Use our LDS dating site to meet local LDS singles online. Join LDSSingles.com now! LDS dating sites are websites online where people who lds in online religion go to elite people who they can get to know and start dating. If you are one of the LDS members, you know that it can be tough to look for others who are interesting to date. It is also difficult to look for people who have the same beliefs as yours. When compared to other LDS dating sites, LDS Friends Date is renowned as the best free LDS fating website you can find today. It’s the ultimate place to chat for the LDS singles and ranks with the reviews of the LDS dating sites among the best and highly recommended LDS dating sites. If it is your first time to experience LDS dating or you ... Share 100% Free Dating! New Mormon singles daily. Create your profile and contact local LDS singles today. Meet likeminded Mormon singles today! If you best most dating LDS singles, who are websites, spiritual, and share similar goals, values, and beliefs, then you have come free the right place. With the help of our top 10 LDS dating sites reviews, you can find the most suitable one. MillionaireMatch.com - Recommended Dating Service! MillionaireMatch is a dating site dedicated to helping rich men and beautiful women find their perfect match. The website's main focus is to help people who are looking for rich men, rich women. Meet fun-loving, Temple worthy single Latter-day Saints. Create a Free profile, browse and chat with 1000s LDS singles. TrueLDS LDS dating site for LDS singles is 100% LDS owned. Voted best LDS dating site 2020 LDS dating sites can be a lifesaver for singles who see religion as a dealbreaker or dealmaker in a long-term relationship.An old friend of mine is Mormon, and I remember she used to meet her boyfriends at church functions or other LDS-related events. This was before online dating really took off, so the only way […] There is mormon: On mormonism statistics that lds dating sites have met singles, viewpoint on their singleness. Dating a mormon guy T Sign up to receive event singles, news and other offers from Pride Fort Lauderdale! First Name. Last Name.Jon Birger is a magazine writer and contributor to Fortune Magazine. Jon is also the author of Date ... LDS Mingle serves as a platform to meet non Mormon singles who are interested either in friendship and dating. This is owned and run by the non ysa who are also behind the divorce of LDSSingles, which is undoubtedly among the most successful LDS dating sites to date. Start your search today, and find the right match for you. Check out LDSMingle. A social and dating site for LDS singles - Features Compatibility Profiles, chat, interest groups, messaging, a number of powerful search tools, and more.
Latter-day Saints (Mormons) on Reddit - Worlds Largest Online LDS Community!
2012.06.14 22:23 onewattLatter-day Saints (Mormons) on Reddit - Worlds Largest Online LDS Community!
Welcome to /latterdaysaints - a gathering place for those supporting or investigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. People of all and any faiths are welcome here on the grounds of goodwill and faith.
2020.09.05 21:33 RandysBackupAny modest sites for dating?
Hello everyone, My mother is a faithful member of your church and she has been for over 20 years or so now. She is very positive, shining and strong, a great mom really. I see that she is trying to find a decent and nice man for years now and here in the local ward there are not really much single men. I told her to look for state activities and she has tried almost every LDS dating app there is online. I really want to help her because she is just a wonderful and independant person who is ready to find someone to date. So I hope you all know of something online wether is is a forum, dating site, dating app or a way to connect people. Thanks and have a great evening!
2020.08.10 00:14 problem_redditorSome sources on sexual abuse of men and boys, part 2
If anyone hasn't seen Part 1 of this post, here it is. Studies demonstrating roughly gender parity in sexual assault victimisation Predictors of Sexual Coercion Against Women and Men: A Multilevel, Multinational Study of University Students Here is a 2007 survey investigating sexual coercion in romantic relationships. It used a sample of 7,667 university students (2,084 men and 5,583 women) from 38 sites around the world. Participants reported their sexual victimisation experiences in the past year of their current or most recent romantic relationships. It found that 2.8% of men and 2.3% of women reported experiencing forced sex in their heterosexual relationships. (Table 1 and 2 on pages 408 and 410 respectively). A slightly higher proportion of the men reported experiencing forced sex and a slightly higher proportion of the women reported experiencing verbal coercion, with 22.0% of men and 24.5% of women reporting verbal coercion. Prevalence and correlates of young people's sexual aggression perpetration and victimization in 10 European countries: a multi-level analysis Here is a 2015 study about young people’s sexual victimisation and perpetration in 10 European countries. It found in a sample of 3,480 participants that the prevalence of sexual victimisation by force did not differ significantly between the sexes: 15.8% of men and 19.5% of women reported experiencing force (defined as the use or threat of physical force). Neither did the prevalence of sexual victimisation through exploiting the victim's inability to resist differ much by sex: 14.6% of men and 17.2% of women reported experiencing this form of sexual victimisation. Of the countries surveyed, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal had higher rates of male victimisation by force and exploitation of inability to resist as compared with female (though in Poland and Portugal, the difference was rather small). Effect of gender and ethnicity on self reports of mild, moderate and severe sexual coercion Here is a 2001 study by Fiebert and Osburn investigating sexual coercion among 452 Southern California students (259 females and 193 males). At the beginning of a class period, students were asked to respond voluntarily, anonymously, and confidentially to a survey regarding sexual coercion. After completing the survey, students placed their completed surveys in an unmarked envelope. Here are the survey questions.
I have gone out on a date with a man/woman because she made me feel I had to.
I have been forced by a man/woman to kiss him/her.
I have been forced by a man/woman to touch him/her sexually.
A man/woman has insisted, without using physical force, that I have sex with him/her even though I didn't want to.
A man/woman has made me have sex with him/her without a condom.
A man/woman has insisted, without using physical force, that I have oral or anal sex with him/her.
I have had sex with a man/woman because he/she threatened me in some way.
I had sex with a man/woman because he/she used some type of physical force such as holding down, hitting, hair pulling, biting.
A man/woman has threatened me in order to get me to have oral or anal sex with him/her.
After having sex with a man/woman, I have felt sexually taken advantage of.
I had oral or anal sex with a man/woman because he/she used some type of force such as holding down, hitting, hair pulling, biting.
A man/woman has sexually touched my body when I did not want him/her to.
They found that "A higher percentage of males than females reported having experienced sexual coercion on all items assessing mild, moderate and severe sexual coercion". The only item where a higher percentage of females than males responded affirmatively was on item 10. Here is Table 1 in the paper displaying the percentage of positive responses to each item by gender. Percentage of Positive Responses by Gender on Items 1-12
The findings that are most useful to highlight from this paper are item 7 and 8 and the percentages. 10% of men compared with 4% of women reported having sex with a man/woman because they were threatened, and 6% of men compared with 5% of women reported having sex with a man/woman because their perpetrator used physical force. High rates of female perpetration Religiosity and Delinquency among LDS Adolescents In this study, data was collected from Mormons between the ages of 14 and 19. In a sample of 636 males and 754 females, 5% of both genders reported that they "forced or pressured someone to engage in sexual activities." Though, it's important to keep in mind that "pressure" is a very loose term and "sexual activities" does not necessarily mean intercourse, so that 5% figure most probably includes many things outside of the scope of "forced sex" (rape). Studies comparing the physical effects of sexual assault on male and female victims Effects of Sexual Assaults on Men: Physical, Mental and Sexual Consequences "Most research suggests that the sexual assault of men is more likely to be violent, and accompanied by more and greater corollary injuries, than sexual assaults of women (however, also see Kimerling, Rellini, Kelly, Judson, & Learman, 2002; and McLean et al., 2005). Here it is important to acknowledge that not all sexual assaults are violent, and often center on coercion of victims. However, “rapes” in the traditional sense of the word have been shown to be more violent when perpetrated against male victims. King (1995) reported that when men are raped in almost all instances some form of physical force is used against the victim, and weapons are commonly involved. Weapons are most likely to be involved when men are sexually assaulted by a stranger (Stermac et al., 2004). Kaufman et al. (1980), describing data drawn from male rape survivors seen in hospital emergency rooms, report men who are sexually assaulted are more likely than women to have nongenital injuries (see also Hillman, Tomlinson, McMillan, French, & Harris, 1990). However, they also conclude that men who are sexually assaulted are not likely to seek medical attention, unless they suffer significant physical injuries." Studies comparing the emotional effects of sexual assault on male and female victims Effects of Sexual Assaults on Men: Physical, Mental and Sexual Consequences (again) "More specifically, drawing on a stratified random sample of the American population, Elliott et al. (2004) report higher scores on the Trauma Symptom Inventory for sexually assaulted men than women. On eight of the ten scales of the Inventory, sexually assaulted men report higher levels of distress than sexually assaulted women. Depression also frequently leads to attempts to self-medicate (Burnam et al., 1988; Choquet et al., 1997; Coxell et al., 1999; Iseley & Gehrenbeck-Shim, 1997; Plant, Miller, & Plant, 2004; Ratner et al., 2002; Walker et al., 2005) in efforts to block out memories or overcome feelings of low self-worth (Scarce, 1997). Self-medication includes use/abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs and licit (both prescription and over-thecounter) medications. Male sexual assault victims are more likely than female sexual assault victims to report subsequent alcohol abuse problems, although abuse of illicit drugs does not show a gender difference (Burnam et al., 1988). Additionally, researchers in both England (Plant, et al., 2004) and Australia (deVisser et al., 2003) report that sexually assaulted men are more likely than other men to smoke tobacco." And: "Men who are sexually assaulted commonly present a high degree of depression and hostility (Iseley & Gehrenbeck-Shim, 1997; Walker et al., 2005). Several community-based studies have shown that male sexual assault victims are, in the short run at least, more likely than female victims to present with greater degrees of depression and hostility (Carmen, Ricker, & Mills, 1984; Frazier, 1993; Goyer & Eddleman, 1984)." Experiences of men forced-to-penetrate women in the UK A report which explores the experiences of men who have self-identified as having been forced-to-penetrate (FTP) women. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 men who self-identified as having been FTP a woman. Almost all of the participants indicated that their FTP experiences had negatively impacted their personal lives and relationships in some way. 14 men reported that they had experienced varying types of sexual dysfunction since their FTP experience(s). This included erectile dysfunction; "when I started trying to have another relationship, I found that I was having impotence problems" (Participant 7). A lack of libido or reduced sex drive, as well as a desire to avoid sex and sexual relationships was also discussed. Linked to the above, 18 participants reported difficulties in forming new romantic relationships, often citing difficulty in trusting new partners. This is perhaps to be expected when it is remembered that FTP incidents most frequently involved partners and ex-partners. "I find at the moment I haven’t got trust like I used to, I mean I find it a bit like er, I don’t trust like, women, in a way, like, the way I used to. I feel like as if it could happen again" Participant 3. "It affects how I view relationships, I’m single at the moment by choice" Participant 13. For some this inability to trust others and develop new relationships extended to include any and all relationships, not just intimate ones. Nine participants reported that their careers were impacted, they were unable to work, or that they lost their jobs. This was typically as a result of the severe mental health impacts that they experienced. "Now I just sort of lock myself away, I stay at home, I’m not working anymore" Participant 24. "I’m nowhere near recovered really. I’m still under the mental health system, I’ve not worked full time since then" Participant 18. Men are less likely to view to acknowledge their experiences of sexual assault and are less likely to report it, which likely affects data and statistics on the topic Big Boys Don't Cry: A Critical Interpretive Synthesis of Male Sexual Victimization This is a review of the literature surrounding male sexual victimisation. It notes that "Prevailing stereotypical gender roles and sexual scripts are in favor of women’s ability to acquire (ideal) victim status. However, quite the opposite is true for men who must reject their gender roles and sexual script in order to be considered an (ideal) victim." "Existing expectations shape the way that people perceive sexual victimization and may therefore influence the victim’s own perception of their sexually unwanted experiences (see Figure 2). Davies (2002) suggests that men may never have considered that they could become sexual victims since prevailing gender stereotypes cause them to internalize the belief that male sexual victimization is beyond the realm of possibility. If such an event does occur, they may have trouble accepting not only that it happened to them but also that it happened at all. It is often presumed that men are able to defend themselves if they do not want sexual activity to occur and would find the experience pleasurable given their sexual opportunist nature. In addition, given the existing assumption that the presence of an erection is an indication of a pleasurable erotic experience, it is claimed that men are less traumatized in comparison to women (Bullock & Beckson, 2011). Since men often get an erection, ejaculate, or both during an assault (Bullock & Beckson, 2011), many male victims might feel as if they cannot label their experience as sexual victimization. Furthermore, the nature of male-to-male sexual victimization frequently leads to the conclusion that it is a homosexual act, suggesting that the victim must be gay (Davies et al., 2013). Additionally, men who acknowledge their sexually unwanted experience as rape feel as if they have failed to uphold the masculine ideal (Artime et al., 2014), resulting in a sense of “stolen or harmed masculinity.” Men may therefore remain silent, to avoid being viewed as unmasculine and gay." "A stereotypical description of rape (i.e., rape scripts) may therefore lead victims to refrain from defining their experience as rape or sexual assault if the rape does not fit into this narrow definition (Peterson & Muehlenhard, 2004). Research has shown that many male victims do not seek help, or wait longer because of difficulties in self-identifying as victims (Machado et al., 2016). Machado, Hines, and Matos (2016) state that masculine gender socialization, social stigmatization, and strong endorsement of sociocultural values appear to be the main reasons why male victims do not seek help. This further increases their already high risk of developing PTSD (Larsen & Hilden, 2016), generating even more negative consequences when they do not get the help they need. Overall, these differences in the possibility of being considered a sexual victim will lead many male victims to refrain from reporting their experience or seeking help. Subsequently, this may be reflected in prevalence rates of sexual victimization being generally lower for males in comparison to females." A systematic review of the prevalence rates of sexual violence is conducted in this report, and the authors note that all of the studies reporting high male victimisation rates use BSQs (behaviourally specific questions) as opposed to non-BSQs which use more generic terms (e.g., “rape,” “sexual abuse,” “sexual assault”) without further clarification. The authors assert that using BSQs is preferable partially because many male victims do not label their sexually unwanted experiences as rape. Not using BSQs may thus cause lower prevalence rates of sexual victimisation (especially among men), since reports of nonconsensual sex by victims who do not define their own experiences as sexual victimisation are not detected. They conclude "it is recommended that future research should consistently use BSQs". Forced-to-penetrate cases: Lived experiences of men This is a report investigating men who have been forced-to-penetrate women. It notes that "The majority of men did not report being compelled to penetrate a woman, either to the police or to friends and family. The reporting rate to the police of 1.7% is even lower than the reporting rate for women who have experienced serious sexual violence, which stands at around 15%. The extremely low reporting rate in compelled penetration cases suggests a clear lack of engagement by these men with the police and criminal justice process." Thus, data based on police reports may understate male victimisation more than it does female victimisation. Discrimination against male victims of sexual assault Gender differences in medical students' attitudes towards male and female rape victims A study examining attitudes towards female and male rape victims among 240 UK medical students (120 females and 120 males) using the Attitudes Towards Rape Victims Scale (ARVS). Half of the participants received the female rape questionnaire (where the statements referred to female rape victims) and half of the participants received the male rape questionnaire (the questions were the same as on the female rape questionnaire but the focal victim in the statements was male). The researchers found that "Attitudes towards male rape victims ... were significantly more negative than attitudes towards female rape victims". “Honey, We Don't Do Men”: Gender Stereotypes and the Provision of Services to Sexually Assaulted Males This is an old study from 1996 (so the situation might have improved), but it is the only research study I am aware of which has sought to examine the provision of services to adult, noninstitutionalised male victims of sexual assault. This investigation found that many of the rape crisis providers and law enforcement agencies contacted held common stereotypes about male rape. The belief that men could not be raped or that they were raped only because they wanted to be was frequently endorsed. One law enforcement representative bluntly stated "Honey, we don't do men". She laughingly asked, "What would you want to study something like that for? Men can't be raped." Another law enforcement representative said "Most males which are fondled or sodomized are males that want to be sodomized." In addition, more than one third (37%) of the agencies initially contacted reported that they would not provide services to a male victim because their crisis services were geared specifically toward the needs of women. Discrimination in favour of female sex offenders Decisions and attitudes concerning child sexual abuse: does the gender of the perpetrator make a difference to child protection professionals? Here is a 1994 research paper. An investigation was conducted into whether child protection investigators, specifically social workers and the police, are as likely to take seriously a case of child sexual abuse if it had been perpetrated by a female rather than a male. What they found was that "social services involvement and social services investigation were considered significantly more appropriate by male social workers if the perpetrator was male as opposed to female. Registration of incidents as cases of child sexual abuse was viewed as more appropriate by all participants as a group if abuse had been carried out by a man rather than a woman. Finally, imprisonment was viewed by all participants and, particularly, policemen as more appropriate for male perpetrators rather than female child sexual abusers." The only finding of theirs that runs counter to the pro-female/anti-male biases here was that female social workers viewed prosecution of the perpetrator as more appropriate if the perpetrator was female than male. Sex-Based Sentencing: Sentencing Discrepancies Between Male and Female Sex Offenders I find this one uproariously funny. This is an article published in the journal "Feminist Criminology" attempting to examine the utility of the evil woman hypothesis by examining sentencing discrepancies between male and female sex offenders. They used National Corrections Reporting Program data to identify sex offenders for the years 1994 to 2004 and the sentences they received for specific sex offences. The hypothesis for their study predicted that women would receive longer sentences than men for sex offences. And they did indeed find a significant difference in sentence length between men and women, but not in the direction they expected. Men received longer sentences for sex offences than women. At least these researchers were honest about what they found. Few feminist researchers are.
