Friday, April 18, 2008

Indoctrination


With this raid of the Texas polygamist compound all over the news lately, and with the outcome of the 400+ children who were taken into child protective services's custody being largely determined today in court, I have felt my latent fascination with polygamy re-sprouting. About 3 years ago I read every book on polygamy I could get my hands on. I had just visited Nauvoo for the first time since I was a young teenager, and suddenly this concept and the controversy that accompanies it became objects of great interest to me. Because many of the Nauvoo historical sites were left to Emma Smith, or rather because she chose to remain in Nauvoo instead of following Brigham Young and the saints to the west, these sites are largely properties of the Community of Christ church- once the Reorganized LDS church. Interestingly enough, there were many books on polygamy in the visitors center there. I found this interesting because on my tour of these sites the elderly brother who took us through told me in no uncertain terms that he did not believe Joseph Smith was a polygamist. He said that their church held the firm belief that Brigham Young had started polygamy, and had unsuccessfully attempted to convince Joseph Smith to follow his example and officially introduce polygamy into church policy. Consequently, there were many books on the shelf in that visitors center which attempted to present testimony and facts that decry the myth of Joseph Smith being a polygamist. The Community of Christ has preserved the Joseph Smith line as the prophetic dynasty that is called to lead the true church. They follow the bible, the book of mormon and the other canonized scriptures that the LDS church uses. Of greater interest to me is that in the early 1990s women were given the priesthood in the Community of Christ. They are given it by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority the same way that the LDS are given the priesthood. They baptize, preach, administer ordinances, and even lead congregations. In fact, the line of Joseph Smith turned to a critical point in the early 90s when a male prophet could not be found. The person in line was a female, and so she became a prophet. Pretty progressive for a mormon, right? I had not heard this in all my life as a mormon, and I was duly impressed as a part-time feminist. I asked my mom about this and she looked on it with the appropriate degree of disdain. She believes women cannot rightfully hold priesthood of any kind, but she wasn't mad at them because like true LDS believers she must see the Community of Christ as just another vain attempt to access the true authority to save. The fact that they have Joseph and Emma at their root makes them no closer to truth. Because truth is all or nothing. Isn't it?

Of course the FLDS church has its own difficult story. Men choosing to believe that the LDS prophet Wilford Woodruff "sold out" in 1890 by receiving or claiming to receive a revelation about the end of polygamous practice-- or "the principle" as it was commonly referred to, broke off into many and various factions which have survived if not flourished since that day. Now I have read many books about polygamy. There are so many I have not read, but one interesting book I read while still at BYU was this book I found for a dollar at Savers called "More than One." It was all about how even though the current LDS church does not practice polygamy, and in many ways has tried to PR as much distance from the issue and their history as they can, this author shares that this is still very much a mormon principle, and shares letters and journal entries from many women who were involved in polygamy from the mid 1830s-1900. I found this book very moving as an LDS believer (which I very much was at the time). I found myself touched yet perplexed as to why the church would distance themselves from polygamy the way they have, while still allowing men to seal themselves to more than one woman in temple ceremonies in cases of death of a wife or even in cases of lawful divorces that do not go through the process of breaking the temple seal. I was especially confused and quite upset when in the July 2005 Ensign there was a beautiful article about the life of Bathsheba W. Smith, wife of George A. Smith. If you read the article from start to finish, it would appear that Bathsheba was an only wife of a prophet, much like a Marjorie Hinkley was in 2005. What the article omits, is that Bathsheba was very passionate about living "the principle", that she shared her husband with several other wives, and did so in great faith and diligence. In her journal entries, she talks about how firmly and plainly she believes and follows the practice of polygamy as a divine gift given to the world. The Ensign article pulled a lot of quotes from her journal and writings, but omitted anything regarding polygamy. They had to do some creative editing in order to accomplish this. So many of her entries talk about living the principle, even encouraging her husband to follow it to a greater degree! To me, it clearly was one of the vital tenets of her faith in the restored gospel. Yet here in this article which is meant represent the greatness of her life and her faith, no whisper of polygamy is present. If this principle is still important to our theology, why are we ashamed of it? Could it be that we are afraid of scaring off potential converts by embracing our past involvement in the practice, and also owning that we still believe that the principle is an important part of eternal salvation?

