The Hand of God Withheld—Necessary Restraint

Making an argument for the Christian god and his incompatible nature—for them

The argument for an inconceivable and unimaginable, all powerful god. One that is without parts of physical matter as we could even comprehend. Consider a character so foreign to our nature, that his eternal compositions could not be seen, felt, or tasted, for our matter is not compatible nor can mix with his attributes (No wonder the psalms are so many) in any way.

All god can do at this point is watch, for historically when he has interfered or tinkered with the deeds of men (parting seas, global floods, Israelite armies laying waste to entire regions) are a horrible affect of mixing his perfect nature with this synthetic world. His attributes and ours—immiscible. Simply looking at the LORD, his foreign composition is too different, too toxic to be presenced by human neurons, optic nerves, or flesh—or are we too toxic to his, in this artificial scape, to mingle outside our petri-dish? A mite of dust cast to the outer reaches of creation as isolated, contained contaminants whose only purpose of matter holds the little interest of an out-of-state trash-dump, where when only goes to visit creates more carnage?

By merely dipping his finger into the stratosphere of our world—cutting stone tablets and etching stone walls. Presenting his hand—regional, if not global catastrophe, churning the elements, like adding ammonium perchlorate to a mixing bowl of “earthly” matter of which we are so crudely formed. That god, by pressing his arm into the ionosphere, simply splits atoms starting chain reactions of global upheaval. Are we but a plant that withers upon touching it? How long will he withhold his finger…his hand? His holy arm? What if he were to present his whole self? The world would melt as a sea of molten glass, where any man-thing that peeks at his composition withers and consumes itself. To this god, the total power in the world is but a firework sparkler, hardly a threat to ourselves, let alone an immortal. Splitting atoms is as natural for him as spearing your flattened, pointed hand into a bucket of air, or water. We are nothing but .02% solid waste, not even worthy of his attention—but to open the lid carefully contaminates our meager world with carefully placed attributes of cataclysm, tectonic shifts, and drought, while we maintain our only sense of order in the heavens by his leaving us alone for a blink of an eye.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish.” Exodus‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Daniel‬ ‭4:35‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” Daniel‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“That birds may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” Revelation‬ ‭19:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Setting aside your contradictions for the moment to complete this thesis, for what will it matter in a moment or two what we achieve, or what we do when the world will soon be rolled together like a scroll? This man-create has been an interesting exercise, and man has proven quite genius with his teaspoon of dirt and a dash of consciousness. While we have been watched long enough and the experiment nearly over, GOD is ready to roll up his experiment and head off to yonder galaxies to admire his handiwork. It doesn’t matter—our world of refuse unfit will be dispersed when the meeting of the gods conclude, and victoriously he’s showed he can create something living out of a thimble full of hardly anything, as long as it is left alone long enough to generate order. It doesn’t matter that however dismal our minds and actions may seem to him, that our collective consciousness will sit on a shelf for forthcoming eons. It may not matter to him that our struggles and achievements have been fought and won with nothing but handicaps and soulful soil, but it matters to us, the lowliest of life-forms. So, a god of mercy? A god of compassion? A god of love? We shall see.

My Older Brother

Born to a fair and middle class life, We wandered and wondered without any strife, four good ol’ boys who loved tussle and swim, to flirt with the girls there was no harm therein, but all that would change from the roof to the floor, when one horrid day came a knock at the door.

Mother and dad were good folks but it seems, they had not yet been schooled in the prophetic dreams, they learned they were sinners and destined to fall, these men at the door who dare gave us their all, instilled in grand doubt and made good things seem pall.

A promised grand life if we follow their book, dad said he would read it but he never did look, he went by their word as a word is a bond, the way old folks did in old days that are gone, so we joined with their church and were baptized us four, and all because someone gave a knock at the door.

Now Sundays were different with no time to explore, we’d sit in the church and keep still to be sure, but being a young lad who didn’t set very good, got my first whippin’ and in the corner I stood, the teacher told dad how I had misbehaved, and I was the lad not even jesus could save.

A dark cloud hung over my once happy face, to be safe and content we did prayers to have grace, but these things they promised we already had, long before the time we found out we were bad, but god we found out he was keeping a score, from the men who had come and knocked at our door.

They taught us of freedom of choice and freewill, then took it away with fear torments of hell, we learned that the devil got into our skins, that gay folks were bad and loud laughters a sin, but I looked for the day I would once turn eighteen, and with two middle fingers I returned to my dreams.