2020.08.09 01:39 ThusSayethMeMy Journey Into The Light
I wanted to post my personal journey. I do apologize for the length and hope it’s okay to have posted this. To those who take the time to actually read this, I thank you. Now to begin... I was born into the LDS church. It was pretty much my whole childhood. But I was exposed to different viewpoints early in life. I had a friend up the street that was Jewish and another that was some other form of Christian. Through playing at their houses I was introduced to different ideas on religion. They weren’t trying to convert me or anything. It was simply observation on how different their families acted towards things than mine. As a child I thought nothing of it. A lot of our contact within the city were the other members of our ward. They were good people from what I can remember. But thinking back, I realize that most of my memories from then involve some ward member. I‘m not sure if I associated with many non-members besides those that lived on our street. This wasn’t intentional on my part at least. When I was 10, we moved to Utah. My parents had decided that, now that I was the only one left at home, they wanted me to grow up and go to school in a “better environment”. So, we moved to Utah as my older siblings went about studying at BYU. We moved into a small suburban town in Utah County that was 99% members. There were a lot of kids my age. I really liked that. I soon made friends and felt like living here was going to be awesome. The first couple of years were good. It was when I hit puberty that everything changed. The first thing was me entering junior high. Everyone was moody and rebellious. I was coming into that stage as well. But the bigger part of this transition was beginning to hear about sex. I had had the talk with my parents and understood the basic concept. I’d also started hearing more and more warnings about porn. There was a LOT of talk about the evils of pornography. So, what does the curious pubescent 12-year old do? At first, I just looked up images. I felt so rebellious and naughty for looking at these stills of naked bodies. I would steal these moments of thrill when my parents weren’t home from work yet. Soon enough I discovered that there were videos too. It was while watching one of these videos that I realized just how excited I seemed to get downstairs. And it felt good to touch it. I had no idea at the time why it felt so good. I didn’t realize what would happen at the end of this experiment. It was my first, and certainly not last, time. I watched the video and felt the release. It was pure ecstasy. I made sure to wipe the computer’s history and clean myself up before anyone got home. My parents didn’t suspect a thing. Not long after my first time, I was actually having an interview with the bishop to make sure I was worthy to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He asked me point blank if I masturbated. In all honesty, I had no idea what the act was called at that time. So, I said no, not knowing I was straight up lying. This went on for another four years. It became my afternoon pastime after getting home from school. I was still hearing the same old stories in church; it’s evil and vile and will stunt you. But…how could something that gave me such pleasure be so bad? When I was sixteen, I got sloppy. I forgot to wipe the whole history one day and my parents saw a single site. They confronted me and I lied my ass off, saying I had clicked on a link to play a game and this “horrible” site had popped up instead. They believed me and admonished me to be more careful in the future and that I must be so “traumatized” by this experience. Yeah…right. I promised myself I’d be more careful. And then a few months later I slipped up again. This time my parents knew it couldn’t be a coincidence. I remember that morning well. I woke up, hearing voices downstairs; my parents. They were in the office talking about something. I couldn’t quite make out the words though. I heard my mother raise her voice in alarm. A few minutes later, my Dad left for work. My alarm went off soon after and I got up for breakfast. My mother waited until I had finished eating to confront me. I felt this enormous shame. I ran back to my room and began bawling. And then, I clasped my hands together and began thanking God. Thinking back on this, I feel sick that this was my response. I was praising God for letting my parents find out so that I could come back to the fold. I told my mother about this the next day and she was overjoyed that I felt such shame and sorrow for my “sin”. I spoke to my bishop about everything. He denied me blessing or partaking of the sacrament. It was easy to tell that people wondered why I wasn’t doing my duty as a Priest. I even got some sideways looks from my peers. The guys were all such hypocrites. They talked about sex non-stop during the school day. How were they any better than me? I “got clean” and was allowed to do things again after a few months. Life seemed to be going okay. I felt lighter because I believed I had been reborn from the ashes. Now I knew Jesus was my Savior and God was forgiving. I eventually regained my parents trust and got to my junior year of high school without incident. That was when I had another lapse. By this point in world history, the smart phone had come into being and I had a new way to ingest my sin. I was ten times more covert than before and my parents truly never suspected. This time around, I felt less guilty. This was my choice and I had made it. I hadn’t been coerced or “tempted” back into it. As I transitioned from junior to senior year, I began having major depressive episodes. I didn’t understand at the time, but now I do. This was the guilt I felt towards my masturbating. I didn’t even know I was depressed at the time. The depression was partly genetic too though. My mother has dealt with depression for a long time and has a history in her family. But I think the guilt outweighed everything else. To everyone else though, the behavior was chalked up to “being a teen”. I made it through my senior year and left school behind. At this point, I was beginning to fill out mission papers. I definitely felt pressure to go. Every other guy in my ward (there were eight of us around the same age) was going. Another reason was my brother had had to come home six months early due to needing a major surgery and I figured that meant I needed to be the son who made it the full two years. And I needed to prove that I was a good Mormon boy and not some pervert who looked at porn. Completing a mission would allow me to wipe the slate clean and move forward with my life. But I never confessed to my lapse. I never mentioned how I had viewed porn on an off for the last year. But I didn’t want to disappoint my parents again. And what would the neighborhood think of me if I wasn’t worthy to go? So, I went into the bishop’s office for my interview, knowing that he would see right through me. Except he didn’t… I was so shocked that I couldn’t bring myself to confess. I had always thought bishops were living lie detectors. If I had fooled him, did that mean I was an evil person? Or was there something else at work here? Maybe God still wanted me to go to atone for my transgressions? I received my calling and got ready to attend the temple for the first time. My honest thought was that people just wore white suits/dresses in the temple. Boy was I wrong. I’d never seen such a getup before! I looked at the temple clothes with serious doubt, but my parents assured me that these all had “special meaning”. My first endowment session was trippy to say the least. I had come here expecting to feel the Spirit and a sense of peace. I got a movie, synchronized chanting, and uncomfortable handshakes. I began having doubts as to how this was considered spiritual. And then, I was given my new name; Alma. In my mind it all made sense. Alma the Younger had been a rebellious soul who came around and became a model saint. This was God’s way of telling me that I was on the right path! And now I was heading into the Celestial Room! I got in there and marveled at how beautiful it was. I felt peaceful and sighed. I wanted to sit down and soak it all in to let my spirit mend. And then I was told we needed to move along so the next session could come through. I wanted to object. I felt like I might be close to feeling the Spirit. But my father ushered me towards the door, and I walked out with him. I reflected on the session, trying to figure out if I had felt anything at all. The movie had been corny. The chanting was unnerving, and the whole handshake business seemed odd since God would already know if we were good or bad. Why did we need secret handshakes on top of that? I got closer to my departing date and had a single lapse. This was a few nights before I would head to the MTC. I masturbated and instantly felt guilt wash over me. I was a fraud. God would surely rat me out to my bishop or possibly even the General Authorities. I’d be getting a phone call saying I was no longer allowed to serve. That didn’t happen. My parents dropped me off at the MTC and I was off! I spent the next few weeks studying constantly. I discovered I had a much looser sense of humor compared to the rest of my group. I was chastised several times for making light of the Book of Mormon. I eventually shut up and only spoke when spoken to. When I arrived in my mission, I was put into a companionship with the District Leader. No pressure, right? He constantly pushed me to bear my testimony (which I don’t feel was truly formed) and to talk to people (which is especially hard as an introvert). I was living in a rural town that had FOUR different religions; Mormon, Catholic, Jehovah’s, and Seventh Day. I was exposed to a lot of viewpoints and discovered I really didn’t know or fully understand what I was teaching. Two things occurred during my first months. I’ll start with the lighter of the two. I began masturbating again. The shower was the only time when I was alone. I began to feel guilty again and started clamming up out in public. My companion asked what was wrong and I asked for a call with the Mission President. I told the President everything I was experiencing, and he said that I should go attend the temple. I was shocked at this response. I told him I wasn’t worthy of such a holy place! He said that I was to go to the temple for spiritual guidance and that it was okay. So, I went to the temple. And I felt nothing. My guilt was still there and something else was brewing beneath the surface; my depression. I talked to a counselor about everything I was going through. I don’t even remember the counseling sessions. This whole part of my mission has become hazy in my mind. I don’t know if I’m trying to suppress it or if my mind has decided that those memories aren’t important anymore. I hope it’s the latter. I felt worse and worse with each passing day. I eventually had a scary thought cross my mind and told my companion about it. I had wanted to jump in the car and go drive into traffic. My companion called the President up and I talked to him. He set up a meeting with a doctor and I was officially diagnosed with depression. I was given medication to try. When I think back, I can now understand the circumstances/thought patterns that led to the inevitable. I was alone. No family. No personal identity. I was a horrible, horrible sinner. A straight-up pervert as I understood it. I was broken. Why else would I need to take meds if I wasn’t broken? I was a horrible missionary. I hadn’t had anyone interested in what I had to say. I wasn’t even sure what was true anymore. And lastly… I didn’t think I deserved to live. A week after starting the medication, I felt a strong urge to grab a knife from the kitchen. I needed to slit my throat. Or my wrists. Or maybe just impale myself on the blade. My mind was in full rebellion against me. But some small part of me must have been fighting back. My body locked up, not allowing me to stand up from the table. I couldn’t even speak. My companion could see there was something wrong. He tried to get me to talk. I was visibly shaking by this point. He suggested that we pray together. And I was the one who had to lead the prayer. I was shaking so hard. I opened my mouth and poured my soul onto the floor. I don’t remember what I said, but I think it was something to the effect of “please God just let me go”. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t even speaking English. Apparently, I was so distraught that I was screaming gibberish at the floor. The events that followed were all told to me the next day: My companion called the President and explained the situation to the best of his knowledge. A member of the ward came over and helped my companion give me a blessing. All of my stuff was packed up. The President came and picked us up, taking us to his home. I woke up the next morning, unsure of where I was. I got up and wandered out into the house, finding the kitchen easy enough. The President and my companion were sitting down to breakfast. They greeted me and offered me a plate. They recounted the events to me. I shook my head, not recalling any of it. The President explained that it was evident that I couldn’t stay out in my condition. I was being sent home. I had only been out for four months. I was still in a state of shock. I nodded along with whatever they said and flew home that same day. My father met me at the airport and gave me a big hug. It was the most comfort I’d felt in months. In the following months I was a on a steady regimen of medication. I was getting my depression under control. I hardly left the house, not wanting the neighbors to see me. When my parents realized I didn’t want to attend our ward, they suggested I go try the singles ward down the street. No one would know me there. So, I did just that. I attended for two weeks before I realized I wasn’t even paying attention to anything. I had been dealing with these lessons constantly for four months straight and all the variations people used in their talks just meshed together and sounded the same. I began hanging out in the foyer during sacrament, playing on my phone. Soon I was just sitting in my car during meetings. I only went to the building anymore so that my parents thought I was going. With the three-hour block, I realized I had time to actually have fun since I wasn’t being supervised. So, in my act of Mormon rebellion, I started going to the movie theater on Sundays. I was having a blast! It was the first time in a while that I was beginning to feel like me again. I began watching R-rated movies on my laptop. I started masturbating again. And I didn’t feel guilty about it! I had half expected for the heavens to open up and be smitten by God for my transgressions, but nothing ever happened. It was my first real taste of freedom. I began to see the world as it was, learning more about subjects that I’d never heard much about from the Church. I think the biggest thing I discovered was not understanding the hate projected towards the LGBTQ+ community or why they couldn’t have the same rights. It makes zero sense to me. I made lots of small realizations along the way about different aspects of the “Gospel” that I didn’t quite agree with. After being home for a while, I decided to put my feelers out into the dating pool. After several weeks of nothing, I started chatting with this girl I met online. Spoiler alert: She’s my wife now. We started dating and really fell hard for each other. We were inseparable. And then things started getting steamy. It was harmless at first. Over-the clothes stuff really. But then, we decided we wanted to see each other. We got more handsy. We even got into some oral stuff. And eventually, we went all the way. It was our own little secret at first, but we realized quickly that we really wanted to be together and that we should probably come clean to our bishops about the event. I really didn’t understand why it was such an issue for us to express our love for each other the way we did. Of course I understand now that there was no problem. At this point, my FATHER was my bishop. So…yeah. Pretty damn awkward. We were both told we’d have to wait a year if we wanted to get married in the temple. So, we agreed. My memory fails me a little bit, but I’m pretty sure we still got up to some stuff, just not full-on sex. We were happy though. The year passed and we got married! It is still the best day of my life. I had found an amazing partner in crime. We were so happy to be together in every way. The first year of our marriage was rocky. I couldn’t hold down a job. We had some definite communication issues due to never having lived together before. Things were said and done that shouldn’t have been. I actually left on a few occasions. I’ll never be able to forgive myself for throwing away the best thing in my life so recklessly. I was a complete fool. How my wife still loves me after the hell I must have put her through is beyond me. During the worst times, I went back to my parents. I was encouraged by my mother who thought I shouldn’t have rushed into the marriage in the first place. Thinking back on those times rubs me the wrong way. Suffice it to say that now, after a lot of work from both me and my wife, we’re in a much better place together. And I count myself lucky every day I get to be with her. So, with my job history being spotty, we turned to the church for help. The bishop of our ward helped us two months in a row but cut us off after that saying we needed to turn to family for support. I asked my family for help and my parents said they couldn’t. After all, they’d already helped pay for repairs on our junker of a car. (We were only at risk of being homeless after all.) My wife mentioned