The problem with the situation in Texas is this: even though surely these are mostly wonderful mothers with the best intentions, the truth of the matter is that they have been indoctrinated to believe that it is holy and spiritually purposeful to marry of their young women as young as is desired by the men in power. The young girls have been taught that the greatest blessing of their lives is to bear these children, even as children themselves. They have no compass by which to decide that this is abuse of power, that this is abuse of children. Adolph Hitler, one of the most successful indoctrinators in modern history said that,

"The great masses of the people...
will more easily fall victims to
a big lie than to a small one."

Indoctrination is an interesting thing. As LDS people we too have been indoctrinated, but not nearly on this scale. However, we do believe that we must do and be certain things in order to be acceptable and worthy before God. We must perform certain acts willingly if we want to be saved. Even our thoughts and feelings have been infiltrated and are to an extent monitored. We have been taught to sometimes shun common sense and other "of the world" views to uphold what we have agreed to believe to be the "only true and living church on the face of the earth." We've covenanted before God and angels to uphold these teachings, and prior to 1990 we even made signs concerning physical punishments associated with failing to comply. Indoctrination and mind control is actually principle of most religions, at least the ones who are powerful and successful. And make no mistake, Mormonism is powerful. Mormonism is successful. So are many other faiths. What would happen if somehow a megalomaniac like Warren Jeffs were to become our prophet. We are not at such a risk to this because we are not subject to dynastic considerations when choosing leaders, but nevertheless: what would the prophet convince you to do? Would you, like a suicide bomber, go to eternal glory by blowing up an enemy to the church? Would you take a 14-year old wife? Would you send away your son because there are too many men for each follower in the community to have the requisite 3 wives needed to get to heaven? How far would your religious training and beliefs take you? Would you reject your child because they told you that they could not follow the religion you taught them? What are you willing to give up to follow what you have been taught and what you have chosen to believe?

The quote that I read which inspired me to write this post was spoken by Flora Jessop, a woman who escaped from a polygamist compound and now is an activist in saving other women. Having been taught that the polygamist world where she was raised and reared was a literal heaven on earth, she said after leaving that, "The pain got so bad in heaven that I was willing to damn myself to hell to escape it."

Flora Jessop now knows that she is not going to hell for leaving the FLDS community and refusing to follow its principles. I understand Flora's statement though. As I started making my way out of mormonism, I truly believed that I might be making a choice to go to the Telestial kingdom. I have heard many ex-mormons who have been out of the church for YEARS saying the same thing: they are going to the Telestial kingdom but they would rather that then have to live their lives in the church. To me that is powerful.

I would like to say that I, as a human being, was not flourishing in the LDS church. There were moments of true connectedness and wonderful experiences in the church, but overall I felt like my soul was being slowly stripped of any ability to FEEL. For years I tried to tell myself that it was my own wickedness and unworthiness that made me unable to fully connect to my life as a mormon. There was also enough about the church that I loved which allowed me to distract myself from the fact that I was losing my soul not saving it. I believe that now I have a fair attempt at life because I have left the indoctrinated world and choose to see the world with my own eyes, and feel through my own rescued soul.

Leaving the church is not actually the full answer though. Authorities in Texas know that just taking these women and children out of that environment is the very beginning of trying to give them a chance at life. Just getting out without further work can leave a person shattered and alone, with no foundation for finding meaning in the rest of his/her life. Many who are removed from polygamist communities find their way back into the safety of their childhood indoctrination, finding nothing but hopelessness and pain on the other side. The road out of indoctrination will be long and extremely difficult for anyone who endeavors to tread it uncertain pathways. But the bright shining truth of humanity is that a soul never dies. No matter how beaten down we feel, there is always a way to heal, improve, and fully live life. That is the great blessing of life, and also its great hope.