Leaving was easy, adjusting was hard, but still no regrets that I turned in my card, I learned how to choose and the consequence mine, that I could do good without all of the fines, the guilt it still lingers and thoughts come is scores, from so long ago I heard a knock at the door.

Is everyone crazy, I think that they are, confessing their sins and then sinning some more, responsibly daft and delayed recompense, excuses and reasons for time on the fence, waiting for someone to even their score, hate and division then hating some more, ironic hypocrisy blend with the days, the living and loving so often delayed, to wait on another to come make it right, when we have the power to end the long fight.

Blood Oaths

When I was twenty I went to the LDS temple for what is called an endowment. In Mormon lingo, the endowment is where you receive your “spiritual gifts”, that enable you to pass the sentinels and enter the presence of god. Washed and anointed with oil, pronounced clean and blessed to be a “king and a priest unto the most high god, to rule and reign in the house of Israel forever” The endowment ceremony is about an hour and a half where you rehash the creation!story and make various covenants that are sworn to secrecy with signs, special handshakes, and followed by an oath to never reveal the signs and tokens or suffer your life to be taken. As you made the oath, you symbolically slit your own throat in one phase, and disembowel yourself in the other. All the while wearing the robes of the priesthood and a fig leaf apron to cover your nakedness.

Besides having to agree to all the covenants by acting out a blood oath it happens BEFORE YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. It was shockingly strange, but you move along to the veil and use those key words, signs, and tokens to pass through and enter the presence of god in the “celestial ” room. Hushed tones and reverence rule, and discussing these things is vague and symbolic in nature. Everyone around you congratulating you and telling you how wonderful it is. It wasn’t. But, trusting those that have gone on before, convinced that you just lack understanding, and being reassured that the more times you go (the next times in behalf of the deceased that missed this opportunity) the more you understand the wonderful significance of it all.

To anyone who thinks this is even remotely normal, you have a problem. The ceremony now, some 35 years later, has been dumbed down to be less offensive, but the one I went through had already been lightened several times before. The initial ceremony was vastly more ghastly, but as times changed, so did people’s ability to tolerate it. While some fought the changes, apparently god is changing how important this is to have it exactly right.

Mormon culture is a persuasive closed system, where open criticism is the road to apostasy, and questions about anything inside the approved doctrines are unwelcome.

In most cases (mine being extremely rare where my wife left with me) the mere mention of unbelief deems you an outcast, failing your priesthood and your family. Tell your wife and extended family you don’t believe, and you are told to pray, study, do not doubt, trust me, trust us, and the fear of hell from denying your testimony, losing every friend, spouse, kids, and practically every sense of your life is on the chopping block. I have one friend left after 50 years of church. But it was worth it.

Dogs and Cats Work for Food

Obviously the title can be used in a dual sense, but I have a confession. Through no fault of my own, I have eaten dog and cat, and a lot of it too. I had no idea at the time, but back in the 80’s on Monday nights for a few years, my family would meet at a Chinese restaurant and have a little get together. The food was always good, and Monday’s were usually quiet for our gathering. One day I was watching the news, and there was our restaurant on the receiving end animal cruelty charges, with a dumpster full of dog and cat carcasses at the rear of the store. Apparently this had been going on for quite some time. It was too late to throw up, but I wished I could. Becoming aware of the situation changed everything. I was sickened by it and was obligated to never return.

Now imagine for a moment the church is a beautiful cake. One adorned with lavish decorations and frosting so smooth it looks polished. You hear many in the room talking about how perfect and wonderful it is, but as you cut into it, you find foreskins from murdered people, an eye, a tooth, some throwing stones surrounding a cross, and some parrot heads still beckoning you to eat. From a distance, the crowd still praising the baker, and inviting more into the room to experience the magical moment and witness this once in a lifetime masterpiece. From a distance, all you can see is the people surrounding, blocking from your view the disgusting display. Protecting you from seeing what lays just below the surface.

I dare every religious loyal to share the gospel from the inside out without explanation or excuse, and then see how many converts you have. I want you to indoctrinate your children with the murderous genocide, rape and oppression, instead of protecting their minds from these events with fakebelieve [sic] bible cartoons until they are old enough, and buried so far in it that they have no idea how to climb out. I know those topics don’t surface, because you know it’s wrong. Point out the obvious contradictions the churches display, instead of all is well during the divisive indoctrination. That would be the honest approach. When your favorite church is exposed as a cesspool, will you walk away, or keep eating because you keep hearing how wonderful it is? You are not obligated to return, but do what is right.