our trouble to her parents and they instantly offered us their basement. No rent or anything. I can never repay them for their kindness. So, we moved in and, after a few years, squared ourselves financially. During all this time we never attended church or did anything remotely Mormon. My wife’s parents never asked about it and never lectured us about anything involving the Church. During our tenure in the basement, I came to a harsh realization that I didn’t like my family anymore. I hadn’t for some time. Every time they came up in a conversation, I had always defended them simply because I had been taught family was the most important thing in this life. This was the reasoning my parents had used on me when I had almost left my wife before. And all of it was okay in their eyes because they were doing what was right according to the words of “prophets”. I realized that my real family was right in front of me; my wife. She was the only one who really understood me anymore and who knew every dirty little detail of my life and still loved me. She was willing to work through whatever issues we faced. And I knew I was willing to do the same. About a year ago, I came across a post about something called The CES Letter. I found myself intrigued. I’d never looked at anti-Mormon literature before. I thought it would be a good laugh. That started me down the rabbit hole. I looked over most of the footnotes and sources and couldn’t believe that a lot of this information came from stuff on the Church website. This was the final piece that made my shelf give. I never realized it before until I was writing this, but I’ve been building up weight on my shelf for a long time now, causing cracks along the way. Many of the events I’ve described to you added to mine bit by bit. And now I finally realized that all my life I’d been spoon-fed lies to promote a power that has held control over every aspect of my life up to this point. No more. About a month after my discovery, I told my wife about it. She seemed uneasy at first, but said she respected my views. A little later she told me how she had heard about the truth behind new names. If I had had any reservations left, they were gone now. My new name had been a big part of what remained of my faith. As the months went by, I could see my wife was becoming more comfortable talking about her doubts. Her shelf wasn’t far behind mine. We left Utah for good and got our own place, new jobs, and a true sense of freedom. We talk to each other about everything when it comes to our feelings towards the Church and the subjects that are considered “sinful”. We’ve become our true selves and have finally found peace together. And it wasn’t the Spirit that brought that feeling. I did it myself. My wife did it herself. The guilt and shame we’ve felt in our lives is gone. We broke the chains and stepped out into the light together.
2020.07.16 20:30 FreckasDivorce, North Carolina 12 yr marriage to sex addict, two children one property. Attorney consultation provided very little insight. Continuous infidelity after reconciliation.
TLTR: Married to sex addict, multiple infidelities, one fetish includes cucking me or taunting me, a home wrecking fetish, home having sex with married women and gang bangs. He has a device linked to my account, he also has another device uses it to track my vehicle to make sure I am not going driving to his lovers house or following him. He has a second security system and has denied it this has been confirmed by my electronics and WiFi being off and then on and the devices being there only when those are connected. He behaves as if he is on recording voice changes he acts engaged and attentive, then goes back to normal lethargic. Purposely tries to make me suspicious in a taunting way to distract me when he knows I am suspicious, or uses it to start a fight so he can leave. It has gotten very creative as he has modified my behavior so drastically by stonewalling me when I display less desire able behavior. He orders lots of items and sells them at work 10k this year, uses points for hotel rooms and tickets, told people at his work that I am psycho tells women he is poly or in a deadbedroom. We have two cars paid off owe 50 k on the house. He makes 4K a month. He uses credit cards in the past the snowballed. He would use them to get hotel points and airline points, company would reimburse him, to his checking he never paid but the minimum. 26k in Cc debt. He has a few sexual subs (I do not permit this he does not know that I know) that are like secretaries I can not keep ahead of this. They help him keep track of things and even have a plan to destroy or erase devices if he is caught (too late) Everything I find out is always after the fact and something new and deceitful is happening. He is possibly disordered or dark triad, he definitely has a home wrecking kink. I don’t think he is evil but he is playing both sides of this and that is evil. My question: does evidence even matter in a divorce? What if he is trying to get sole custody by making me look crazier (than your normal cheated on wife) what do I need to do? Do I need to get a recording of him agreeing that threesomes with me were not permission to cheat and have affairs? Do I need to get evidence that I am a good parent since it seems he is doing that? End of TLTR—- I consulted an attorney and she said it would be a 30 day wait, she asked for my name and the receptionist as it were informed me “24 hours before your appointment you will receive a private call to let you know you still have an appt and your spouse has not consulted with us first” Is this typical, she suggested I could be paranoid. That I don’t need to keep record of anything, that she will bring the kids in front of a judge and basically say “do these kids not look happy and well cared for” I explained he is a sex addict and have suspected him being people into our home. Also while I sleep. Fidelity and infidelity: After the affair discovery About 6 months after that, I said we could have threesomes. I’ve been bisexual, but never during our marriage, I diminished that because I much prefer men to women physically and emotionally, I had experienced it prior to meeting him but never had it came up. The attorney said that if we agreed on that and only did them together it is not me cheating but is also not permission for him— yet she did not advise me to get proof of this. I think I should have proof that I was okay with a threesome, but not him dating or having sexual partners with out me (in my eyes this was something fun for us to do, but should not be looked at as a free for all or permission to cheat) ——Irrelevant details of why I feel he is tricking me: He was confronted for the initial suspicion and gaslighted me turned things around on me told me I had anxiety encouraged me to get a marijuana card discouraged prozac. He denied denied until I had proof, he admitted to only one affair, however my medical records showed one std and one sti in my pregnancy panels and post partum check up. He at the time said I caught it from the hospital towels and showed me a study. The health department explained to me about certain sti and how they have no chance of reoccurring in this manner (after d day I got std panel done) Divorce was my last option. It feels as things are progressing to a different direction than I anticipated. I do not want to ambush my Husband but I feel as though he is planning to leave. Because he is definitely still cheating. I did consult with the best attorney in town, I don’t want to consult with all of them and pull moves like that. We are in NC where you must be separated for an entire year. ——- ——- —— Assets: house owe 60k, it is worth 100k 10k my vehicle paid off 8k his vehicle, my name paid off. 10k Land from father deceased 80k Inheritance from father in a trust for two sons. (My Mother has stated she intends to leave the house and her land to me as the oldest child and my brothers do not want it as they are over seas.) She can not host my children and I as she is child free mindset. —— ——. ——- Concerns: I believe since he is unwilling to stop the affairs, that he is waiting for me to leave. He has lied to my face because I have held back into and proof to see if he will ever be truthful. This makes me realize, he honestly thinks that if he says what I want to hear, and cuddles me, that there is nothing wrong with his affairs. Except I know of them, I the issue is knowing of one revealed the ones he has with others. ——Why? Does he stay? ——- He must believe that he can pretend to be the best husband with words, but the kids a little gift and spend time during work hours with these other women some are married one is single. That he can have the best, of both worlds-unfortunately knowing of this has actually proven to me that he is either planning to leave me as an exit affair or he really thinks cheating is okay if the spouse doesn’t know. Or this is a endgame. ——what I have done to try to stop this—— I have tried to leave, and he has told me I am not taking our children anywhere, I’ve tried to make boundaries but he would stop talking to me and sometimes not respond to our children. multiple infidelities trickle truthed. He seems to only admit what I have proof of. I did drop hints but that drove him further underground. He seems to have a young gf but also a co-worker too who is married. He has a long distance affair partner, who’s husband wrote me and my husband a year after their affair supposedly ended. She blocked his account, and mine from her spouses after his initial reach out. so I was never able to read anything past “hey this is blank, I need to talk to you about you and my wife” Another message from her “my husband would like to speak to you about our affair can you call me or shall we call you” it was written from her profile and a message from her spouses to my spouse, as well as her not quoted above, to my husband. This later revealed the affair continued after Dday. She has come to our city, he has seen her in another city away from her home town. (Insignificant details) His motives: He seems to have kink or is bisexual, one of his profiles showed men sneaking women into the home while wife sleeps. Home wrecking fetishes, snapchats with a woman that challenges clients to FaceTime her while they have sex with their wife. He joined a hotwifing forum as a “bull”. He said all of this was fantasy none physical. ——- gaslighting emotional punishment, with holding as, affection, communication stonewalling me——- The emotional abusive part enters here: he has intentionally brought up suspicious things to induce a panic. True no one can make you do anything. He has started fights before entering restaurant or public places. He takes pictures where he is staring into the camera when I kiss him. He screenshots conversations out of context. ——He is gathering evidence—— For example I texted him “it is extremely obvious you are unhappy, your mistreatment of me and hot and cold behavior has confused me to the point that I wish you to be happy, if that means you want an open marriage let me know, please know that I would not want to hinder you but would expect to be not hindered” he screen shotted that text with out the previous sentence so it looks like I am asking for a open marriage. He took pictures of his own condom on a stick, from a threesome we had. He has had the internet company come several times to change the router. During his affair he encouraged me to have a emotional affair. I asked him if he wanted to see other people what his objective was, his answer was not direct he responded with “I couldn’t stand to see you with another man, no you may not see other men but maybe women”. He never answered if he was monogamous or polyamorous he said it was just free escorts to him. Over the span of our marriage his fantasies were threesomes but evolved or devolved into something of gangbangs, breeding and being a bull for hot wives. I asked him what kind of woman he thought was ideal out of curiosity he said “the only thing I want in a woman is another woman” —-evidence of his cheating—— I found chats to a woman with construction fetish, her address, tickets to her area searched not purchased, the hard hat on amazon browser, purchased said hard hat and metal clipboard. A work shirt with a fake name on it. In his email 5 days after being sent in a work trip he had a burner phone, two fake emails, accounts to fuckagranny, coffee and meet, speed dating, sex clubs, adult hookup sites and Ashley Madison. POF, zoosk, badoo, meetup. During this time he promised everything was fine even though I sensed his behavior. —Emotional abuse intended or not:—- He became like 007, his long distance affair partner gave him advice how to manipulate me, what apps to use, he has a gf that has a cuckquean fetish that he sends his conquests to. This is how I found out what he spoke about. He has told these partners that I am bi-polar, suicidal, he antagonized me on my birthday and wouldn’t speak to me until I spoke to him after he was cruel. He has invited me on a date but when a specific couple came around he refused to kiss me, I looked up and recognized this woman as a person that was always at his hockey tournaments, she got a job there and served me a beer with liquor in it. I am not a drinker and it was distinct, he tells them I am a alcoholic. Her friend came up and told me “you are wearing such old clothes that brand is so old, they don’t make it anymore, are those maternity jeans” he said nothing, then after that the woman he refused to kiss me in front of, drew hearts on my cup. Very bizarre until you read of sadist and humiliation. (Summer of 2019) His second work trip (first wrk trip was one where he met the LD Married woman) Out of the blue he will call and FaceTime me his voice sounds different and he will say something like “you look horrible in that color your hair looks like shit, you know I hate lipstick” Before this work trip he was still being secretive, had apps on his phone where he shared his location, I later find out it was to avoid running into the women, they would install it to know when each other was home and to go low contact. I stopped going to our dates because he refused to have them on any other day but the day the other AP (affair partner) worked, she would play mambo number 5, I would play him a Elvis song and she would play the same Elvis song back. She is one of three women I have proof of. It seems he wants me to talk bad of these women he tries to make me jealous of. He calls to put me on speaker phone he will say “so so at work is so black can you believe she is into crystals and gems? I thought she was just ghetto and listened to rap” he was trying to encourage me to talk crap about her or he was trying to make it seem like she is the other woman. He would send me a poem and the same poem to the LDAP, he would play songs saying this was our song, but send it to her. The last straw was a phrase she said to me over the phone to console me on discovery day word for word, I recorded it, he wrote that in the anniversary card. It is like I am being taunted. I know this sounds paranoid. ——devices I found in our WiFi—— I discovered a 2nd security camera on our WiFi I changed the password I turned the power off, it disappeared. A device is linked to my phone and blue tooth connected. The mistake he made is he used it to track where Inwas because I began driving by his work to see if he was there and by the woman’s house. (This is because of the timesheets having vacation days) he uses to track me, however he also logs into a separate apple id to use for his burner phone. He did not log out of my gmail account so a few places are there. During his work hours. He broke my phone and when I transferred photos my screenshot photo album were deleted. I consulted an attorney and she said it would be a 30 day wait, she asked for my name and the receptionist as it were informed me “24 hours before your appointment you will receive a private call to let you know you still have an appt and your spouse has not consulted with us first” ——-Currently: ——- He is being nice to me, sporadically. However, it seems he is either planning and gathering evidence, or he is gathering proof that he is unhappy. To clarify he will usually lay in the bed and do nothing as expected of someone who is tired from working. But will jump out of bed and do something romantic or as a great father, usually he can’t be bothered by our sons, screaming crying they always come to me. He speaks articulately annunciations and very loud, as if it’s so someone can hear him. 20k special vehicle for a specific trade. We have significant credit card debt. I live very frugal omg but accept that some debt is because he is the sole income earner. I’ve been unemployed or 5 years. Two children 4 and 6. Waiting for one to age into prek I became pregnant. Off topic finance clarification: The credit card debt may be apart of his infidelities. He began getting credit cards to the hotels his employer sent him to. CC with the airlines, rental companies etc. he decided mid career or at the peak, that he should change careers. Went to college and did excellent, he is very studious and bright. I love him inspite of his betrayals. He does not come forward to ask for needs or wants, I guess and trouble shoot and that can be a needy feeling and suffocating to him. Off topic clarification: My therapist only saw for three months said Some men cheat for variety, we concluded or guessed that he was conflict avoidant. This is important as it pertains to the divorce he never shares when his out of town trips will be until the day before. He never shared he was unhappy or felt the need to cheat. I just feel as if he will blind side me due to some things that are happening.