14 comments:

MohoInTx said...

I live in San Angelo, which is where the kids were taken to after leaving the compound. I get a lot of questions and jokes concerning the matter, and sometimes the conversations get pretty interesting.

I learned in institute a few weeks ago that during the years the Church practiced polygamy, most of the women fully supported it... moreso than the men in fact.

I always thought that was kind of crazy, and wasn't sure how true it was... but according to what you said, and how these women in the FLDS interpret things, I guess that is entirely possible and makes sense.

MoHoHawaii said...

Is the issue with the FLDS child abuse or polygamy? Or is being raised in a polygamous household de facto child abuse, even if no other aspect of the experience is abusive?

I think the US has a weird, hypocritical view of polygamy. We are propping up a new government in Iraq where polygamy is common and legal. So I guess we support the abuse of Iraqi children if polygamy is de facto abuse.

I'm in India right now on business, and the law here allows Hindu men to marry only one woman and Muslim men to marry up to four (provided he treats them all equally). Where are the US sanctions against India for enslavement and abuse?

Personally, I'm not a big fan of polygamy. I am descended from Mormon polygamists on both sides, and the family stories I heard growing up were not positive. Make no mistake, polygamy caused some very bitter feelings back in the day.

I haven't been following the FLDS story very closely, so I could be wrong, but this seems more about polygamy than the treatment of children.

MohoInTx said...

The FLDS issue is about child abuse and underage marriage. I believe all the kids are under state custody now, which means they will be living in foster homes... which REALLY bothers me, btw.

Clark said...

MHHawaii-- from what I can tell, the US government and local agencies have developed an attitude toward polygamy that mirrors the no sodomy laws that many states still have. If it is between consenting adults then I don't think anyone is taking issue with it to be honest. There have been SO many stories though from women who escaped of ritual rape of underage girls in the temples and elsewhere in the community, that I think when "Sarah" the unidentified 16 year old who grabbed a cell phone and made a call to the police, that was sort of the last straw and the Texas authorities went in. The battles in court over the last few days have been about whether they had a right to enter and take the children away-- they are trying to prove to the judge that the children are not safe there-- and part of that YES does have to do with the ideals and values of this particular sect. The fact that their own mothers allow older men to take these underage wives in the community is proof enough for some that the children should not go back. But as mohointx said-- its such a lose lose situation because growing up in a foster home can bring about a myriad of different problems for the child! Honestly I feel so much for these children and also their mothers. Its just a terrible situation.

Parallel Mormon said...

Clark,

For a few moments there I thought you were about to embrace the Community of Christ (and I was happy for you, truth be told).

I have read up somewhat (out of interest) on them. The Community of Christ is drifting toward Protestantization. The last two CC Prophets, President W. Grant McMurray and President Stephen M. Veazey view the Book of Mormon as unhistorical and the latter declined to reaffirm the Book of Mormon as divinely inspired.

An offshoot of the CC, "Restoration Bookstore," does believe in the Book of Mormon as divinely inspired and has published several translations, the Spanish and Russian translations being of exceptional quality, far superior to our jejeune endeavors in Spanish and Russian translation, I'm sad to admit.

Two questions. ¿Todavía puedes hablar español, no lo has olvidado? ¿Quizá lo puedes leer? Okay, that was two.

Question number 3: This posting of yours is dedicedly more anti-organized religion, LDS religion, than so many others. Might you entertain the suggestion that your current views are in part reactionary to the conflict you have undergone in failing to harmonize your sexual feelings with the Gospel? In other words, if you were not gay, would you still have the objections to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that you currently do? And if not, does this not suggest a certain arbitrariness to the disaffection?

By encouraging others in this vein or mode of expression, might you inadvertantly be sending the message that homoerotic inclinations ultimately preclude participation in organized (regularized, systematized, orderly) religion, unless the religion says "anything goes"?

