trading comments on Sam’s blog as you are doing and still retain composure and even contribute your sense of humor.

      A noisy bug? Love that! (Cricket just coincidentally is my actual brother. I forwarded this link to him because I knew he would be entertained. No idea that he might contribute his own installment of High Blasphemy . . . Your classy response was perfect, imo 😉

      Anyway, Janice, I just wanted to acknowledge your contributions to Sam’s blog. I always appreciate what you write, and I do feel for your challenge to cope with Sam’s changing perspective on all things LDS.

      I will observe that Sam’s “true colors” are actually his deepest core values. Those have not changed one iota, as I see it. Earlier in your relatings with Sam, he was expressing and sharing those true colors through the lens of Mormonism with a tint and hue imposed by The Brethren.

      Now Sam is discovering that that lens was distorting his true colors, so he is changing lenses. My assessment is that Sam is transitioning to a Crystal Clear lens that allows his true colors to shine undistorted by the “glass darkly” provided to members by The Brethren.

      That “glass darkly” (for example) paints LGBTs as defective and unworthy. That “glass darkly” paints a ubiquitous expression of normal human sexuality as a sin next to murder, which has actually triggered innocent, beautiful human beings to literally murder themselves as a result of paying heed to teachings of the “Lord’s anointed.”

      The LDS Church is experiencing a tsunami of a problem that is only worsening over time. The root cause is simple to explain:

      The naturally occurring deepest core values and true colors of the average TBM (independent of Church doctrine) are in pretty good alignment with the core essence of the teachings of Jesus. The Church is filled with kind, generous, good-hearted, decent, loving, nonjudgmental human beings. In contrast, the deepest core values of The Brethren are simply not alignment with WWJD (what would Jesus do) in too many scenarios to not regularly offend the natural core values of many TBMs.

      Janice, some of your comments on this blog have already evidenced that the statement above is true for you personally. You agree with some of Sam’s problems with that “glass darkly”.

      I hope you continue to contribute your thoughts here. Thank you for venturing where most TBMs fear to tread.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gary, I appreciate your remarks and believe that you believe what you say. I don’t think the Sam I’ve known for over 30 years needs anyone to explain why he has had a “crisis” of faith. He’s done a good job of that. You make a very good analogy with the glasses…a bit went over my head. I just wish that those who no longer believe in the Gospel as taught by the LDS Church, would just leave, find a church that teaches what they now believe. But, for some reason when they make the decision to leave or step away, they aren’t happy without taking others with them. We all have access to the same information, we don’t need someone telling us what they now think about the things they disagree with. Leave and enjoy your life. Be friends with those who are like thinkers. Or, like two lifelong friends of mine, we have agreed to disagree, and get together often and talk about our grandchildren and family history. Life is really to short for all this.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Janice,

        I thought I would add a response to your wonderment about why don’t those who leave the Church just move on and leave the Church alone?

        What I am about to write is a perspective that is completely invisible and beyond incomprehensible to believing Mormons.

        I’ll illustrate with a graphic metaphor. If you had been living in a house your entire life … along with your loved ones . . . family and friends . . . and you alone happened to discover that a fire had started in the basement and the whole house was about to burn down, would you leave the building?

        And after you left the building, do you think you might feel concern for your friends and loved ones still going cluelessly about their business . . . totally oblivious to the fire in the basement?

        I think it’s fair to presume that most ex-Mormons have discovered that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is ultimately egregiously harmful and destructive to the spiritual and emotional health and well-being of its membership. The list of emotionally damaging and spiritually stunting effects is very long . . . and well-described elsewhere.

        Sam has been interested in doing what he can to make the Church stop harming its members. The Brethren ain’t interested in what Sam wants. That reality does not stop Sam from feeling the caring and concern his big heart naturally feels for his lifelong friends and family who are being harmed by the Church that advertises itself as the best thing that ever happened to anybody.

        In other words, Sam has discovered there’s something toxic in the Kool-Aid and he’s trying to sound the alarm.