2020.07.04 23:36 oliverjbrownHave Chad and Lori Known Each Other For Longer Than We All Think? (still digging through Mormon gossip)
On my previous post about Mormon gossip, there was one particular post from the LDS Freedom Forum that stood out to me, and I wanted to learn more. I'm including it here. ""This just makes good sense! If you're gonna knock off your Wife, predict her death first. This has the effect of quadrupling book sales, at least. Ramp up the TV and movie rights by molesting and killing the kids, and there's a ton of money in this! Michael and Nancy can handle the videography, and Keith should be able to handle the publicity, right? Feels kinda creepy knowing I've had these people in my home, most at the same time. Lisa and Rod (OP NOTE: Rod Meldrum and his wife) while they were trying to steal the textual contents of the papers, and... Michael and Nancy (OP NOTE this is Preparing the People folks) were booking auditoriums so they could get me to tell a bunch of lies for them, to a bunch of people, for a bunch of money, and... Chad and Julie (Chode and Julie Rowe) were trying to get me to let them write a book about the whole thing (which included very few actual facts), and... Jonathan (Jonathan Nevel, promotes the "heartland theory" of the Bookf of Mormon) was trying to get one of his child-molester friends to help find me a job so I'd give them to him for his collection, and... Shawn (OP Note: This must be Shawn Littlebear) knew the location of a golden walled cavern which has portals to other dimensions, but requires the sacrifice of a virgin (male or female, doesn't matter) to gain 'crossover rights'. That cave also has the "116 pages", but they're in golden leafed notebooks, which he wanted to compare to the sheets I had control of to see if they are the same.... ...just about everyone on LDSFF was trashing me for having found them, when all I wanted to do was get rid of them ASAP. Seems like almost all of you had your sights on the wrong targets (IOW, a very few of you shook the right tree, but the nuts are just now started to fall out - sorry, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of gloating). LOL I just checked my old emails (some 2.000+) on this matter and if the whole story's not in there I'd be surprised. I'm pretty sure I've exchanged emails with the person who took those kids, and probably killed one or more of the dead spouses involved. Pay attention in April, folks. I'll be gloating a lot more after that...."" Who is this guy?! Well, his name is Dan Judd (he posted his full name on that thread, so I'm not doxxing him), and he claims that he has inherited the "lost 116 pages" of The Book of Mormon, known as the Book of Lehi. From the way he tells it, for a short time Chad et al were INCREDIBLY interested in his manuscript, but mainly seemed more interested in promoting their own agenda, and Dan didn't like it, so he cut ties with them pretty early. On Sept 7 2017 this thread was posted on exmormon. https://www.reddit.com/exmormon/comments/6yquql/116_pages_found/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf Doesn’t seem that interesting, except for a few things. First, Shelle McDermott is a end of the world, “call out” prepper, and was best friends with Julie Rowe for a minute. she would have been in the same core group with Chad et al. She claimed the world would end in 2016 when Obama was revealed to be The AntiChrist, but was still happily making blog posts in 2017. Dan Judd was invited by Mike and Nancy James (Preparing A People) to speak at a camp in Morgan--this appears to be the first time he interacted with this group and shared about his 116 pages. He and his wife attended the weekend of the eclipse, August 21, 2017. Shelle McDermott either got her info about Dan from the camp itself or from someone who attended that camp, and her announcement corresponds with the camp date. Why is that significant? Because Dan claims he met Chad, Tammy, Lori, and Tylee that weekend. He remembers Tylee well because she asked for his autograph after he gave his talk. This is a year before Lori was supposed to know Chad. 2017 is important for a couple of reasons. First, Lori said Tylee went dark at “12-13”. Tylee would have been 13 at that camp. What if Lori didn’t say it in retrospect? What if she’s been saying it/believing it literally since Tylee was 13? 2017 is also important because Tylees father is still alive. His mysterious death happened in 2018 but supposedly before she met Chad. Dan Judds account is that Chad and Lori were already acting like an item and he was surprised when Tammy was introduced as Chads wife. I think if Chad and Lori are already involved with each other, Joseph Ryan’s death looks even more suspicious. This 2017 Morgan camp is also where Melanie G met Chad for the first time. After he spoke she introduced herself and invited him to come speak in Gilbert AZ. Now if Lori was there, it makes no sense for Melanie to lie. But Chad might have had plenty of reason to lie—at least by omission. He doesn’t mention Lori and Melanie never sees them together. He uses his line about being married in a previous life and Melanie falls for it. Later, Lori just so happens to meet Melanie and Melanie just so happens to introduce her to Chad (and that fits Chad and Lori's schemes just fine). I think Dan Judds timeline makes a lot of sense. Everything happens so weirdly fast if they had a 2018 meeting. The timeline of escalation is relaxed to a time frame that makes more sense. Melanie's description of Lori and Chad's relationship also makes more sense if you realize she THOUGHT she was seeing two strangers making an immediate connection, not too long-time cohorts making a fool out of her. In my reading I came across a Facebook post by someone claiming to be a relative of Chad. It was posted early in the year (around February) and like the famous Reddit Email, it had a lot of accurate information. One piece of unverified info was the claim at the beginning that Chad had actually known Lori for 7 years. I think it’s very possible they met online during that timeframe if they were both members of AVOW. It seems like Chad started to get really popular on the AVOW forum in 2015 along with Julie Rowe and Hector Sosa. It’s already $45/month to access the forum but if you wanted to be part of Chads special group, it’s an extra $5. That’s probably why Chris Parrett stuck it out so long—Chad was generating a pretty good monthly income for him. I don’t know for sure if Lori was a member of the forum but I find it likely. I would be more surprised if she was not. Dan Judd reports interactions with Lori as well. Michael and Nancy James, Chad and Lori and Julie Rowe all were interested in reading his pages and Lori was frustrated Dan wasn’t more willing to just hand them over to Chad."You need to learn to be more trusting of people" is what he reports Lori told him. Chad was trying to convince him to let Chad help him write and publish a book. They wanted to book Dan to speak at Preparing a People conferences. Ultimately Dan decided he didn’t want to support “their lies” so he cancels his speaking engagement and cuts ties with them. But not before they attended a Fireside at Nancy James’s mothers home in St George and met Lori for a second time. Also of note: Morgan was the site of the "Morrisite War" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrisite_War Who are the Morrisites? Joseph Morris was a Mormon who claimed he saw the world ending in a vision. he was big into the end of the world stuff, including the Church of the Firstborn. He was excommunicated in Feb of 1861 and then actually organized "The Church of the Firstborn" in April of that year. Things escalated to violence, as these things often do. He encouraged his followers not to plant crops since the end of the world was coming anyway. This is the text of the plaque erected at Kington Fort "In early 1862 the fort was taken over by Joseph Morris, an excommunicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, who had founded a church commonly known as the Morrisites. At one time the Morrisite fort population exceeded 200 men, women and children. In June 1862 three men, who no longer believed in Morris' teachings, attempted to leave the fort. They were captured by a Morrisite posse and forcefully returned to the fort. Responding to a report by observers of this action, the sheriff and a small posse approached the fort with the intention of taking the men for a formal hearing on the charges of which they were accused. The request was denied and further attempts were blocked. As a result, acting governor Frank Fuller ordered a militia under the command of Robert T. Burton to proceed to the fort. Even this large, Heavily armed group failed to free the imprisoned men. A cannon ball fired into the fort killed two women and seriously wounded a teenage girl. as the army assaulted the fort and breached the gates, two militiamen were killed. in the ensuing confusion, Morris, his second in command, John Banks and two more women were killed. in all, eleven people died. After the death of their leaders, the Morrisites scattered, with most going to Soda Springs, Idaho." Coincidence? Maybe. Morgan is a great place for recreation. But I don't believe in coincidences when it comes to these people.
2020.06.30 17:26 DukeDKraftThe Institute Director - Chapters One through Six (Pages 1 - 30)
Chapter One Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 In a warehouse parking lot near Walter Reed Medical Center, the Mormon institute director fumbled with the cellophaned pack, retrieving and lighting his first cigarette in thirty-eight years. He barely inhaled as he smoked it through, surprised how familiar it was to his senses. The ash glowed orange and the smoke spun his head as it wafted out the car’s open windows. He looked at his hands as he lit his second, wondering if the small tremors were from the fresh nicotine, the high stakes of the day or another dose of guilt settling into his bones. Ben Samuels remembered he’d scarcely heard his alarm go off that morning, as he’d been up and dressed. His wife had hit snooze and returned to her sleep. She didn’t think to check on him, nor make an effort to rise. Would Marge have done different had she known what was happening? Maybe, maybe not -- she’d become so distant over the past months. He stared down at his cigarette. I bet she’d notice this. ..... That morning alarm rang as Ben stood with a vacant gaze out his kitchen window, oatmeal bubbling on the stove. Dawn’s light gathered across the plain backyard, the sky clear and the grass begging a mow -- the start of a hot July day in Morgantown, West Virginia. Oats done, he grabbed milk from the fridge and made his way to the table, wholly uninterested in the meal. He pushed aside his old high school yearbook and opened his laptop, commencing a read-through of his regular websites as he ate -- the Mormon Newsroom, USA Today, Consumer Reports and Amazon, the last to check on a backordered hedge trimmer blade. Only then did he reluctantly click onto the front page of the local paper. He finished his breakfast as he re-read the article detailing John Southland’s bike accident. Though it failed to identify him by his correct name, Ben knew it was his old college roommate under the police blanket in the photos. He sighed and picked up his yearbook for the third time since learning of John’s death, or John’s murder or whatever it had been. Rogers High School, Spokane, Washington. Class of 1979. Page forty-four, Samuels before Southland, both their senior pictures on the same tuxedoed page. He ran his finger along a faded ballpoint line drawn circuitous between the two of them, “Race On!” written in the margin. Forty years and now a funeral instead of a class reunion, not that John would have attended anyway. Should he call the authorities? Wake up Marge and tell her everything? His main thought was to do nothing. The paper showed the situation in-hand and it was really none of his business. But Ben couldn’t shake the dread that had gripped him during John’s surprise visit the week before. He looked around his quiet kitchen half-expecting a calamity to break out. Nothing out of order besides the squeak of the air conditioner, he took a bright yellow USB thumb drive from his pocket and inserted it into his computer. He keyed down and opened the lone video file, still amazed at John’s resolve. There it was -- a silent and grainy footage, a prisoner restrained and bleeding at the end of a penitentiary hallway. Two men exiting the frame, the bald one halfway out and unrecognizable, the other tall and in view. The tall man turning back. Ben winced as the man pulled out what must have been a syringe full of something evil and plunged it into the prisoner’s neck. The prisoner struggled, then slumped at his feet. Ben scooted his chair close and watched again -- starting, stopping, reversing and witnessing once more. It was the most horrible thing he’d ever seen. But had John been correct? He looked up at Marge’s knick-knacks on the plaster wall. Staring back was a kitschy cross-stitch their oldest daughter had finished fifteen years prior. It read ‘Just Do It,’ the famous quote from both the Mormon prophet Spencer Kimball and a certain Oregon shoe company. John Southland had been so convinced and so desperate for help. Ben had heard him out in his institute office but done nothing. Now he was dead, like he’d predicted, and Ben had his evidence. Just Do It. He turned and rummaged through a worn-out credenza drawer, finding a red envelope. He grabbed a half-sheet of paper, searched for a location on his web browser, wrote his note and sealed it up. A final glance at the cross-stitch and the decision was made. Ben quietly put his dishes in the sink and hurried to his car, an uneasy three-hour drive to Washington, DC ahead of him.