Synesthesia -The Religious Model

Synesthesia is a real condition of crossing senses. Someone may see a color that hurts their ears, while another may see numbers in different colors. It is an interesting phenomenon where senses cross neurons in visual/cerebral perception, and may attribute smells to pain, or shapes such as a triangle may physically perceptually be seen in yellow. Below is one example. A “normal” acuity would see all black, but a synesthesia patient may see green or red. .

And if a subject sees W’s as a color, this test takes less than a second.

Synesthesia is not only seen and present in religion, it is promoted. Seeing a cross can cause tears of pain or joy, hearing a lie can cause belief, and talking out loud followed by an amen, can fondle hope in religious subjects. But this type of behavior is learned, and once believed, it is tolerated.

While most synesthesics feel what they are seeing as normal , 98% of the population sees it as an enigma. To someone that believes in the supernatural god, it may seem natural or necessary, but it is not. But to the theist or the synesthesiac, it requires an outside observer to recognize the flaw.

Thousands of gods have dissipated into near oblivion. Where are they now? They are parked in the annuls and history books, but those from the time thought them to be immortal. While red may be a color, it also may have a smell. Whatever your eyesight tells your mind, deconversion has a sweet ring to it.

“Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” 1Thess 5:21

It’s not the churches. I can tell you Christianity is a calculated, money making machine that will say Anything to keep you on the rolls. Scientifically calculated music and lighting, voice roll speeches and lies from the pulpit to induce trance-like positive feelings and call it the spirit.

Most of you know my story, and I put this scripture to the rest. Not one thing works as it’s presented. Ambiguous beliefs and morality coupled with endless attempts to validate faith, and bogus prayer that is a waste of time. It was even in the dogma. “Pray like everything depends on god, work like everything depends on you”. Do yourself a favor….just skip the first part and go to work. The entire church experience is a propped up shell game of non answers and conflicting “beliefs” from every denomination. Nothing can be verified, and nothing works as it is supposed to. So go ahead. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”Don’t feel guilty for looking.

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Faith Trap

Born into a certain lair, depending on to who from where, was raised into a strict belief, that if well followed would cause relief. A way of life so grand it’s said, to have raised up living from the dead, and if believed with all my heart, life would light the often dark.

Applied my self into the way, paid my tithes and learned to pray, read the book and proved all things, and stayed high in religions rings, then somehow many years had past, and things weren’t adding up so fast.

Some doubts were hushed and hard to say, was I the lone who felt this way? When I would list but a concern, read more scripture you will learn, apply your faith and don’t surrender, hope is where the life will render.

And so It was, I began again.

Doubling down I did my best, and to the lord I took a test, to verify most carefully, his book of words and then I’d see, but by and by the search from me, had eyes that crossed with dotted tees, and woeful were the histories. I read and pondered every verse, the lord it seemed he was a curse, to opened eyes on every verse, things are not what they seemed.

And so I prayed

In earnest gave I the lord my plea, invested years in him you see, certain that a faithful soul, could hear his word if truth be told. Wanting to believe the words, that marked the pages so absurd, to say I needed little reason, but just one would do.

Retiring to a quiet thicket, the lords voice came by sound of crickets.

It all unraveled very fast, not a thing or two would come to pass, as soon as opened eyes could see, deceived by friends and trusted creeds, that one who thought as smart as me, could fall into a trap so deep, set by ones who cared for me. If only just one part was right, I could continue in the fight, but no god hears the words you say, but alas its hope that traps with faith.

Gods Morals versus Humanist Morals

“The greatest insult to humanism is that man needs a god in order to have a moral framework. The moral framework that comes from god is always tested against mans own morals and the idea that we don’t know right from wrong. But then we have to take it from words dictated from a rather hot-headed neurotic desert tribe is just insulting” -Stephen Fry. It’s so easy even a comedian gets it!

The humanist morals compared to the morals of the nomadic tribe? Hmm

Secular humanism. “The philosophy or life stance of secular humanism embraces human reason, ethics, social justice, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making”.

It is painstakingly ridiculous to sift through an archaic and divisive text dictated by a cruel nomadic desert tribe thousands of years ago to determine which is moral or immoral for our time. Theirs was an immoral and violent time that would not pass any litmus test of decency today.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” ~Albert Einstein

But imagination with knowledge……Unimaginable–TCA

Why do Hard When Simple is Hard Enough?