        Like

      3. Thanks Gary for your endorsement of Janice’s participation in the discussion here. I’m super glad that she is willing to speak her mind. Obviously, we don’t always agree. To me, that doesn’t matter. That she is here is huge.

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    2. Janice

      Thanks for your kind words about my testimony and the days of home teaching. Helping to keep your family together? Oh my goodness. I would have no idea that I was any help at all. But, it’s bringing tears to think of it.

      I’m glad you brought up families staying together. It’s a sad thing to witness families being ripped apart. And I’m seeing this every week. I’m not standing on the sidelines just watching. But the church is. Usually doing nothing. Often exacerbating the problem.

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    3. Janice,

      In one of your comments here, your made mention of people leaving the church and wanting to take people with them. I don’t know if you were referring to me….at least I hope you weren’t. If so, let me offer a correction as to where I’m at.

      1) I haven’t left the church. I stepped away 6 months ago. That meant I no longer planned to attend.

      2) I’ve decided to step back in.

      3) I don’t want to take people out of the church. The church is causing that to happen.

      4) As and active member, I’m going to continue to speak out against the things in the church that are causing harm and damage.

      5) I’m not coming back as a non-believer. My faith in Jesus Christ is stronger and more focused than it has ever been.

      6) There are some who say I should leave the church. For what? For following the law of Jesus Christ called common consent? For speaking up for the marginalized? For advocating for the betterment of the church?

      I have 3 major reasons for coming back. One of them is to be a support for members with questions and doubts who have decided to stay. Yet they have no support in staying from their local leaders or their fellow members. This because they have to remain silent or be punished by our church culture. I know many people in my ward, stake and around the world who are hanging on by thread. I see a way offer support and I plan to continue to offer it.

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  7. When I read this, I found it less an attack on garments and more poking fun at church policy which promotes the thinking that the regular wearing of G’s is required to get into heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MTodd, I did not think of it as an attack on Garments. I thought of it as an attack on something sacred to the TBM’s. And I found it offensive coming from someone who understands it’s sacredness. It is one thing to question the LGBTQ stance, masturbation, Bishops interviews and the like. It is another thing IMHO to attack something we hold extremely sacred especially when Sam knows why. He opened the gate for anti Mormons to come out of the woodwork and make fun of something they don’t understand or who have left the church and defiled the garment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Janice,

        I can certainly see your point. For me, the church itself is defiling the whole concept of garments. They have crafted a recommend question that fosters a lie. That makes me angry.

        Three years ago, I started to find out how I had been fed lies, half-truths and deceptions. And I taught some of those lies every day of my 2 year mission. I don’t know when I’ll be able to totally come to terms with that. Then I became aware of the suffering of members going through faith transitions. That gave me a cause that I actively started to address. For 2 years, I lobbied the local leaders to recognize the suffering and enlist their support to address it. I was gravely disappointed. Disappointed in the my leaders. But, they are good-hearted men who are constrained by a belief system requiring obedience to those above them. So, I go about seeking to help people in and out or the church who are suffering.

        I wear my garments. But, that practice is now tainted by a lie embedded in every temple recommend interview.

        As you probably know, I do not possess a recommend. I voluntarily turned it in, hoping that I could get the leadership to focus on helping people with questions rather than focusing on my voting practices. It didn’t work. Nobody gives a damn about the members in the pews who have doubts. Nobody gives a damn that we have a totally unsafe culture for questions and doubts being raised. If they care, it’s a silent, do- nothing care. I care out in the open.

        And I care when I’m lied to by an organization that has accepted 100s of 1,000s of dollars from me.