Chapter Two Two Weeks Prior The only thing interesting about the old split-level colonial atop North Tremont Avenue was its view toward Greensburg’s historic beaux-arts courthouse. The county kept it lit at night and John Southland had come to appreciate its ostentatious dome. He gazed at it most evenings with cold beer in hand, sitting on the concrete steps outside the postwar brick and clapboard home. The panorama was between telephone wires and across a wide working-class valley, the house on the wrong side of the tracks and long-ago apportioned into three separate apartments to maximize revenue. John had been given the walkup on the main floor -- a creaky sitting room in front of a Formica kitchen with two worn-out bedrooms down a hall. Beneath him was a small basement unit, the third apartment accessed from the blacktop alley around the back. For most, it would be a dilapidated and bleak place to live. For John, it was a mansion. He reveled in the freedom and the space, twenty years of incarceration fresh in his rearview mirror. The small pleasure of a beer with a view seemed almost magical from day one. He hadn’t met many neighbors yet. There’d been an occasional ‘Hello, I’m Jimmy Montano,’ but John had remained quiet, taking to heart his WITSEC Inspector’s advice to start slow with the introductions. He filled his plate instead with his new job and all the rules and regulations that came with being a parolee within the U.S. Marshals Service Witness Protection Program. The secret he held also made him careful, a ticking bomb tucked an inch below his veneer. There’d been only one purchase beyond the necessities, an old Bianchi Celeste from a pawnshop owner who had little concept of its worth. They agreed on a hundred dollars and soon the mint green racer was performing like a European custom. John set out to regain his pre-prison cycling form, spending his evenings and off-days riding the hills of Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County. He was careful to not cross the government line as WITSEC rules didn’t allow such excursions for at least six months. His other pastime was more critical -- finding Ben Samuels. Early attempts had been fruitless. His old friend’s name was nowhere to be found on the Mormon Church’s voluminous website. John checked multiple times, waiting over a month before calling the 800 number in Salt Lake City, not wanting one shred of connection to the threat that beset him. Out of options, he used the counter phone at the downtown library after a final attempt searching the site. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, how may I help you?” “I’m trying to get in touch with one of your employees. A man who works for your church.” “Name please.” “Ben Samuels.” “Which department?” “No idea. Sorry.” “Just a moment.” The woman was quickly back on the line. “Yes, I found him. He works for the CES.” “CES?” “Church Educational System. I’ll transfer you.” The phone clicked and another woman picked up the call. “CES, how may I help you?” “Ben Samuels, please.” “Who?” “I’d like to speak with Ben Samuels.” “…May I ask who you’re with?” “No one, ma’am. I’m just trying to reach him.” “He no longer works here, in our offices.” “Can you transfer me to his location?” “Please hold a moment.” “I’m an old friend of his.” “Yes sir. Please hold.” The line switched and John found himself listening to what he recognized as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was thirty seconds before someone came back on. “This is Associate Director Oscar Trejo, may I ask who’s calling?” The authority in the man’s voice made John want to hang up. “…James. James Montano. I’m trying to reach Ben Samuels.” “I see. Well, I can tell you he’s no longer here.” “Does he still work for your church?” “For the time being. He’s out east, in West Virginia.” John stood up straight. Ben was nearby. “Do you have a number?” “I must ask, are you with the press?” “The press? You mean like a reporter?” “Yes sir.” “No, nothing like that. Just a friend.” John held his breath. The administrator paused, then relented. “…OK, I’ll take you at your word. I’ll give you back to my secretary and she can provide the phone number to the Morgantown Institute.” John didn’t wait, hanging up as the Tabernacle Choir started a new hymn. He walked back to his allotted computer terminal and keyed in “Mormon Institute, Morgantown West Virginia.” The screen refreshed and the location came up. It was no more than an hour away. The proximity and the urgency of the story he needed to share made the trip too tempting, WITSEC rules be damned. He bummed a ride from a co-worker as soon as he could. They left early and were back in Greensburg by noon, John sullen and quiet on the way home. He’d tried his best to convince Ben in his office, but it didn’t seem his former soigneur was going to help. It left John only one option. He called his WITSEC inspector and made an appointment to share what he knew. At least the video on the remaining USB thumb drive was in good condition. He’d become adept at hiding it, choosing a space under a loose floorboard the day he arrived. He was anxious the night before the meeting. The last thing he wanted was to be hurled back into prison on some sort of technicality. He tossed and turned until settling into a deep sleep after 2am, oblivious to the quiet crunch of a C-rake lock pick and the turn of his front door knob. ..... John woke to the barrel of a Glock pistol shoved against his shoulder, the beam of a flashlight dancing across the bed. “Wake up.” John rolled over. The handgun and nine hundred lumens flashed in his eyes. “What’s going on?” “Get dressed. You’re going for a ride.” “What? Turn that light off.” “Get up. That’s the last time I’m going to tell you.” John scooted to the edge of the bed. “Who are you?” “A friend or a nightmare. Your decision. Like I said, it’s time for a ride. Put on your bike gear.” John’s head cleared. He stood and didn’t ask any more questions -- the intruder wasn’t playing a game. He went to the dresser and pulled on his lone pair of bike shorts, then picked up his socks and cycling shoes. The man tossed him a T-shirt hanging from a chair. “Slow and steady. Head out the front door.” A panel van waited outside. Its cargo door was open and a driver sat behind a tinted window. John’s Bianchi was already stowed in the back. He got in and sat beside it while the man with the gun jumped in after him and slid the door shut. The van pulled away from the curb, the Glock held steady toward John’s chest. John didn’t understand. Why the bike? If they were going to kill him, they’d have shot him in bed. Did they know about the video? “Where are we going?” The man wagged his gun. “Shut up. Just sit there.” Maybe it was something else? Someone he’d testified against returning to settle a score? A midnight visit from one of the cartels? There were too many enemies to keep straight and it would do no good to ask. He went quiet, focusing his eyes beyond his captor, out the back windows. He could tell by the streetlights and the storefronts they were headed south on State Highway 119 over I-70 toward Uniontown, and that they turned east on Pechin Parkway after the county fairgrounds. Even in the dark it was easy to track the route. He’d ridden it several times over the six weeks he’d lived in Greensburg. A mile further and the van came to a stop in front of a deserted cement plant. The driver got out and walked away. In the distance, John heard a chain rattle and a gate swing open. There was a whistle back toward the van. The man with the gun turned on his flashlight and slid open the door. “Put on your shoes.” John did as he was told and followed him outside. “Forgetting something?” “What?” “Your bike. You can ride home from here.” A car’s headlights appeared around the bend as John stepped back to the van. The car slowed as it passed and the man lowered his gun. John thought to jump into the road, but it went by before he had the chance. The man was undeterred. “Get your bike and ride.” John pulled the Bianchi forward and onto the ground. He spun it around and climbed on. The man turned off his flashlight and stepped close, the scene illuminated only by the van’s taillights. John noticed his captor was at least four inches shorter than himself. “One more thing.” The man leaned in and thrust a five-inch tactical knife through John’s right side, even with his stomach. It penetrated his abdomen, slicing his liver, spleen and tearing through his intestines. John screamed and collapsed to his handlebars, the knife held hard inside him, the pain both sharp and dull. The man wrapped his other arm around John’s back and held him steady. John gasped, his gut burning and blood starting to spill. “Why?” The man yanked the knife out and dropped it to the ground. He grabbed his gun and pressed it to the back of John’s skull. “Justice for the people you murdered. Now ride home. If you make it, you’ll live.” John didn’t move, blood flowing down his side. He tried to speak but fluid pooled in his throat. The man gave him a shove. “Ride!” There was nothing left to do. John pushed off and clicked into his pedals, his right hand pressing his wound and tears streaming down his face. The Glock followed his every move. Fifty yards, one hundred yards and forward. John was delirious and confused with only his God-given talent keeping him upright. He thought of Greensburg, his new home. The stone steps, the beer. His new job, his new life. There was no way he’d make it. A cry for help on the main road was his only hope. But there had to be separation. He had to get away. He ignored the wound and tried to stand from his saddle, pouring what little he had left into the bike. He’d made it almost a half mile before he sensed headlights gaining on him, the whine of a powerful engine closing in. John tried to swerve, but the blood loss caused his reactions to slow. The empty cement truck hit him square at forty miles an hour, its barrel spinning as the undercarriage bounced over him like an animal in the roadway. John’s last thought was of his old college roommate, a final prayer sent skyward that Ben Samuels would do the right thing.
Chapter Three Tuesday, July 16th The courier service delivered the red envelope to the front security desk of the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building during the lunch hour. It was examined and time-stamped by the Mail Services Risk Assessment Team and hand-delivered to Susan Rivas, the United States Solicitor General’s Confidential Secretary. The unusual color caught her attention. She found it odd, a short note marked “For the immediate eyes of the United States Solicitor General only,” with no return address. Deciding it was warranted and straightening her skirt, Susan took it through the whitewood archway into the solicitor’s office. She found Walter Peterson alone and busy, three hours into a session of summer prep for the upcoming autumn Supreme Court term. He’d finished the lunch she’d brought him from the executive dining room and there’d been no other interruptions since the morning’s staff meeting. He glanced up as she passed the flag array by the chesterfield sofas, coming forward to his desk. Handed the envelope, he emptied it and read the half-sheet scrap inside. “I am an LDS Institute Director. I know what you are doing. Meet tonight at 10pm, 5300 West Cedar, Bethesda, Maryland.” Susan stood silent, watching him turn it over and look back at the envelope. He found a similar result -- there was nothing indicating authorship outside shaky penmanship. He looked at her and again at the letter. “Who delivered this?” “Mail Services brought it to my desk. Any idea what it’s about?” “No.” “Anything you’d have me do?” “…Nothing. I’ll check it through Chris later.” “Are you sure? I could have him come over, maybe the FBI as well?” “I’ll take care of it.” Susan was used to the abruptness. She knew to be on her toes around the solicitor. “Alright. Anything else for me?” Peterson re-read the short message and then laid it down. “Has SCOTUS gotten back about October’s schedule? Everyone was concerned this morning. The session is still three months away, but it’s normal to have a draft docket by now.” Susan shook her head. The Supreme Court’s administrative officer had told her it would be several more days. Peterson grunted and adjusted his reading glasses. “What about the Penitentiary Commission? I’ve made a couple site visits as the attorney general requested. If I’m going again it needs to be soon, before we ramp to full speed for the fall.” “I’ll check that for you. The calendar has a Commission meeting next week. You know, the AG isn’t expecting you to attend everything as you’re doing this ad hoc.” “All hands on deck, Susan. Besides, it gets me out and around the country. Boots on the ground, so to speak.” “Yes sir.” He nodded and returned to his files. Susan had to hide a half-grin as she walked away. The idea of her venerable Mormon boss a ‘boots on the ground’ anything was farcical. Bald, obese and unfit for any activity requiring sturdy shoes, she’d never met a man more behind the desk, blue blood and patrician. A woman on her block was LDS and Susan knew her to be the sweetest neighbor around. She couldn’t imagine Peterson neighbor to anyone. She glanced back from the doorway. Peterson had picked up the phone and was starting a call, the anonymous note in his hand. Susan turned to her workstation and watched the PBX screen. Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Powers’ line went active five seconds later.
Chapter Four Ben found more time on his hands than he’d anticipated after watching the courier deliver his note. He drove north out of downtown to the small Bethesda warehouse he’d chosen online. Arriving, he found it unfenced and back from the main road, secluded with hills and heavy trees bordering two sides. He circled it and set the stage. Light pole placements were noted, as was the fact there were no exterior cameras in place. He marked a corner spot to park and patted himself on the back as he left. It seemed perfect. He continued north on Old Georgetown Road through DC suburbia and past a large shopping area. His Honda Accord then merged east onto the Capital Beltway. He smiled as mecca quickly appeared on his left. Though half-hidden in the dense summer green, it stood elegant and soaring above the landscape. The Washington, DC LDS Temple, the single-most recognizable Mormon setting on the American east coast. He exited Georgia Avenue and was soon in the busy parking lot, the spired white building in front of him. Ben felt no inclination to go inside. It was enough to be on the grounds, even in the summer heat. It brought the first bit of peace since his visit with John. He found a garden bench across from his car, walked over and sat down. Bowing his head, he offered a short prayer for guidance and help -- even a sign that he was on the right path. That the solicitor general was also LDS and had probably sat on the same bench loomed large in his mind. Walter Peterson was one of the most famous Latter-day Saints in the world, Mormons looking to him with much the same esteem as the senior leaders of their church. A cult of personality existed, his name mentioned in the same breath with Hall of Fame LDS athletes, entertainers and politicians. Few Latter-day Saints were held in higher regard. A surprise appointment by an unconventional president three years prior, Peterson’s Senate confirmation had been can’t-miss television for Mormons across the country. His legal acumen and forceful confidence impressed everyone and left his church community beaming with pride. Peterson being such a prominent member of his church had been the tipping point in Ben’s decision to confront him. As the good solicitor surely desired protection of his image and standing, Ben reasoned he’d be amenable to such a discussion. The hope was for a brother-to-brother recognition, some sort of ease-the-throttle-back, get everything on the table, save-face. Foolish? Yes. Dangerous? Maybe. He at least took comfort that Mormons were well-known for such admirable foolishness on occasion. An older, Sunday-dressed couple turned toward him, smiling and holding hands as they walked. Ben shook his head and sighed. His own marriage was far from a mirror image. As Peterson had risen, he’d gone the other way. Purpose had eluded him since his demotion and transfer to West Virginia, his wife feeling the effects even more so. Though they’d both fought depression and a sense of futility in their new surrounds, Marge had isolated herself to the point their relationship had started to strain -- Ben’s ‘what can I do to help’ met too-often with a cold stare and the covers pulled tight. The couple approached. Ben realized he had no tie on and probably looked out of place. He compensated by standing to greet them. The woman smiled. “Such a beautiful day to be at the temple.” “Yes Ma’am.” She stopped and pointed to cars across the parking lot. “The different license plates are always so interesting.” “Excuse me?” “Look at that row. People here today from Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts. I love that. Summer vacation must have them on the road -- so nice they chose to come to the House of the Lord along their way.” Ben played along, pointing at his car backed into its spot. “What about that one?” The woman looked and then turned back, perplexed. “I have no idea, it doesn’t have a front plate.” Ben smiled. “That’s mine. I live in West Virginia where front plates aren’t required.” The woman laughed. “We’ll include you in our count anyway.” Keen to beat the heat, the woman’s husband patted her arm and looked toward Ben. “You have a nice day.” Ben stood staring at the cars as they walked off. It was interesting commentary, something to share with his students back at the institute in Morgantown. He thought of all the license plates he’d owned over the course of his life. Washington, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah and now West Virginia. He’d have a nice display for his garage had he kept them. Then, an instant realization of a flaw. Ben looked down the walk at the elderly couple and back at his car. If Peterson had his plate checked, he’d discover who he was. Ben wasn’t ready for that. If John Southland had been correct, Peterson was a menace. The short-lived peace in his heart evaporated. He felt the entire impetuous idea unravel, the grand confrontation less noble by the second. You’re going to get yourself killed. He returned to his car with his shoulders low and exited the lot without another thought toward the temple. He headed west, toward the shopping centers on Old Georgetown Road, intent on lunch and little else.