In your recent video publications you still suggested that leaving the Church may not be right for every (Gay) person, although you planted the idea of remaining in the Church as a stoic rebel of sorts--a bit subversive, I might add. This recent posting of yours seems to sway even further to an outright call to abandon the faith.

Again, though, I do appreciate the work you do to draw folks away from physical destruction. I think you are wildly successful in this. But you're using your God-given gifts to keep His Gay sons at a distance from Him. You have an enormous sway over people (eres hermoso, eres guapo, eres persuasivo, buena gente pero también equivocado, digo yo), but why the crusade to bring down the Church?

Can we step away from our own authentic worlds and see a greater universe? If the only reason we are drifting out of the Gospel is our sexual inclination, might we be using sexuality to draw the wrong conclusions here? Might we be experiencing a sort of sexually-motivated overreacion?

You make the point that if the Gospel is true, it does not need any one of us to validate it through a struggle to overcome homosexuality. I would like to suggest that each of us is irreplaceable in the Gospel, but not indispensible. If the Gospel is true then we need to struggle to overcome, both as proof to others as well as proof to ourselves. An analogy: If life is precious, then we need to fight to preserve it, even if the fight is frought with difficulty and peril. I see you keeping our brothers from a terrible destruction (suicide), but at the cost of keeping them in a gay bay where they can enjoy a certain level of spirituality by laying claim to love for a God while concomittantly disavowing His very admonitions on chastity if these conflict with the passions they wish to explore.

I like you, buddy, so don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-Clark. I am, however, for the Gospel 100%, and, I'll be bold for a moment, want you back in the fold instead of opening an exit for the struggling sheep.

J

Sansego said...

I'm a member of the Community of Christ (RLDS) so I feel a need to correct some facts you got wrong.

In 1984, President Wallace B. Smith received a revelation to allow women to serve in the Priesthood. This controversial revelation was voted on by the church body at World Conference and approved, then canonized as Doctrine and Covenants Section 156. We lost about 50,000 members who couldn't accept the revelation and left the church to form "The Restorationists" (which you can find churches all over Independence MO).

In 1996, President Wallace B. Smith stepped down as leader and Grant McMurray became our first non-Joseph Smith descended prophet. We do not have a female prophet, but we have two female apostles.

In 2000, our church decided to officially adopt the Community of Christ name to return as close to the original name (Church of Christ) as possible (there's already a Church of Christ) and to avoid the centuries long confusion between RLDS and LDS that many non-movement members have regarding our two churches.

At the 2004 World Conference, many members were threatening to leave the church if the church passed a resolution brought forth by a more liberal congregation to allow gay church members to marry and hold the priesthood office. It's the ongoing controversy within our church. Our leaders tend to be liberal, but too many of the members at large are conservative and I don't think our church could survive another mass exodus like the one in 1984.

It's good to find your blog and read about your views on the FLDS, which is at the opposite end as RLDS. That puts the LDS squarely in the middle between the three churches.

Clark said...

Sansego THANK YOU so much for correcting my misinformation.. can I correct my blog using quotes from your response? I should have done better research. Its amazing to hear more of the history. I am really interested to hear more about Doctrine and Covenants 156 and also about how the church is planning to move on the gay issue. Wow so interesting! thank you for posting

Sansego said...

Sure, you can use my quotes if you like to make corrections.

I'll have to see if I can find Section 156, but I suppose you can google it or check the cofchrist.org website.

As for the resolution of gay equality in the life of the church, a friend of mine in the church believes it will once again be a resolution to vote on at the 2010 World Conference. It's a congregation in Canada that sponsored the resolution last time and they're more than willing to bring it up again. I'm not sure the church is ready for such a tolerant and accepting stance...too many folks still have hangups over sexual diversity.

I'd love to see the church body pass a resolution that allows openly gay members to hold the priesthood and marry within the church community...but I also don't want to see a mass exodus of people leaving the church over it.