I used to write a lot of songs and they just kept getting more and more complex, when finally my buddy said, “why do hard when simple is hard enough”? Musicians have made great music with two and three chord songs. Simple is beautiful. Perfecting simple is outstanding.

It is easy to get mired down in the weight of all the information trying to sway you this way and that. Try this: Go someplace quiet. Throw all your preconceptions and indoctrinations in a big pile and burn it. Think what it would be like to face everything you ever learned about religion was a lie. It’s a pill that needs to be swallowed. Think how easy this is without someone trying to influence you in order to validate themselves. Try to show a little self awareness and open your mind. You don’t need convincing circular conjecture and apologetics to know the truth. The truth rarely needs a footnote, or, an explanation to an explanation. You can’t justify one iota of doctrine, or one miracle or prayer unanswered without rationalizing the deficiency of god or being outright deceived. The cliches don’t solve your problem. They are these; “You pray in your time, and god answers in his time”. “We can’t imagine the wisdom of god”, or “He is testing your faithfulness. We just can’t comprehend god”, or “he wasn’t meant to be healed because god is testing his faith”. Why would god need to do that? These are some of the most common excuses for god, passed on from generation to generation. When you look at the objectives there is nothing here but excuses and ambiguous text of archaic language allowing for multiple interpretation and confusion. By design.

I know. I was in it for 50 years and nothing added up. I had several “spiritual” experiences that were based on lies. Positive emotion is not the holy spirit testifying to you. Feeling good by passing off your responsibilities to another entity is psychological feel good. Nothing more. Nothing has changed but the feeling someone is watching over you. They aren’t.

You don’t have to know the science behind it. I didn’t. All you have to do is face the reality that you might be wrong, and look at the failures of religion openly and honestly. It’s about three things. Power, control, and money. Every institution is corrupt. You think religion has escaped unscathed? Hell, they’re the ones that initiated all the corruption. Pointing fingers, deflecting and distracting. The devil has no horns. That is the trick. The devil wears a suit and tie and holds a microphone. Quit making excuses for gods and failed preachers and let’s start working towards something productive instead of wasting millennia of time running in circles chasing hidden meaning of ancient writing that doesn’t come true.

Why do hard when simple is hard enough? Life is pretty peaceful since dumping the hope of an invisible being that instills guilt and racism and has a history of mass destruction and murder. Why do hard when simple is where you find true peace. That is a motto to live by.

Celestial Hell. Heaven can Wait

I married young in the church. It was a mistake from the get go (should’ve listened to my atheist brother) but three kids and 6 years later we divorced. She left for me an old boyfriend and she went party crazy for the next 30 years. At 26 I married again in the church. I was very active and dedicated to the lord. He ran my life. But she was a “raging-bitch-lunatic- foam-at–the-mouth-kinda gal and I just couldn’t take another year. 17 years of mortal hell. I was done. Against the clergies council I filed for divorce. (I helped un-answer many prayers during my departure). Two Mormon women. Sealed to me for time and all eternity. I married a 3rd woman 10 years ago who I love and will be with til the end. She gave being Mormon a try, but since then the two ex-wives have gotten active and have strayed back into the church. I walked away from religion a few years ago with my wife and today we are atheists. Problem is the other two still think I’m going to be their husband in the next life if they stay faithful. They both have even told my current wife “we’re going to be Jim’s trio” in heaven. (Me NOT pictured below)

My wife had a good laugh (while I was having brief thoughts of suicide). We were never temple sealed and thank Prometheus I got out when I did.. Lord Jesus Hear My Prayer!! NO THANK YOU!!! Thought you could all use good laugh today at my expense as I dodge the imaginary bullet of eternal “Big Love”.

What to buy next?

When I commented the other day on a blog comparing the fallacy of atheism compared to Christianity, the guy fired back that I sound like a disciple of Dawkins and Ehrman, and then he blocked me. But the truth is, I have never read either of them. If the reasons I left faith are the same as they’ve written about, I guess you can figure it out on your own using you good old fashioned brain, minus what’s lacking in religion with sugarcoated faith. Prayers don’t get answered. Ever! But you all know the excuses. “God knows best”, or “he’s just testing your faith” or ” you pray in our time, but god answers in his time”. B frickin S! Then the scripture is an elastically moral fraud that demands ones full attention and years of endless debate and conjecture. The unsolvable religious Rubiks’s cube. I gave it my full attention. The reason I left is simple. Things never added up the way they were supposed to. Nothing made sense unless it was explained over and over. Then someone would explain the explanation so the explanation made sense. But in the end it is a charade that people believe only because they want to. They feel the need to. If you have a quiet few days you can figure this out. Looks like I need to buy some Dawkins and Ehrman? I really got a lot from John Zande’s 2 books and am science and physics fan. What should I read next as a relative newbie?