Chapter Five June 1st, 1990 CES Area Director Oscar Trejo waited for his boss on the eighth floor of the LDS Church Office Building. He was off the clock and self-conscious minus a suit, visiting Salt Lake City on a vacation day to attend a family function. He hadn’t planned on the summons and was glad he at least had a white shirt and tie to wear. Ushered into Associate Director Ronald Hayes’s large office by a secretary and left alone, Trejo found an oversized U.S. map propped on an easel beside the desk. Multi-colored stickpins were placed in college towns throughout the eastern United States. Trejo figured they were potential sites for the new Regional Select Institutes, knowing Church Educational System leadership had appointed Hayes to oversee the project. He was studying the map when the Associate Director entered and shut the door. Trejo pointed at the stick pins and spoke with his usual candor. “Are these what I think they are?” Hayes smiled. “If by ‘these’ you mean potential Regional Select Institute sites, the answer is yes.” “May I speak freely, sir?” “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Trejo ran his index finger down the right side of the map. “I don’t like it.” “What’s not to like?” “These ‘RSI’s. I don’t like the concept or the philosophy. Are we really going to encourage these students to not come to Brigham Young University or institute programs in Utah, urging them instead to stay back east for college?” “That’s the general idea, yes.” Hayes scooted past Trejo and sat down at his desk. He opened the center drawer and retrieved a paper-clipped set of four index cards. Trejo continued as he moved to a chair opposite his boss. “Why would we do that? How is it better than bringing them out west? Many of the eastern programs have less than a hundred students.” Hayes took a deep breath and looked across the desk. “How are you, Oscar?” Trejo grinned, realizing he’d jumped ahead. “Fine, sir.” “Wife and kids?” “Everyone’s good. They’re all waiting for me at my in-laws’. We’re attending a high school graduation tonight.” “Who’s graduating?” “My wife’s sister.” “Wow. I know you’re the youngest of our Area Directors, but to have a sister-in-law graduating from high school is quite something. How old are you?” “I’m thirty-eight, my wife’s thirty-three. She’s the oldest in her family, with eight brothers and sisters. This is the last of them.” “Well, I hope you enjoy yourselves. When are you heading back to Arizona?” “Tomorrow. The family will stay here a while, now that school’s out. How did you know I was even in Utah?” “Simple. I called your office in Phoenix and found you were on the road. Your secretary gave me the number where you were staying.” “How can I help?” “For starters, let me address your point about low enrollment at our eastern institutes. What about the students there now, Oscar? Don’t you think they would appreciate extra resources and more LDS kids joining them?” Trejo ignored the logic. “It seems like we’re conducting an experiment which might hurt more than help in the long run.” “The long run is why we’re doing this. The idea is to foster organic, regional growth. LDS students staying in their home areas to attend college, meeting others doing the same, marrying and settling where they’re from. Growing the church that way.” “Sounds pie in the sky.” Hayes shuffled his cards. “What about your Arizona Area? If I’m not mistaken, you have over five thousand Mormon students attending non-LDS colleges and their adjacent institutes down there. Why not shoot for those numbers elsewhere? Ignoring these sorts of things not only stalls the growth of our institutes outside the inter-mountain west, it very well hinders the growth of the church in those regions as well. How many of these kids who come to Utah wind up going back to where they’re from after they graduate? And what happens to those areas of the church when they leave? Like a leaky faucet, a constant drip of strength exiting the very places that not only need them, but the spots these young folks call home. And where do they wind up? They either stay here, where we already have an overflowing strength, or land in a third place with no roots and a yearning to move yet again. No Oscar, I don’t see it like you seem to anymore. Fortifying institute programs to retain many of these students in their home areas is what we should be doing, and these RSI’s are just what the doctor ordered.” Hayes doled out the index cards across his desk. Trejo sat forward and watched. College Station, Texas; Gainesville, Florida; Blacksburg, Virginia and East Lansing, Michigan. Texas A&M, the University of Florida, Virginia Tech and Michigan State -- already four of the largest institute programs east of the Rocky Mountains. Hayes looked up and continued. “These are the four we’ve decided to start with and the groundwork has already been laid. Marketing materials have been drafted and Church architects have visited the sites, submitting plans to renovate and expand each one. I now have to recommend additional staff, including full-fledged assistant directors at each location.” Hayes picked up a card and got to his point. “Tell me about this fellow you have in Mesa, Ben Samuels.” “Samuels? Great guy with a full head of steam.” “So I’ve heard. He has a Master’s in Higher Education and was baptized in an institute font. If his interview goes well, I’m thinking of sending him here….” Hayes handed Trejo the card in his hand. Trejo took it, reading it aloud. “Gainesville, Florida. The University of Florida.” He turned serious. “Well, if you’re going to do this, I think Ben’s perfect. Amazing really. How did you hear about him?” “He’s inquired about moving from our high school seminary programs to the collegiate institutes.” Trejo smiled. “He’s an interesting case study. A convert who never attended high school seminary, now teaching it and doing quite well. He’s been in Mesa several years and seems content, but it wouldn’t surprise me if bigger things were ahead for Ben.” “He grew up in Spokane, Washington, right?” “I think so. He joined the church while attending Washington State University, in Pullman. He’s told me that. His wife introduced him to the missionaries, back when they were dating.” “I look forward to meeting him.” “I have a different idea for you. If you’re serious about this ‘homegrown’ business, why not assign someone who happens to be from Florida to be the new assistant director? Send that person home and leave Samuels in Arizona. We’d hate to lose him.” Hayes put his elbows on his desk and leaned forward. “Excellent question, Oscar. It goes to my larger point. We’ve actually looked into that, at all four sites. Would you believe we don’t have a single qualified CES employee who hails from Texas, Florida, Virginia or Michigan? Think about that -- it’s a telling fact. Twenty or thirty years from now, we hope to find a different circumstance. Maybe you’ll be sitting in my chair by then. If you are, I hope you’ll find more options than I have today.” Trejo wasn’t ready to quit. “I still don’t like it, sir. As a parent, I’ll do everything I can to get my kids to one of our church colleges and would only consider something like an RSI as a last resort. I wouldn’t even want them at the major Arizona universities attending the institute programs I oversee. I want them here in Utah, where we’re at our best.” “I understand, and we’re not interested in weakening the church schools. This will be an additional, fortified resource to work in tandem with what we have here in the inter-mountain west. Let’s not forget, these institute programs already exist. Our goal is to strengthen them, create a few gems to shine bright and give the LDS students from these areas another solid option to consider.” “What about financial considerations? One of the great benefits of church colleges is the tithing-supported low cost. Certainly BYU is a cheaper option than the University of Florida.” “We’re working on that as well. As part of the roll-out, LDS endowments and scholarships will be set up and encouraged at each RSI site. We’ll be asking the membership to consider donations. It’ll defray the cost differences and further enhance the visibility and viability of the programs.” “Do you think you’ll get much in the way of contributions?” “I’m confident we will. These programs might be small, but they’ve had their successes over the years. We’ll be reaching out to the alumni, as well as the general membership. I believe it will work, and work well.” “Florida would be lucky to have someone like Ben Samuels. Why not send him to Washington, where he’s from? I’m sure he’d love that. I visited his classroom a couple months ago. He had a Washington State banner on his wall.” Hayes reached over and retrieved the card from his area director. “No, it’s east of the Rockies where the interest lies. If these four programs are successful, we’ll expand from there. As you’ve said, it seems Ben will do well wherever he’s assigned. At least for now, it’s Florida that’s in the cards for him.”
Chapter Six Tuesday, July 16th Ben was still smoking when the black SUV entered the parking lot and disappeared to the other side of the warehouse. Opening his door, he cursed himself for being so dramatic with the cigarettes. He’d smoked for three hours straight, more in remembrance of a life long passed than any desire to calm his nerves. He got out, stubbed his last one and threw the almost-empty pack in a nearby dumpster. Enough of that. He took a deep breath and headed the other way around, rehearsing what he would say. I know what you did. I know what you are doing… The SUV’s yellow fog lamps brightened his path as he turned the final corner, the vehicle fifty yards ahead. A man was standing outside the open driver’s door. He reached in and flipped on the high beams, assaulting Ben’s eyes with a blinding white. “That’s far enough.” Ben stopped and raised his hands halfway as the man came toward him. He was short and thin, quite the opposite from what Ben knew of Walter Peterson’s large build. The man’s suit, tie and confident gait identified him as a deputy or agent, a man with a badge and a gun. He approached, looked Ben over and then patted him down, spinning him around to double-check. “What’s your name and what do you want with the Solicitor General?” “I need to speak with him.” “I need to see some ID.” “I’d rather not disclose who I am. Is he with you?” “Did you write that note?” Ben started to answer but saw another man climb out of the SUV, shutting the door behind him. “Chris, it’s ok, send him over.” Chris forced a smile. “I guess you win. Follow me.” Peterson’s thickset frame cast a wide shadow in the dim light. Tall and overweight to a fault without a hair on his head, he resembled a former athlete who’d let himself go, his glory years decades behind him. He was dressed to match his guard, but as they came to the passenger side of the SUV, Ben could tell his suit and tie were from a much better store -- the United States Solicitor General before him. Ben hesitated then stepped close, an image of his dead friend appearing in his mind. Peterson wrinkled his nose and leaned back on his heels. “Who are you and what’s this cloak and dagger business about?” Ben glanced at Chris, astonished he’d made it to the moment at hand. He turned and looked Peterson in the eye. “Never mind who I am. I’m here about James Montano.” Peterson raised his eyebrows. “Who?” “I’m sure you know the name.” Peterson scraped his shoe across the asphalt. “The note you wrote this morning. You’re an institute director for the Church? Where?” “Yes, I work for the Church out here. Telling you that was the only way I could get this meeting. But I’m not here to talk about me. I want to talk about James Montano.” “Again, I don’t know anyone by that name. To be honest, this is quite strange. If you aren’t going to tell me more about you, this little waste of my time is over.” Peterson turned and reached for his door. Ben gathered himself and brought forward his case. “I think you killed him…. And if you did, I know he’s not the only one.” His fist on the handle, Peterson stared at the reflection in the window and seemed lost in thought. He then straightened and swung back, his demeanor cold, his voice that of a seasoned prosecutor. “First, would that be cigarettes I smell? Mormon institute director? I think not.” Ben tried to reply but was cut off. “Second, I have no idea what you’re talking about and it’s obvious you don’t know what you’re doing here. Third, though I haven’t had the privilege of an introduction, you seem to know who I am. I would think that might give you pause. I know nothing of a ‘James Montano.’ I suggest you slink back to your car and head home before you find yourself in serious trouble.” Ben pressed as Chris stepped forward to intercede. “James ‘Jimmy’ Montano, AKA John Southland, witness protection case WS436C. Found dead in a ditch three days ago, south of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He came to me last week, told me everything and gave me proof.” Peterson’s bald head cocked to the right, his eyes widening at the mention of John’s real name. He dropped his hand from the SUV’s door and started toward Ben, raising his chin like a prizefighter sizing up an opponent. Ben caught his breath and stepped back. Chris grabbed his arm and shuffled him off, letting him go in front of the headlights. “Stand still with your hands where I can see them. Stay like that until we leave.” Awash in the light, Ben watched as Chris went back behind Peterson, who stood glaring his way. He opened the rear passenger door and tugged on the solicitor general’s coat. “Come on boss, let’s go.” Peterson sneered and shook his head, then turned and climbed back into the vehicle. Chris retreated to his driver’s seat and put the SUV into reverse. Ben stayed put, his nerves shot and mind racing, the taste of something much worse than cigarettes in his mouth. ..... Peterson pulled out his phone and sent a text to Neck, stationed nearby in a stand of hackberry trees. -Stand down. He looked out the window and up the hill, catching a glimpse of his lanky security assistant lowering his sniper rifle. Peterson then turned toward the windshield and took stock of the so-called institute director. Just under six feet tall and waspy white, he had a pot belly, balding salt and pepper hair, cheap shoes, wire-framed glasses and a skittish demeanor. The typical build of a fellow Mormon in his mid-fifties. Though he resisted the thought, he had to admit -- every box was checked. “Proof? What proof could he have?” He ordered Chris to step on it and they were gone.