It's sad that people allow their own prejudices to discriminate against other people. The reality we need to face is that the world is overpopulated and we're facing rising food costs, rising energy costs, competition for scare resources and water...so same gender marriages shouldn't be a big deal anymore. It's not like humans are going to become extinct anytime soon if men started marrying each other. We have more to worry about climate change causing our extinction than gay marriages!

elbow said...

Dear Red Oyster,

"Excuse me are you trying to address me?"

What I really want to say is that you know I love you and this post is just brilliant on a lot of levels because you're truly asking the question of what it means to be taught something and feel not only that it's true but that if you don't accept the system of faith that you will be less of a person.

The bottomline (and what I hear you saying) is that no Church, no ideology, or system of though can make our value as human beings decrease or increase for that matter. Mormons aren't loved anymore than the Polygs are and they gays should have just as much right to adopt kids or get married as anyone else. The problem is when people feel fear so intesely that they have to prove to themselves through the repression of a marginalized minority that thier faith is more true than someone elses.

These kids who are experiencing doctirne that is abusive and detrimental to thier progress is something parallels the mormon teachings of anit-gay messages to it's members.

SPREAD LOVE AND PEACE AND HIGH VIBRATIONAL TOUGHTS...no more doctirne of kingdoms...who cares about kingdoms anyway...it just seems like a really stupid way to waste your existance worrying about getting into a kingdom or not. Be happy now and the rest will take care of its self.

Sorry "that was a lot". I love and miss you, boo. LIVE!

Chris said...

parallel mormon wrote: Might you entertain the suggestion that your current views are in part reactionary to the conflict you have undergone in failing to harmonize your sexual feelings with the Gospel? In other words, if you were not gay, would you still have the objections to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that you currently do? And if not, does this not suggest a certain arbitrariness to the disaffection?

I know these questions are directed at Clark, so forgive and indulge me.

Have you considered that failing to reconcile sexuality to church doctrine could have a floodgate affect that could lead one to question much more?

For me, once I realized my own truth did not match what the LDS Church had taught me -- and which I tried, with faith, to accept and believe for many years -- I began to consider the questions of truth and authenticity far beyond questions of faith and sexuality.

I think this is a common experience for those who ultimately leave the LDS Church, or any church for that matter. One question leads to many.

Clark said...

Chris, thank you for your comment. To be totally honest I have been having conversations with people in my family about the fact that I am transitioning into a full life for myself which I personally found that I could not have in the LDS church. This has been quite a taxing process for me. I guess since I have had a boyfriend for over 2 years I figured some things would be self-explanatory, but I see now that they still thought I really believed in the church. Regardless, it has been difficult because I have to in a way "defend" my life from the barrage of scriptural and prophetic not to mention emotional pleas to make a different choice. Parallel, you know I love you but I just don't really have the energy to break down for you the reasons I wasn't happy in the church and how I arrived at this place. The fact of the matter is that I have had to do this for members of my family over and over and I'm just kind of ready to live now and stop defending my right to have agency. But since I'm already writing, I will say this. Chris has completely hit the nail on the head as usual. Its similar to the way that mormons say that everything hinges on the book of mormon. If you believe that then everything is true and you are pretty much obligated to ignore or chase away any doubts you have about the church. The book of mormon is a great book and anyone who reads it will probably feel the spirit in reading it. But I will also feel the spirit reading the Koran and the Bhagavad-Gita if I'm being honest. The point is, when I started to realize that the church's position on my sexual identity was not only incomplete but harmfully doctrinally wrong, it caused me to take a deeper look at the church. You, as a mormon, will probably choose to believe in most cases that anyone who leaves the church, or anyone who doesn't want to join for that matter is just a person who refuses to accept truth because they don't want to live by the stringent moral code of mormonism. I used to think that. Maybe that's not true of you. It is certainly a generalization of mormons-- not all mormons think that way. But your comment to me suggests that I basically found a reason to not believe because I didn't want to try anymore. Well that's just not the case with me. I stayed in the church over a decade after coming out. I kept living it and could have continued, but as Chris said-- the questions started stacking up and the answers FOR ME were just not there. This is exactly why Boyd K said that gays feminists and intellectuals are enemies to the church. Because they will all probably ask questions that will come up without answers that are good enough to justify continuing to live in a paradigm that doesn't include everyone. Make no mistake. You as a gay man are marginalized in the church. If you pretend to be straight and marry a woman you can be streamlined, or if you agree that you deserve to be marginalized and live as a celibate then you will be allowed to stay. But you are not allowed to choose your partner and love who you love, even legally marry who you want to legally marry!