Radical Atheistology

Four things or five you need to start deconverting from any invisible mythical sky god religion.

1. Read. Read more than just the official versions your church allows. You’ll be surprised what they hide from you. If you all ready know? Shame on you and skip to step 2. Stop apologizing for them. Read something contrary. You’ll be surprised at the common sense kindness of the atheist community. Smart, accepting, and reasonable. Not for power, not for money, not for control. For a free mind and acceptance. For peace. Really!

2. Observe. Even the simplest observation on your own time can easily overturn the miles of apologetic writing your church has split hairs to write. Don’t forget to look around you. Take a hike in the canyons. The earth is older than that. Cmon man! And there’s more!

3. Critical thinking. For instance, the jesus story has been told almost verbatim by several ancient civilizations long before Christianity. Virgin birth, half man, half god, dies to save everyone, celebrated at Christmas time and they were gods. But hey! This time it’s for real. Right! Think about it. Look it up. It’s all out there. Just peek outside the box. You’ve been duped! And there’s more!! Way more.

4. Whiskey. Relax. The world is not coming to an end. No one is coming out of the sky to save or rapture you. It’s up to us to fix our situation. So let’s put away the waiting for Jesus and praying for the end to come soon and get to work. We’re wasting time. A lot of time. Enjoy life and be brothers and sisters. Religion divides what otherwise would be whole. Try it. What is there to lose. What you’ve been doing is not working. Give it a chance! Peek!

If you’re still here this might be for you. I have a secret surprise I’ve waited for the end, and this is very typical of the folks I’ve met. They are liberated from guilt and they are happy. They have a high moral standard based on natural laws and consequences and we love the earth. A true deep desire to preserve the world. Our way of life

Follow some atheist books and blogs. The basics will get you by, but there is a world of good reading and real knowledge out there.

I was a follower for 50 years I’m sorry to say. I’m actually a little embarrassed by it. I walked away a few years ago from the mind games, guilt, ambiguous doctrine, cover ups, brainwashing, poorly translated mythology I was supposed to analyze and work out my salvation. If I guess wrong? Oops. Sorry jim. You’re going to hell. It was all a trap to keep me payin and prayin and obeyin. Believing a stifling dogma has consequences that restrict growth of the mind and well being. And I defended it!

respectfully–jim, the common atheist

Did I miss anything?

Acronyms and DSRD

I was training a newly hired EMT to enter his reports in the computer, and shortly after writing a practice report we got a call to go out for an MVC. We transported a minor injury patient to the hospital and since the new guy tech’d the call, he wrote the notes. Medical people use a ton of acronyms, and as I was reviewing his report I noticed some strange ones I’d never seen before. He stated ” PT found in FPS, A/O X4 PWD, airway intact. Pt with MLLUA and ALSOF. I thought “huh”? I called him back to the office for a minute to explain. “Oh, FPS is front passenger seat”. And MLLUA is mild laceration left upper arm”, and ALSOF is “abrasion left side of face”. I said “Aaron you can’t just make shit up on these reports. No one knows what these mean except you”. There is a long list of accepted acronyms and I gave him a copy to work from. Heres a small sample.

Aaron appears to be mixing religion and work here, since “make it up as you go” is a common tool for building credible rapport in the churches.

I’ve heard some faith promoting whoppers during my time in the church. I felt the spirit (emotion) over outright lies and fabrications. I’ve seen the faithful tie silly things together that show god is with them every step of the way. From found car keys to successful surgeries, god gets the credit. When things don’t go your way he gets a free pass. If uncle Eddy survives the heart attack,”praise god”! If he dies, god took him home to heaven. He knows what’s best for you. Right?

WARNING– What you about to read might cause you to think.

Preachers tell lies and twist stories to convince you that god is real and their religions are right. They desperately want you to believe what they believe. They will tell you things to drive your emotions. That feeling is not the spirit. It is a manipulation tactic to get devotion and keep you in faith to give themselves power and money. Do not believe it. You have been tricked by professionals that prey on people during vulnerable times in their lives. Do not buy it. You already possess everything they have to offer. It’s already in you. You can do this without the bs of a religious dogma. Waiting for god to answer your prayers is a waste of time. Time that could be spent working out your own future, free of charge and free of mental bondage.