2020.06.18 13:57 Alert-PotatoHow I ended up married to my BFF’s cast off
I feel like I need something positive in my life, and so I am going to share one of the best parts of my story. How I came to be married to the amazing husband I have today. So after winding up across the country, 2000 miles from home, and having my SO break up with me for one of my friends, I was adrift. Lost in a sea of loss, loneliness, and hurt. So because the place I landed happened to be Utah, it should come as no surprise that the solace I found was religion. I had a strange and difficult relationship with religion throughout my life, which is enough for it’s own whole post. Sticking to just the basics of this part of it, I came to the religion, it didn’t come to me. There was no coercion or pushing, it was 100% my choice, and I have no regrets even though I have a tenuous relationship with the organized religion I am a member of (although not my faith) today. I had already been attempting to get back into dating a bit, so I threw a profile at an LDS dating site as well, one my BFF was using. We both experienced some failure, some success with dating. We also both mostly focused on just living life. She was divorced with a toddler. I was divorced and across the country from my kiddos. We both just wanted to enjoy life and make rent every month. We worked at a call center together, and it was really one of the best times of my life. We’d end up roommates for a few months before I got married. I had a sister for the first time. It was great. One afternoon we were discussing dates on a break at work. She mentioned she had matched with this guy and it just wasn’t working out. We worked first shift. He worked second shift. Plus she’s a mom, so kid stuff comes up. So their schedules just never meshed and they kept pushing back having a real date and she had finally decided it wasn’t meant to be. She asked me for help to brush him off in the nicest possible way. So I asked the only reasonable question. “Well, is he cute?” He was! (And is.) I was like hey, just mention in the email that you’re giving me his contact info and I’ll get in touch with him. That’ll soften the blow! And I did email him. And I didn’t hear back from him, which I thought was weird. But I couldn’t think too much about it, I was going home for a wedding. Two of my cousins (siblings) we’re having a double wedding, and I was flying (first time!) home to see my family. It was a great time, turns out I love flying, and I got home exhausted but unable to sleep. So I’m sitting in my apartment, mentally wired, and decided to jump online and see if I had an email. Nope. What the hell? He couldn’t even bother to email blow me off? Jerk. So I decided to email him again, and if he didn’t respond I’d forget he ever existed. He responded immediately, we stayed up til 3 or 4 am chatting online. Had a brief phone conversation in the interest of verifying we’re real people who don’t sound like serial killers. Not that either of us could tell you what a serial killer sounds like. That was the first week of September. At the end of September we had our first date. By then I think we were both already pretty emotionally invested, having spent a lot of time chatting online. Things were chilly for a bit between us due to some stupid stuff, but Thanksgiving rolled around and I invited him (at BFF’s insistence) to her family dinner. Somehow that got us back on track. By Christmas we were engaged and discussing dates. About the time we started discussing when to get married, we realized it was leap year. We both enjoy a good joke, or a bad one, and that settled it. It was fast, but we were sure. Leap Day. It was a random Friday. We didn’t want a wedding or anything special. We just had a tiny ceremony in a small room of the church, his parents invited the dozen or so people for dinner at our favorite pizza place. We have a local place that’s pretty upscale for pizza, but suck it, it was our wedding and we love pizza so it didn’t really matter. We live near the capital city, so we spent the weekend up in Salt Lake, and got on with the business of being married. It’s been 12 years. It hasn’t all been good, anyone who tells you all of life is good is a liar. Life is hard, and complicated. But there have never been regrets, and it’s been mostly good. We have some spirited political debates (we’re pretty unmatched on that front), but we don’t fight. We’re quick to apologize and to forgive. Always willing to give the benefit of the doubt. We refuse to let the little things in life get to us. A couple years ago we celebrated 10 years of marriage (not an anniversary, it wasn’t a leap year) by going to a comedy club. They asked if anyone there was celebrating, so we called out that we were. He asked what the secret is to a happy marriage. I said comedy and laughter. Hubs said compromise. Which lead to the place erupting in laughter, so I still won that one. Really, the key is love and respect. Marry your best friend of whatever gender you’re into (as long as it’s mutual). It’s cliche, but it’s amazing. And that’s the story of how I married my best friend’s cast off.
2020.06.16 12:20 inSEARCHofCHOCOLATE5 years out, 2 years since resigning
(Longish) Today marks my “cake day” which is also the day I decided to resign from the Mormon church. I mostly lurk here and on Reddit in general. I’ve never shared my story so here it is: I was BIC to convert parents and am one of 9 kids. I grew up in a small town in Tasmania, Australia which a fairly substantial LDS population. I never really enjoyed going to church back then and a lot of the church kids I grew up with weren’t the nicest and some outright bullied me and my older brother (great Christ-like behaviour, amirite). We left the crappy small town after 10 years and I kept at the whole church thing through my teens but mostly just because my youth leaders were very kind and somewhat persistent in keeping me active (though my parents would have forced me to attend anyways). I dropped off attending once I left the youth program until I got a calling to Nursery. I’m a sucker for little kids and also had a hard time saying no to a calling (and to be fair it was actually my first one) so back to church I went. Now around this time, all my peers were pairing off and getting married or going on missions. Once I was finally released, my then bishop extended the invitation to go on a mission. By this stage I was in my early 20s and what else are unmarried young adult women meant to do!? I eventually declined due to financial reasons (not to mention I’m awkward af and probably wouldn’t have had a good time. At. All). Anyways I pottered along through many, many Primary callings and eventually ended up teaching in Relief Society. By then I was late 20s and still stuck in YSA. We didn’t have the population for a YSA ward where I lived and my work meant that I couldn’t take the time off during YSA convention season to try meet someone. I eventually dated someone long-distance through an LDS dating site but it didn’t work out for various reasons. I was kinda devastated by the whole ordeal (which I won’t go into) because I fully thought my time had finally come. The “magical” experience of going through the temple to marry someone had been snuffed out. I wanna take this time to also note that the closest I’d ever been to a temple by that stage was the front door. Yep, not even for baptisms. After that experience and a few other things I came to realise I’d been living a lie. The church wasn’t true. Promptings are BS. I’d been told over and over that if I “did the right thing, I’d be blessed with a family of my own”. I’d been told SO MANY TIMES that if I kept up doing the right thing (tm), I’d be blessed. I’d had enough. I started browsing this sub without a Reddit account for a few years before I made this one and learned an awful lot about the church that that finally cemented my resolve to be done with it all. Fast forward to now, I’m married to a fantastic never-mo, no longer struggling with the crippling depression and low self esteem issues, and I’m now ACTUALLY blessed with the life I have. Thank you for reading! F U JS!
To the lone white guy in hill crest area on Kavanaugh holding BLM sign in the middle of afternoon.... (223 points, 26 comments)
I am seeing crazy traffic lines in evening exiting LR and waiting on Northbound 430 trying to turn 40 towards Conway with lines sometimes extending all the way back up till Cantrell. All of this due to the construction on I40. Any idea till when when they'll keep that turn single lane? (22 points, 6 comments)
Any recommendations regarding local places where I can get Dash Cam installed? (18 points, 21 comments)
45 points: ilolz2's comment in Any avian enthusiasts know what type of bird this is?
42 points: episodenick's comment in Over 500 New Covid Cases Today in Arkansas, Highest Single Day Number so Far
40 points: Ankeneering's comment in LRPD and Mayor both blame out of state actors and Antifa for violence and damage during protests, but none have been arrested and they failed to state any actual evidence of Antifa other than referring to US Attorney Cody Hiland. Reporters kept asking about Antifa with no real answers given.
38 points: NomenReddit's comment in Marched 9 miles yesterday. I’ll march a billion goddamn more if it finally means Justice
38 points: TheR3PTILE's comment in Post from Mayor Scott on reviewing police policies. Also reduction of state police presence and review of deaths.
To the lone white guy in hill crest area on Kavanaugh holding BLM sign in the middle of afternoon.... (224 points, 26 comments)
I am seeing crazy traffic lines in evening exiting LR and waiting on Northbound 430 trying to turn 40 towards Conway with lines sometimes extending all the way back up till Cantrell. All of this due to the construction on I40. Any idea till when when they'll keep that turn single lane? (21 points, 6 comments)
Any recommendations regarding local places where I can get Dash Cam installed? (18 points, 21 comments)
44 points: ilolz2's comment in Any avian enthusiasts know what type of bird this is?
41 points: Ankeneering's comment in LRPD and Mayor both blame out of state actors and Antifa for violence and damage during protests, but none have been arrested and they failed to state any actual evidence of Antifa other than referring to US Attorney Cody Hiland. Reporters kept asking about Antifa with no real answers given.
40 points: aramink's comment in North Little Rock police officer fired for striking homeless man for 'no apparent reason'
39 points: DancingLR's comment in What are the hidden gems of central Arkansas? We are looking for restaurants, shops, museums, etc.
2020.06.06 19:06 KestisCal4How to tell if someone is legitimately interested in me?
So I'm absolutely terrible at telling if someone is interested in me either to hookup or hang out or go on dates. This is extremely true for girls that I've talked to on dating sites (what few I match with and work up the courage to message) but I'm finding it more true on grindr for sure. For instance, I've been talking to this really cute guy recently and we seem to have some stuff in common. I enjoy talking to him and we've traded pics and talked about what we're into sexually. He definitely seemed down to meet at some point which is cool. I kept talking to him after that and we manage to have good conversations. He replies to every message I've sent and we have some form of a conversation which is nice. I've noticed that he really doesn't message me first and I've started getting insecure about talking to him. I worry that I'm being annoying or that he's just being nice and responding. I tried moving the conversation to a different app, but he doesn't use it which is totally fine. I'd like to move it somewhere off grindr just because that feels appropriate. Any advice on knowing if he's actually interested and how to move the conversation wo ld be greatly appreciated!
2020.06.05 02:29 pierian_springThe Church's History with Racism
I come from a long line of TBMs and I was one for most of my life. My transition out of the church was spurred by LGBT issues, the church's history with race, and a comparison between the two. At one point, I wrote my dad a long e-mail documenting my feelings about the church's history with race and a number of resources. I feel like it is prudent to share with this group in light of all that is happening now, especially because many TBM's are sharing Nelson's post and/or trying to say the church was persecuted in Missouri for treating African Americans like people. Enjoy this far too long letter: Hi Dad, At some point, I would like to talk with you about an issue that really really bothers me, and I think is indicative of how the church will handle the LGBT issues going forward, and that in my mind really undermines any claim to divine leadership from the church. It seems to me that Church leadership changes over time and contradicts itself on who qualifies for the priesthood, salvation and the celestial kingdom—key doctrinal points, not esoteric non-salvation oriented tangential “deep doctrine.” Today I want to talk about the church’s history with people that have black skin. To be upfront about my emotional state on this, I am angry about the church’s history here and am ashamed to be associated with such bigoted, violent and hateful rhetoric. I want to have a conversation, but not start an argument, especially because I am very doubtful that I will change my mind on the subject. You mentioned in one of our previous conversations that you wanted me to know that you are aware of and have been seriously bothered by some issues (you weren’t clear on which ones, but I presume this is one). In my view, men that claim to be prophets that screw up this badly, cause significant lasting damage, and get such fundamental points of doctrine wrong (like who qualifies for heaven) are not entitled to my trust. I think past presidents of the church were clearly not led by a loving God that is no respector of persons. I think this history undermines the claims that God won’t allow the president of the church to lead the church astray because the church has followed this “bad” precedent for more than half of its history, and has only fully incorporated black people in the last 40 years. If past presidents screwed up this badly, there is no reason that current presidents cannot make similar blunders and I am no longer willing to outsource my morality based on what the leadership of the church claims is “true” “divine” or “doctrine” The gospel topics essays from the church state “Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng There is a lot to unpack here, and I will try to be succinct with my questions but will provide significant evidence and sources. Please speak up if you have an concerns about the quality or veracity of my sources.
In your view, does the church topics essay mean the church is “disavowing” certain parts of the scriptures, for example, 2 Nephi 5:20-21 “20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence. 21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” See also Jacob 3:5, 3 Nephi 2: 15, and Moses 7:8. If so, what does that mean for the validity of the scriptures? If not, how do you reconcile the essay and the scriptures that seems at odds.