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  8. Sam, you are swatting at gnats. A promise, as you called it, is a covenant, and vice versa…it is a promise with God. Now, I don’t know what you were told by the temple presidency member who interviewed you before you went through for your own endowment. But I was taken into a room with the Temple Matron and the Garment was specifically explained to me that this Garment was a promise/covenant was to be a constant reminder of the other covenants I would make with the Lord that day. I was told that I was not expected to wear it when I went swimming. I was also told that whether I wore it (the day of the one piece) when having intimate relations with my husband, was my decision. I have never felt offended by the interview question because I have always felt it was a covenant I made with the Lord as a reminder of those additional covenants I made that day. I feel as if you are playing with words here that mean the same thing. And are putting some kind of ulterior motive to a question that needs to be asked. What kind of value would the Garment have if the person getting or renewing a recommendation was asked, “do you wear the Garment when convenient or you feel like it?” Also remember the wording of the initiatory part conconcerning the Garment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No temple matron explained the garment to me. I had no meeting with the temple president. I went through the initiatory and the endowment ceremonies as they are normally performed. We NEVER make a promise or a covenant to wear the garments night and day. NEVER. So, to insert it in the recommend questions is disingenuous at best. A lie at worst. I’m open to being wrong. If so, show me where the garment was presented as a covenant in the temple ceremony. And …where I was asked to bow my head and say yes.

      I take my temple covenants seriously. I have personally discussed these covenants with many members of the church. This includes every level of local leadership. Not one person could answer my questions about the covenant’s meanings. After several unanswered questions, most eventually said something like this, “Sam, why do you care about this?” This experience caused me to make the judgement that members must not take their covenants seriously if they don’t even know or care what they mean. Swatting at gnats? If the members don’t care what their covenants mean, they are treating them like gnats. I’m serious about my covenants. When the church forces a covenant on me that I NEVER made, I take that just as seriously as I take the covenants that I did make.

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  9. I’m (mostly) with Janice on this one. You clearly have a lot of strong emotions and thoughts rumbling around, and I appreciate that you’re trying to come to grips with them. Yet your tone in this post was one of mocking and ridicule of the church. It comes across as, “Look how stupid this is! Look how stupid you’d have to be to be part of it!”

    Here’s the analyst in me:

    Your ability to reach the people you want to reach in the way you want to reach them (in line with your previous statements) will be impaired by this mocking approach. But if your purpose is catharsis for yourself, then this might be effective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your measure and thoughtful response. I really appreciate that you have joined the discussion on my FB page. I don’t know where you came from, just glad that you landed here.

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      1. I came from a pre-mortal existence with loving Heavenly parents…

        Oh, right. I saw a post from Kamis Dewey on your page. Our families became friends when Mark was my home teacher in our married student ward at BYU. I jumped in because, hey, why not? I get something out of it, and I’m guessing others do too. I’m good at butting my nose in where it doesn’t belong, and while I’m supposed to care that this bothers people, I don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi, Danny,

      Thanks for your thoughtful post and discussion of Sam’s communications style vis-a-vis the audience he is addressing.

      Your comment triggered me to make this observation. My experience is that my communications with the TBMs in my life has to be edited and censored if my intent is to NOT alienate them or offend them with my normal unbridled speech. Another way to say it is that I feel like I need to walk on eggs to some extent around my TBMs to protect the acceptability of my relationship with them.

      My contract engineering customer firm is owned by two partners. One is a local bishop and the other is a NeverMo. During long drives to and from a customer site with the NeverMo, I discussed with him how he needs to censor his speech with his long-time business partner . . . because the partner is Mormon. One feels the need to be careful not to offend by discussing button-pushing topics.

      A few years ago I ran into an attorney acquaintance at Lowe’s. I knew that his law firm partner is LDS, so I asked him about censoring his speech. He acknowledged that, yes indeed, there were topics and comments he would not broach with his life-long business partner.

      In some ways, TBMs are kinda like children . . . not able in some scenarios to handle unedited, authentic communication with normal adults who are not burdened with the Restored Gospel.

      I will add that TBMs similarly edit their speech with one another. The pressure to appear righteous and stalwart in LDS culture is huge and pervasive. It has a chilling effect on authentic human interaction.

      Billy Crystal nailed it in a line on a SNL sketch: “It’s better to look good than to feel good.”