DSRD = dumb stuff religions do

Faith + Fiction = Miracles. Here have a bible

Free Jeep Rental $50

Cozumel is usually a pretty good idea. We stayed at an all inclusive resort with the dive club, and of course while you’re in they try to get you to the timeshare presentation. Usually I won’t go to these, but we had nothing going on for the day so we figured “what the heck”? Get a free jeep for the next day and just say no to everything in the sales pitch. What could it hurt?

I’m a math guy on just about everything, so I did the calculations and we could buy this timeshare for what we were already paying as regular guests. Not a great deal. It was like the Outlaw Josie Wales and Ten Bears. ” I’m ain’t promising you anything extra”. So we walk with our Jeep coupon and the next day go to the counter. With tax and other fees it was $50. $50 for a free Jeep. Hey! This reminds me of church! We had to pay for something you’re supposed to get free. Being an exmo, going to long boring meetings and was a way of life, and getting pressured to do things you don’t want to do is really the way of life. In the end, what was supposed to be free from jesus cost 10% of your income or no blessings. No exaltation, no temple marriage, no important callings. Nada. It’s the equivalent of buying free tap water. Pretty good scheme.

Many thanks to everyone here for sharing your insight, knowledge, and cynical as hell anti- religious wisdom. WP was a big part of my deconversion.

Why the “What have you done for me lately Church” is hard to leave

As soon as I was old enough to safely go to church my parents brought me before the congregation and I was given an official name and a blessing. A name which would be recorded in the records and make me an official unbaptized member of the LDS. I was about a month old! Hey, thanks for that. Of course I don’t remember this, but those blessings take place the first Sunday of each month just before Fast and Testimony Meeting, where the members share their beliefs with the audience. This was the beginning of the indoctrination of Jim, as for the next hour I would listen to many testimonies that day about how true the church was, and how god played a role in various members lives that week. “I know this church is true” was proclaimed from the pulpit and into every rooms intercom. Even while I was in the mothers lounge, i could hear the testimonies of those who would soon be raising me in the church. Hey! No second opinions allowed either. Whenever a stray Mormon would stand up to bear his soul, and offer how he really felt about the church he would be escorted out. No second opinions needed! This is the true church!

At home it would continue. Exposed to everything mormon. Pictures of jesus and prophets and primary songs. Family home evenings every Monday for twice weekly indoctrination. Family prayer morning and night along with personal prayer. They even taught me what to say. How thoughtful.

Progression of church member Jim

Baby blessing –check

Baptism at 8. -check

Priesthood at 12 -check

Early morning Seminary 4 years. Check

Higher priesthood at 19-check

Temple endowments -check

Mission -check

Marry in the temple- check

Children -check

Memorize countless scriptures and songs – check

Endure to the end– hmm. Not so fast.

Pay Pray and Obey

Keep paying

Questions. Not allowed

Endure to the end, endure to the end

Learn the things you weren’t supposed to learn.

Be bold enough to question

Church court and discipline

Attend in shame.

Fade away. Resign the church. Lose all your friends. All!

In the Mormon faith you are taught if you don’t endure to the end, keep the commandments and keep paying your tithes til the day you die you won’t be saved. You can lose your salvation. Everything done to the children is focused on member retention. Keep you engaged. Don’t give you time to think. Here is how they did it to me

Scoutmaster 15 years. That’s an extra day at the church every week

Early morning Seminary teacher entire school year 8 years total

Home teacher to multiple families each month 30 years

Young men’s presidency 6 years

Adult Sunday school teacher 4 years

Ward missionary 4 years

Finance clerk 2 years

Membership clerk 2 years

Elders quorum presidency 8 years

Multiple tours in some of these callings. Oh!, and work a full time job to support my family.

I was also a pretty good speaker so I would give talks frequently on Sunday.

Frequent temple attendance

Temple initiatory worker 4 years

Veil worker 4 years

By the time I was 50, I had done about 75 years of service callings in the church. This is fairly typical, but not good enough. Pray pay and obey til you die if it will account as nothing.

It’s no wonder it is so hard to see the fallacy of your ways when it is all you know. Variety makes things right.

Don’t forget to look around you. Be humble. You might be wrong