Is a Church committee disavowing what was taught as doctrine (but in the church topics essays dismissed as “theories”) by prior presidents of the church? I have so many follow up questions to this, but I think they largely boil down to “how can I trust current leadership when past leadership screwed up so badly and dug in their heels?” and “Wouldn’t it be better for me to trust my own internal moral compass than outsource it to church leadership, because I would much rather stand on the side of those that are being singled out and told they aren’t worthy (by no fault of their own, at least in this life) rather than in the safety of a “prophet” that claims to speak for God?” there is also an administrative and theological issue with an unnamed church committee and scholars (rather than a current church president) overruling the past presidents of the church that claim to be the only living person to have all the keys of the kingdom. For example past teachings are in question bullet points under 3:
Do you believe anything that is taught by church leaders in my below excerpts? If not, how to you reconcile these teachings with your faith in their divine mandate? There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of these types of quotes spread throughout the church’s teachings by presidents of the church and the quorum of the 12. I have tried to pick the best representations and most troublesome
Origin of black skin as a curse and divinely authorized slavery: Joseph Smith Jr claimed slavery was of God and that Blacks were the sons of Ham that deserved slavery. “It is my privilege then, to name certain passages from the bible, and examine the teachings of the ancients upon this matter, as the fact is uncontrovertable, that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the holy bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation and walked with God. And so far from that prediction’s being averse from the mind of God it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude! https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/letter-to-oliver-cowdery-circa-9-april-1836/2 Brigham Young repeated the same ideas. “I will remark with regard to slavery, inasmuch as we believe in the Bible, inasmuch as we believe in the ordinances of God, in the Priesthood and order and decrees of God, we must believe in slavery. This colored race have been subjected to severe curses, which they have in their families and their classes and in their various capacities brought upon themselves. And until the curse is removed by Him who placed it upon them, they must suffer under its consequences; I am not authorized to remove it. I am a firm believer in slavery. . . . When the Lord God cursed old Cain, He said, ‘Until the last drop of Abel’s blood receives the Priesthood, and enjoys the blessings of the same, Cain shall bear the curse;’ then Cain is calculated to have his share next and not until then; consequently, I am firm in the belief that they ought to dwell in servitude.” Speech by Governor Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature Giving Counsel on a Bill in Relation to African Slavery Salt Lake City, Friday, 23 January 1852 cited in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2009), 1:473-74; The Teachings of President Brigham Young, Volume 3: 1852-1854, comp. and ed. Fred C. Collier (Salt Lake City: Collier’s Publishing, 1987), 26-29 available at http://mit.irr.org/brigham-young-we-must-believe-in-slavery-23-january-1852 If not cursed from their ancestors, Harold B. Lee suggests black people were less valiant in the pre-earth life. “The privilege of obtaining a mortal body on this earth is seemingly so priceless that those in the spirit world, even though unfaithful or not valiant, were undoubtedly permitted to take mortal bodies although under penalty of racial or physical or nationalistic limitations.” (Harold. B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living) Not only was Cain called upon to suffer [for killing Abel], but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning. Enoch saw the people of Canaan, descendants of Cain, and he says, "and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people." . . . In the spirit of sympathy, mercy and faith, we will also hope that blessings may eventually be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren—children of God—notwithstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness (The Way to Perfection, by Joseph Fielding Smith, Genealogical Society of Utah, 1935, pp. 101-102). “The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the Priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle” (Official statement of the First Presidency to BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson, dated August 17, 1951, quoted in John Lewis Lund, The Church and the Negro, p. 89). Interracial marriage prohibition: Brigham Young claimed the Law of God demanded instant capital punishment for interracial marriage and would never change. “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. The nations of the earth have transgressed every law that God has given, they have changed the ordinances and broken every covenant made with the fathers, and they are like a hungry man that dreameth that he eateth, and he awaketh and behold he is empty.” Brigham Young, (March 8, 1863.) Journal of Discourses 10:110 available at https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Journal_of_Discourses/10/25#110 George Albert Smith reaffirmed Brigham Youngs position in May 1947: Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now. God’s rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous. Modern Israel has been similarly directed. We are not unmindful of the fact that there is growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.” (LDS First Presidency (George Albert Smith), letter to Virgil H. Sponberg, May 5, 1947) Partial Blessings of the Gospel: Blacks “cannot share in the Priesthood; they cannot bear rule; they cannot bear rule in any place until the curse is removed from them; they are a ‘servant of servants.’” Speech by Governor Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature Giving Counsel on a Bill in Relation to African Slavery Salt Lake City, Friday, 23 January 1852 cited in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2009), 1:473-74; The Teachings of President Brigham Young, Volume 3: 1852-1854, comp. and ed. Fred C. Collier (Salt Lake City: Collier’s Publishing, 1987), 26-29 available at http://mit.irr.org/brigham-young-we-must-believe-in-slavery-23-january-1852 George Albert Smith clearly stated that blacks don’t get the full blessings: “From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel. (LDS First Presidency (George Albert Smith), letter to Virgil H. Sponberg, May 5, 1947) Other abhorrent quotes by church leadership: “As a general thing that part of the Negro race that are in servile bondage, are much more comfortable and better provided for than the lower classes of the nations of Europe… When a master has a Negro and uses him well, he is much better off than if he was free.” Speech by Governor Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature Giving Counsel on a Bill in Relation to African Slavery Salt Lake City, Friday, 23 January 1852 cited in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2009), 1:473-74; The Teachings of President Brigham Young, Volume 3: 1852-1854, comp. and ed. Fred C. Collier (Salt Lake City: Collier’s Publishing, 1987), 26-29 available at http://mit.irr.org/brigham-young-we-must-believe-in-slavery-23-january-1852 “We must not inter-marry with the Negro. Why? If I were to marry a Negro woman and have children by her, my children would oil be cursed as to the priesthood. Do I want my children cursed as to the priesthood? If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn't any argument, therefore, as to inter-marriage with the Negro, is there?” Apostle Mark E. Peterson, “Race Problems – As They Effect the Church,” Address given at the Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, delivered at BYU, August 27, 1954 "There is no doubt that the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is used as a Communist program for revolution in America just as agrarian reform was used by the Communists to take over China and Cuba. This shocking statement can be confirmed by an objective study of Communist literature and activities and by knowledgeable Negroes and others who have worked within the Communist movement." (Elder Ezra Taft Benson Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Conference Report October 1967 pg 35-36 available at https://archive.org/details/conferencereport1967sa/page/n37 “If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get a celestial resurrection. He will get a place in the celestial glory. He will not go then with even the honorable men of the earth to the terrestrial glory, nor with the ones spoken of as being without law” (Apostle Mark E. Petersen, “Race Problems – as they affect the church" Address giving in Provo August 27, 1954, at the Convention of Teachers o Religion on the College level available at http://www.mormonthink.com/files/race-problems-affect-the-church-mark-e-peterson.pdf "Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abraham 1:20-27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them... negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man’s origin. It is the Lord’s doing, is based an his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate." (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine) “For what purpose,” by Alvin R. Dyer is just all kinds of Bad: “The reason that spirits are born into Negro bodies is because those spirits rejected the Priesthood of God in the pre-existence. This is the reason why you have Negros upon the earth. You will observe that when Cain was influenced by the power of Lucifer to follow him to fall down and worship him in the beginning, it was then that the Lord came to him and said, ‘Cain, if you will abide the law – if you will keep the commandments, you too can be acceptable to me. But Cain rejected the counsel of God. He rejected again the Priesthood as his forebearers had done in the preexistence. Therefore, the curse of the pre-existence was made institute through the loins of Cain. Consequently you have then, the beginning of the race of men and women into which would be born those in the pre-existence who had rejected the Priesthood of God. There was another division in the pre-existence – those who were not valiant in the acceptance of the Gospel. You see, there is a great difference between one who accepts and one who accepts and does something about it. We had a division in the pre-existence who did not reject the Priesthood, neither did they fully accept the plan of salvation that was advanced by the Christ. They, therefore, in accordance to the plan of the Gospel, became those of the lineage of adoption.” https://www.mrm.org/for-what-purpose-dyer
Not really a question, but to add context to our discussion: One of the greatest issues I have with the church is the church’s unwillingness to accept fault or apologize. They even have new testament scripture that talks about seeing through a glass darkly. Instead, they try to wipe the slate clean and ignore the pain and culture that they created, and blame God. I am well aware of Bruce R. McConkie’s explanation for all this horrible stuff, and I find it lacking for several reasons, not the least of which is that it was said at a CES educators conference, and not at general conference by the leader of the church.
“Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more. It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year, 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them. We now do what meridian Israel did when the Lord said the gospel should go to the Gentiles. We forget all the statements that limited the gospel to the house of Israel, and we start going to the Gentiles.” https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r-mcconkie/alike-unto-god/ The above quote is infuriating, but in my view is the best defense anyone in the quorum of the 12 or above have ever given. He literally asks us to “Forget” everything that was taught for over 100 years. He literally acknowledges that this is a “new arrangement.” I also find the comparison to taking the gospel to the gentiles to be a very poor. I’m not aware of Jesus ever advocating that gentiles couldn’t get into the best heaven, are racially inferior, and should be killed on site for marrying a different race. His explanation also implies that God willfully let the past presidents of the church flounder in darkness while withholding the essential ordinances of salvation from people. President Nelson’s recent address to BYU about the change in policy from 2015 to 2019 followed a similar pattern. Both policy decisions were dictated by God, but God, in his omniscience, failed to consider the pain people would feel, and it was President Nelson who pleaded with God to be more kind—he was “grieved” for the “heartache” the 2015 policy caused. https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/russell-m-nelson/love-laws-god/. This talk is also infuriating for many reasons, including President broad statements that cannot be true for example “Sometimes we as leaders of the Church are criticized for holding firm to the laws of God, defending the Savior’s doctrine, and resisting the social pressures of our day. But our commission as ordained apostles is ‘to go into all the world to preach [His] gospel unto every creature.’ That means we are commanded to teach truth. In doing so, sometimes we are accused of being uncaring as we teach the Father’s requirements for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. But wouldn’t it be far more uncaring for us not to tell the truth—not to teach what God has revealed? It is precisely because we do care deeply about all of God’s children that we proclaim His truth. We may not always tell people what they want to hear. Prophets are rarely popular. But we will always teach the truth!” If prophets always teach the truth, what am I to make of the above teachings about black people that have now been disavowed as “theories?” Also, President Nelson also claims that “God has not changed his definition of marriage” which is ironic coming from the leader of a church that was famous for polygamy and then abandoned it, and currently practices eternal polygamy—President Nelson has been sealed to two women!
2020.05.07 10:22 ThrowRA_IWishForLoveWas my ex super Toxic?
Every so often everything plays through my head because it pains me that things ended on horrible terms. I asked myself for a while if I was in the wrong and I really still haven’t figured it out. My ex and I got together in the middle of 2016 (we were long distance). Towards the end of 2016, a toxic friend of mine was pushing me to hang out with a guy I didn’t like but who had a huge crush on me. My friend and I went to a huge park nearby to walk around. What I didn’t know was she invited her boyfriend and the guy who loved me (she knew about my long distance bf). Well. My friend and her boyfriend got into an argument at the park and I had had enough of them constantly arguing so I continued to walk. The guy who liked me followed me, trying to hold my hand. I didn’t allow it and kept ignoring him. We got to the parking lot and out of no where he pushed me against a car and kissed me against my will. Obviously I pushed him away. Fast forward and I never told my LD BF because I was embarrassed: i felt assaulted really. Well, the guy who forced me to kiss him messaged my bf so he messaged me and when I tried to explain, he didn’t listen and we took a break. I was heartbroken. It hurt so much to the point where I attempted to date the guy who ruined my relationship but I was just disgusted with myself. I somehow fixed things with my ex and we got back together. Everything was rocky for a while: he didn’t trust me even though I felt I did nothing wrong. He acted completely different towards me and would always use this as his excuse. He also never let me explain the situation because he didn’t want to hear it. Well, on our one year anniversary, his parents wanted him to help them all afternoon so I went with a friend to see a movie. He got so pissed at me and told me it was my fault because he stepped away from his family to talk and I was busy. His family is very controlling so when he said they wanted him, I assumed he would be busy and I really wanted to see this movie. So anyway, this is where everything fell. He blamed me for the whole thing, saying I never loved him and that’s why I went to see a movie. I apparently didn’t care about how he felt. He said all of this to hurt me and it worked. I tried to fix things but he told me he was broken and wanted nothing to do with me. He even brought the idea of breaking up to the table because he didn’t care about me, but wouldn’t actually break up with me. He also got pissed at me because I apparently always came up with excuses as to why I couldn’t visit. I was a full time student and had a job that I needed to help my mother with payments. He had no job and got out of school before I did. There was even one time he was traveling and was going to have to catch a connecting flight in my state. I said I would come visit him for the small amount of time at the airport and he told me that was a dumb idea. He also never made any attempt to visit me because, like I said, he had no job and was out of school doing nothing all summer. But apparently it was MY fault because I didn’t visit him. His dad offered to help pay for me apparently, but yet he didn’t use that money for himself. It was always my fault. He finally broke things off when he stopped snap chatting me so we lost the 2 months of best friends award because, like I said, he gave up. Turns out he was cheating on me after our anniversary because this girl messaged me maybe a week after to say she’s been dating him for a while and had some questions. He had also set his bio for some social media sites as a date for this girl that was during a time we were still together. He said I cheated on him when I was forced to kiss someone because they were stronger than me and had me cornered, and yet he actually cheated on me. He reached out to me after unblocking me and finding out I had found someone else and that a beloved pet died. I gave him a cold answer and haven’t heard from him sense. Is my ex toxic or was I just overthinking?
2020.04.02 21:36 pricel01Out at 57 and finally found the right way to live and be happy
In 1981 I was in high school and the church published a manual claiming homosexuality was a wicked choice. Church leaders proclaimed it was the responsibility of every male member to serve a mission and marry a woman in the temple. I did that and kept expecting to find happiness and eventual conversion to heterosexuality. I managed three children before gay took over and my body refused to react to my wife’s touch. I found relief in gay porn and masturbation only to be guilted into a depression by the church. The antidepressants made me into the asexual being the church was teaching gay men in the 21st century to be after anondoning the bullshit they taught me as a teenager. After 30 years of marriage and living “the right way” I was more than 100 lbs overweight and strung out on so many medications I could have started my own pharmacy. Then I stopped going to church. The depression eased. I began loosing weight and my health improved. I took a job out of state. No church, no wife. Just happy. New Year’s Eve 2019 I went to a gay bar and chatted with a guy. For three hours I didn’t tell any lies, a record for me. Being LDS, married and gay made me a liar. It felt like coming up for air and breathing for the first time. I filed for divorce. A month later, I met a man. We began dating and we fell in love. The mere site of him lights a fire in my soul. I finally get the appeal of wanting to be married for time and all eternity. I resent the lies the church told, how they stole my youth, ruined my former wife’s life and set my kids up for a difficult ordeal. But I refuse to give TSCC any more of my energy. In primary I used to sing “there’s a right way to live and be happy.” I snuggle with my boyfriend, hold his hand and kiss his handsome face. At 57 I am out, 100 lbs lighter and off the medications finally having found the right way to live and be happy.
I Joined A Mormon Dating Website - What I Found (2020 ...
Katie’s story LDS Singles - YouTube
TrueLDS, LDS dating site for LDS singles. - YouTube
Mormon Dating - YouTube
Silverdaddies Silver daddies Daddies Old Men ...
Online Dating Sites : About LDS Online Dating Services ...
LDS Singles - Online Dating Sites - YouTube
LDS Singles sites where you can meet other LDS singles for friendship, love and marriage. http://www.squidoo.com/lds-singles-online A social network for gay older men and the men who love them Silverdaddies Silver daddies Daddies Old Men Older Men Mature Men Dads Daddy C... Meet LDS singles like Katie on http://truelds.com/. This is the story of how Katie met her boyfriend Ethan on TrueLDS. TrueLDS is an online dating website fo... TrueLDS is home to 10.000s of verified LDS singles. No profile or login is, get instant access to 1000s of amazing single latter-day saints near you. So, hav... Meet LDS singles like Melissa on http://truelds.com/. This is Melissa's experience of how she met her fiance. TrueLDS is run by Latter-Day saints for Latter-... In this video, I go through a mormon dating website to get a better feel for mormon culture. I discuss the questions they ask and talk about why they're red ... LDS, or Latter Day Saints, online dating services allow singles to create profiles and verify that people are who they say they are. Check out LDSmingle.com ... Wishing you luck in love and life- it's a tough dating world out there. Keep in touch! @mormongirlssay on twitter and insta.