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      1. Gary, I absolutely agree. I measure and censor my speech often. I used to do so more around non-Mormons, because I didn’t want them to be weirded out by my Mormonness. On Sam’s FB page and here, as well as at church, I censor my potty mouth. I can make a sailor blush. There are things I would never say in a military briefing that I’d discuss at church, and things I’d never discuss at church that I’d discuss in military briefing. Around physicists, I’m careful about how I broach ideas that are not well-accepted in the mainstream. Around lawyers, I try to never say anything at all. In discussing abortion with those who lean pro-choice, I choose my words carefully. Around atheists, I try to identify and discuss common ground and openly recognize that we don’t share many underlying assumptions.

        To the degree that it chills authenticity, it’s likely a problem. Authenticity means vulnerability and the probability of getting hurt and of hurting others. Janice’s response was authentic, too. But authenticity also is the means by which we build connection with others. The risk has to be there.

        Here’s the motivation behind my own response: Sam had previously expressed his intent to create a safe space where people could feel free to be open, to help build a bridge between both sides. I saw this post as contrary to that intent. I’m an analytical guy. But it’s increasingly obvious that Sam hasn’t established his own security in his position. He’s still scouting, exploring, and discovering where he stands and where he wants to stand. This is good, and it requires authenticity, which means he’s going to offend people along the way. That’s fine. It’s simply incompatible with the whole “safety” thing he seemed to previously be aiming for. Self-discovery and authenticity are never safe.

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      2. Danny,

        I 100% agree with everything you wrote. You are clearly a highly intelligent dude and an experienced scientist/student of The Human Condition. You have circled the block many times and taken unusually accurate and complete notes along the way. It is my pleasure to read your writing.

        Being a TBM is problematic in that they/we are/were conditioned to believe that they/we have scored “The Truth” just by being LDS and having a testimony . . . and if there’s anything worth knowing from here, the prophet will do the thinking and let us know.

        Sam’s “faith crisis” is not just about his “faith in things that are not seen that unfortunately turned out to be pure BS,” but also pulls the rug out from under his entire foundation of Reality. Hard to fathom a more disorienting experience for a human being to endure. Maintaining a consistent and methodical communications style should be nearly impossible on such unstable footing. Sam’s Sacred Panties post happened during an off-balance episode, but as you generously pointed out, that is all OK because it Sam being authentic.

        So insightful to observe that authenticity comes with sharp edges at times. And if there are no sharp edges (as with sanitized Mormon-speak”) … that’s a sure sign that authenticity has left the building.

        I don’t know who you are, Danny, but you have my respect already.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Gary,

        Thanks for that. I’m on a journey of my own, still learning the importance of these concepts, so I have empathy for Sam and others. Mine is more personal, about coming to understand the reality of my place and my nature. I wrote a very long reply, expounding on that journey, but I don’t think this is the appropriate place. But writing it helped me realize that I ought to be focused on my relationship and connection with God, because he’s the one who sees me and loves me correctly. I don’t see myself as he does, though he’s often given me insight into how he sees others, and I’ve felt his love for both me and many others (in specifics, not just broad generic brush strokes about how God loves his children). If I ever figure out how to believe what I intellectually know to be true, about my worth in God’s eyes, I’ll try to come back and share it.

        A spiritually sensitive friend once mentioned that God likes me. He likes who I am. My friend, she felt it, knew it, and shared it. I had already come to understand that he loved me, but that’s… that’s not the same thing. I love my children. I also really like who they’re becoming as they grow. Every time I try to think of this concept, it’s as if it bounces off my self-image, like I’m immune to the idea that God, omniscient and never wrong, could like me, could want to spend time with me. Other people are allowed to like me because I distrust their judgment. I can ascribe it to their presumed foolishness, since we all have some foolishness. But I can’t ascribe anything of God’s opinions to foolishness. If he likes me, and I don’t see how somebody who knows all the facts could like me, then it’s my opinion that’s wrong. Yet the concept still bounces off. It never becomes internal, incorporated into my reality.