Furthermore, your argument that my sexuality and circumstances are my reasons for questioning go both ways! What if you were to talk to a recent convert and say "your testimony is invalid because the only reason you searched for answers is because you were unhappy in your prior life. Your connection to mormonism and your conversion are not real." Of course looking at it from the other side you can see how unfair your judgement of my journey is.

Regardless, this is my bliss. I am happy I have released the toxic doctrine that had me brainwashed to believe that I was broken and tainted-- and being gay was just a manifestation of my shattered and splintered spirit. That is BS. I have realized that I can't let ANYONE, even a prophet, tell me that what I am feeling about myself is from the adversary, while what they tell me about me is from God. I discern differently and I am responsible for me. I won't turn that power over to anyone or any organization again.

As far as opening an exit for struggling sheep I am happy to help anyone escape the self-loathing that the doctrine of the church can engender. Whether they want to leave mormonism altogether is completely up to them! I have left so I can understand my influence on people who are in between, but I'm not going to apologize for what I have learned and come to accept. Especially when its resultant effect on me has been undisputedly positive.

Parallel Mormon said...

Clark,

Thank you for you response.
A couple of points--your argumentation against the Church is like a play by play out of the Book of Alma. I respect your right to find your own way, and I, too, believe that God's ways are so great and inclusive as to astound us when we experience closeness to Him. His ways are the same for all, with no deviation or variation.

Any revelation that does not concord with the previous revelations is simply not of Him (and the revelation on the Priesthood concurs with all the previous revelations--only simplistic misinterpretations conflicted, however widespread the simplistic errors were, or whoever espoused them). I say this to preempt my detractors.

BTW: I'm one part American Indian, one part West-African, one part Spanish, one part Arabo-Spanish, one part Judeo-Spanish. To see me you'd think I was Puerto Rican or Dominican, mainly for the Afro-Hispanic traits, though I'm simply classed as an American of Central American heritage (my only homeland is San Francisco, though Finland is my soul land). I can be classified as Hispanic, though I think of myself as a Child of God, a Latter-day Saint, (San Franciscan, Californian, American, citizen of the world).

Truth is truth, regardless of who says it. For some folks it helps to know that my view on the Priesthood is not the one I should naturally have had. For that matter, my take on what to do with homosexuality also goes against the natural response. Alright already, enough doctrine!

I often feel the Spirit when I read the Kur'an (Bosnian), I am Gay, I believe in the equality of the genders, and I am intellectual--and the arguments that everyone, no exceptions, everyone has used agaisnt the Church fall flat on the basis of reasoning, logic and methodology, in the first instance. They fail on truth, in the second.

My wife and daughter are worth more to me than any gay fulfillment. My little girl means I chose right, and covenants matter more than authentic inguinal pleasures. Kingdoms matter more than pleasure domes.

You never did answer one question, but I think you understood me: ¿Todavía puedes hablar español?

You are a really cool fellow. Your video collage was astounding--you look like perfection itself. I'm surprised you've never tried modelling--or have you? Well, don't let it go to your head, because a beauty is the same as an ugly to Heavenly Father and His son.

I hope our differences never serve as a pretext for diminishing friendship.

Parallel Mormon

Clark said...

Parallel--
Por fin te voy a responder en espanol para contestar tu pregunta.. sigo hablando espanol a cada oportunidad que se me ofrece, y con gran animo y placer. A mi me encanto mi tiempo en mexico, la gente que conoci y la cultura en general. Pero eso es lo que dicen casi todos los ex-misioneros.. verdad?