        That sounds a lot like a defensive mechanism, doesn’t it? The same sort of denial of reality from both TBMs and vocal, vociferous critics of the church, because their identities and vulnerability are on the line. Maybe it’s time to be a bit aggressive and ruthless with that shell, crack it open, see what scared, lonely, and vulnerable child inside never grew up and truly learned his own power and worth. No time like the present.

        Like

      4. Hey, Danny,

        Pretty much sounds like you (not unlike most of us … yours truly included) bought into the mind control brainwash that convinced us that we were created as intrinsically defective beings and that we deserve the loads of guilt and shame that have been heaped upon us by our inherited belief system operated by opportunists who profit and benefit at our expense.

        What if the reality is that we were created as the most astoundingly magnificent creatures to inhabit the known and unknown Universes . . . and all information to the contrary is mind control programming intended to prevent us from discovering who and what we are in reality and what our potential as human beings is within us just awaiting our discovery and blossoming into magnificence?

        If you don’t mind me speaking frankly, Danny, I have come to realize that most of the religions on the planet were craftily designed by genius architects to keep the masses believing we are defective, unacceptable (if not disgusting wretch-like-me’s) and destined to burn in hell unless we qualify ourselves to be rescued by a savior whose access is regulated and dispensed by the church.

        I may as well fess up and tell you, Danny, that the single most significant decision and choice of my entire life … the decision that has made the biggest improvement in my spiritual and emotional health and well-being and maximized my trajectory of spiritual awakening and realization of my potential as a human being, happened back in 1980 when I was 30 years old. That decision was to cancel my further participation as a b.i.c. member of the Mormon Church and then to get my name removed from the records later in 1983.

        Since then, after freeing myself from knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that knew everything that was important to know because I belonged to the only true church, I launched my own personal adventure of discovery and eventually came to realize that the belief system I inherited at birth was the ingenious creation of a gifted and talented sculptor of gullible minds.

        Danny, it’s 2017. It’s the Information Age. I was fortunate to run across several books by two particular authors that has completely rebooted my concept of how to answer the Man’s Search for Happiness questions. What I discovered is that the Spirit Realm, our Spirit Home and the Nature of our Existence is far more amazing and mind blowing than what I ever learned as a TBM. I discovered that the Restored Gospel was actually a ball and chain holding me down and preventing genuine spiritual growth and discovery.

        Dunno if it was a good idea for me to write this, but it’s my authentic response to what you wrote. Danny, The negative self-image you are struggling with comes from the distortion of the actual teachings of Jesus and the extra guilt and shame added by Joseph Smith and promulgated in these the latter days by The Brethren.

        Your mind is being controlled, and it’s not helping you.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Gary,

        I appreciate your response. Thank you for sharing it. You’re mistaken, though. (Rough edges, right?)

        I didn’t buy into most mind control brainwashing. There were a few things I did, but I’ve learned to examine and discard assumptions that don’t stand up. I was flipping off my Sunday School teachers and bolting home from Primary at age six. I never trusted authority, and messages from church either resonated with my experience or they didn’t. I couldn’t figure out why people had no clue how dirty the earth was right after rain, or why we’d sing that that’s how clean we’d want to be, at baptisms. I got kicked out of a seminary class because I didn’t want to play jeopardy with categories like, “Guess Brother Palmer’s weight,” when I could be studying scriptures instead. At age 10, it was obvious to me that I was smarter than most all of my teachers, became a cocky little know-it-all, though that was never my intent. I just wanted to figure things out, put them together, and have them make sense. So I challenged teachers, other people. I still do. For the most part, I’ve done that with the gospel, found the synthesis between science and religion, how the ontology of knowledge was the same for both. I don’t have to directly measure the anomalous precession of Mercury to believe in General Relativity; I just have to have enough experience conducting experiments to trust the reports and observations of other experimenters. Similarly, I don’t have to directly verify or see what Joseph Smith saw, I just have to (as Alma said) experiment upon the word and verify that the methods bring useful results, which allows me to trust other experimenters in theirs. They do bring useful results.