Bueno-- como siempre gracias por la respuesta que ud. apunto. Primero de todo, gracias por el complimento de haber dicho que mi respuesta es como el libro de Alma-- es decir que es bien escrito! jajaja. Bueno- la verdad es no creo que es semejante en ningun modo por el simple hecho de que yo me estoy explicando mayormente no con escrituras y pruebas pero mas que nada por medio de mi propia experiencia y mis sintimientos-- lo cual es una calidad muy mormon no crees? Por que por mas que lo intenta uno pelear con alguein-- no se puede para nada cuando la otra nada mas comparte su testimonio, y eso es lo que siento que he hecho. Aparte, yo no soy el anti-Cristo Parallel. No tengo la energia ni la inteligencia ni el deseo. No siento que quisiste hacer esta comparacion, pero se lo hizo talvez sin querer.

Por la vida que has escogido- estoy totalmente contento que sientes que vale la pena por tener tu esposa y tu hija. Nadie te va poder decir que no, porque solo tu conoces a ti mismo. Yo nunca diria esto por otras razones tambien.. las de que yo casi escogi casarme con una mujer tambien, pero al momento (como he dicho en mis videos) siento que el espiritu me dijo que no no no no debia hacerlo. Esto es MI vida, no la tuya. Estoy muy contento creer que el espiritu te dijo si si si si hazlo. Esto no molesta mi fe para nada.

En fin- ojala que tengas un buen domingo, y que tu con los tuyos son todos a gustos y bien felices!

Parallel Mormon said...

Clark,

¡Me has dejado completamente sorprendido! Yo esperaba que pudieras escribir una que otra cosa en español, pero nunca me imaginé que pudieras expresarte tan precisamente como lo hiciste. ¡Bravo! Si estuvieras tú aquí delante de mí te daría un abrazote fuerte con felicitaciones. ¡Muy bien hecho!

Si bien tu explicación me pareció como la argumentación de Corihor, me arrepiento de haber hecho la comparisión, por lo menos en forma abierta. ;-) Tú eres, por más diferente del mío que sea el camino que has eligido, una persona muy genial, tierna y muy buena.

Gracias por tu respuesta. Yo me sentía un poco apesadumbrado por las incertitudes que enfrento (es bien difícil de poner una casa de venta, más difícil aún de venderla y mudarse), pero tu deseo de que yo pase un buen día domingo me bendijo. Gracias, y bien sé que todo va a salir bien.

Bueno, mi cuate electrónico, que pases una muy tranquila tarde. Ojalá que te encuentres bien y de buena salud. Tambíen deseo salud y felicidad para tu pareja, y ojalá que él sea una persona que reconozca que bueno eres.

Okay, una peticionsita—por favor trata de no hablar de la Iglesia con tanto anhelo de que la abandonemos. La quiero mucho y es la mera verdadera. Respeto por los deseos de cada uno es de suma importancia, pero muchos te vienen desesperados, confudidos, perdidos y sin ninguna esperanza (además hipnotizados con tu belleza) y tan sóla la sugerencia de que «más allá de la Iglesia existe la paz y felicidad» puede influirlos a dejarla, pero de lo contrario buscarían opciones de quedarse. Déjales la opción ya que ejercitas mucha influencia.

Mi esposa me critica diciendo que para mi todo es blanco y negro (y me lo dicen otras personas sobre otros temas). Quizá tienen razón. Trataré de fomentarme más tolerancia, pero sería bueno, creo yo, si tú rebajaras un tantitito el anhelo de culpar la Iglesia cuando la mayor culpa está con miembros imperfectos, ¿no?

Bueno, y una cosa más, mi cuate electrónico—yo soy James. El Mormón Paralelo es mi título de Blog. Llámame como quieras, pero mereces saber con quien hablas, pues yo sé a quien hablo y quien me bendijo con respuestas.

¡Chao!