        My brainwashing came from being emotionally and physically abused by my father, from having very few people I could call friends growing up, and from later difficulty fitting in with the culture of the military, even though I’ve now absorbed plenty of it. Bad NCOs can do a lot to force strategic patience: you can fight back (in any of a hundred wrong ways, and only one or two right ways) or you can take it and swallow your rage because your real goal is to provide for your family, not win against illiterate punks who hold rank solely by virtue of being around too long. Too bad I didn’t figure out the right ways to fight back until I only had a few months left. Years of swallowing and keeping your rage at bay, after years of doing the same with your own father, leads to unhealthy self image and poor coping mechanisms. How does a child desperate for things to make sense process a father who’s relentlessly critical and sometimes violent? I could just think my dad’s a big jerk, but dad was also incredibly intelligent. Intelligent enough that he usually had the right answer when I knew that others didn’t. So the logical conclusion was that he treated me like shit because that’s what I was worth. Of course, being a father now, and remembering what I received, it’s much easier to see that it had nothing to do with me. There’s nothing my children could do that could earn what he did to me. He may have been intelligent, but he was rage-filled, shame-filled, impotent, and not knowing how to cope, he was an asshole to those who couldn’t fight back. My own children received a bit of that while I was active duty military and didn’t know how to direct the rage I was intentionally suppressing. My children didn’t deserve it, but it was instructive and terrifying to realize that I could, indeed, be just like my dad. Predictably, hating your dad for the way he treated you and then realizing you’re just like him doesn’t do anything to persuade you of your worth.

        I’ve since taken a different path, and I’m not just like him. He’s taken a different path, too. He left the church a few years ago, an expert in its theology but vacant spiritually, persuaded there was no God, that he’d been brainwashed. He was a pharisee, wrapped up in strict rules about church that had little rhyme or reason. He had a love for rules, even while he chafed against them, and we both shared a love of structure, of figuring things out, but I thought most rules were stupid. Still do. I know them through and through, and I break them whenever appropriate. Now he finds others, like Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins, to fill the same role apostles filled before. Find some “expert” whose judgment he can defer to.

        The message I got from church could be whatever it wanted. Most of it was good and useful. Some of it wasn’t (looking at you, Elder Packer). The message I got from God, directly, was one of acceptance and love. I felt it. First in a dream when I was 16, later in direct revelation when I was 18. It was the complete opposite of the model I had for fathers. Fathers were cold, critical, and emotionally distant. This father brought peace, told me that I could trust him, that all things were in his hands. I remembered it, my worth, intellectually, at least. I still feel it when I’m actively communicating with God. But it’s much harder to believe it. Funny how that works, isn’t it? God himself can tell you that he loves you, which must mean you’re worthy of love, and it still doesn’t stick. That’s my personal journey right now, is digging straight for that vulnerability and shame, figuring out what exactly it is, and actively replacing it. However that works. Daily affirmations? Hah. Maybe. That’s why I need God, because God’s the only one who EVER gave me a glimpse of what self-love ought to look like when he gave me a glimpse of what his love for me looks like. No, that’s hyperbolic. I had two friends in high school who made me feel loved, as well as an amazing bishop and later stake president. But they aren’t on hand anymore, so to God I go.

        Before you remind me that I’m brainwashed in this whole belief and communication with God thing, I get it. I simply have my own proof to the contrary. I’m analytical and scientific by nature, and the most plausible explanation for perceiving language, feelings, ideas, guidance, and occasionally specific knowledge about the future from an external entity (with a character completely different from my usual internal dialogue), is that it is real. My internal dialogue doesn’t tell me to be at peace, to be still, and trust in its power as all things are in its hands. My internal dialogue rehashes memories and hypotheticals and all the things that can go right or wrong, in a thousand different pathways, a thousand different threats, exit routes, challenges, responses, solutions, that never shut up unless I actively focus, meditate, and listen for something beyond myself, asking specific questions. D&C 77 is probably the most similar scriptural example to my experience with revelation, though “yes or no” questions are the easiest to work with.

        So that’s me.

        As for religions, if you’re right about the crafty genius architects, the joke’s on them! I still got through, with the help of Mormonism, no less! I don’t know the details of your insight into the spiritual, but I agree it’s incredible. I never understood why angels would be singing praise and Hosanna to God, as if they had nothing better to do with their time, until I got a glimpse. For a moment, it made perfect sense. Words in church can never do it justice. Words in the scriptures, without the spirit to expound, are flat and vacuous. Those rare moments that leave you gasping for breath at the wonder and power of it all, unable to describe its glory in the slightest, are incredible. Some prophets felt and said as much, too. It’s hard to imagine they were just charlatans making it all up if they say the same things about it that you and I are. But it’s also hard to believe the LDS Church is the sole pathway if your path away from the church brought you to the same place that my path through the church did. Something to think about, if I’m correct that we both have had glimpses of the same place.

        Like

      6. Hey, Danny,

        What an amazingly thoughtful and introspective stream of consciousness!

        I’ll just make a couple of comments on your words quoted here:

        “Before you remind me that I’m brainwashed in this whole belief and communication with God thing, I get it. I simply have my own proof to the contrary. I’m analytical and scientific by nature, and the most plausible explanation for perceiving language, feelings, ideas, guidance, and occasionally specific knowledge about the future from an external entity (with a character completely different from my usual internal dialogue), is that it is real. My internal dialogue doesn’t tell me to be at peace, to be still, and trust in its power as all things are in its hands. My internal dialogue rehashes memories and hypotheticals and all the things that can go right or wrong, in a thousand different pathways, a thousand different threats, exit routes, challenges, responses, solutions, that never shut up unless I actively focus, meditate, and listen for something beyond myself, asking specific questions. …”

        === end of quote ===

        So I never intended to imply that I see belief and communication with “God” as a symptom of brainwash. I have to mention that the word “God” is horribly problematic because those three letters conjure up such a disparate collection of beliefs and concepts in the eye of millions and billions of beholders.

        The term “atheist” is just as problematic as the word God. So which collections of Gods do you believe do not exist? I personally have a deeper and wider belief in a Creation Presenece than I ever did as a TBM. I now completely reject the Old Testament and Joseph Smith version of the old dude with a white beard sporting a seriously uncontrolled anger management problem. The idea that the Creator of the Universe is a humanoid dude living on a planet near a star named Kolob is just too much like the BofM and BofA bad fiction JS came up with to impress his contemporaries. Who or what God is or is not has nothing whatsoever to do with Joseph Smith’s variable creativity on topic.

        Having said that, I will admit that one of my personal maxims is: “Most likely, 90% of what I think I know for sure will turn out to be BS.”

        If the JS model of Creation works for you, Danny, then you should stick with that until it stops working. FYI, I am particularly lately experiencing in spades what you described in the paragraph I quoted above. For the past 6 weeks especially, I have been experiencing new thoughts and new concepts just appearing in my psyche that I am sure did not originate from my own rehash of my personal history. I do not know for sure who or what is the source of these seemingly profound insights about The Human Condition I have been downloading, but I am almost daily brought to tears when a new insight hits me that I am pretty sure came from outside of my own brain/mind . . . and from profoundly wise and knowledgeable source(s).

        The model I am using to explain the source of these downloads is what I am calling my own Board of Directors. Not any SuperHumanDieties, but more like the spirit entities of beings who lived on Earth previously who possess advanced experience, knowledge and wisdom and who are feeding thoughts into my psyche with some expectation that I do something useful with the insights and perspective.

        Do what? Well, find a way to share with as many of my fellow human-conditionees as possible. I am actively working on that project as we speak.

        So as you can see here, Danny, you and I are probably way more alike than we are different. We each have a different construct or model of who/what is the source of the foreign information that shows up in our private thoughts that has no otherwise known origin.

        At the end of the day, does it much matter who the messengers are? Is it not The Message that matters above the identity of the sender(s)? And after that, is not what we DO with the message most important of all?

        Liked by 1 person

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