Does the Second Anointing Explain Mormon Support for Trump?

by Johnny Townsend

I am baffled that so many Mormons support Donald Trump. At one point, the percentage of Mormon Trump supporters was the highest of any religion (61% according to a 2017 Gallup poll). While some Mormon opposition has existed from the start, the vast majority of Mormons heartily endorsed a man who admitted groping women, who mocked a disabled reporter, who called on followers to assault his opponents, and who, by anyone’s definition, was a great big creep.

I speak Italian, as a result of my time as a Mormon missionary in Rome, and I’ve studied French, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, and American Sign Language. I also took a translation course in grad school. When I hear so many Mormons say, “No one’s perfect. But Trump has good policies,” I’m able to translate that pretty easily.

What they’re really saying is, “You can commit any sin as long as you are serving God while doing so.”

Almost all Mormons are fine with Nephi killing and robbing a drunk, sleeping Laban.

Too many Mormons are fine with covering up sexual abuse “to protect the name of the Church.”

And an uncomfortably large number are fine with a history of racist prophets because those prophets “were only human.”

While people in general have the capacity to excuse the abuse of others as long as they themselves aren’t abused, Mormon theology has a specific teaching that makes accepting bad behavior part of God’s plan. Once a person receives “the Second Anointing,” that person has their Calling and Election made sure and is guaranteed a spot in the Celestial Kingdom, no
matter what sins he or she may commit after that. They are like international diplomats who can’t be prosecuted for crimes they commit in other countries. They have permanent amnesty.

Mormons who’ve had the Second Anointing can literally get away with murder. Or with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. They possess a “Get Out of Judgment Day Free” card.

Perhaps this also explains why two Mormons were among the top contributors to the U.S. military torture program.

Many Mormons in the U.S. honestly don’t care about any of Trump’s “personal” failings because, even if he isn’t a member of the Church, the principle is the same. He’s lowering taxes, he’s banning transgender folks from the military, and he’s Making America Great Again. That’s more than just a campaign slogan for Mormons, whose theology insists that America is the Promised Land, reserved for the righteous and the righteous alone. If Trump can get rid of some of the undesirables, he’s doing God’s bidding. If he must be cruel and oppressive and criminal to do it, well, they can live with that.

The Second Anointing basically teaches Mormons that those at the top are not subject to the same rules and laws that the rest of us must obey. So when Trump says he’s exempt from prosecution for absolutely anything, Mormons have been trained to accept that declaration as reasonable.

“Lying for the Lord” is a common Mormon practice, so why shouldn’t “Imprisoning Legal Asylum Seekers for the Lord” be an acceptable practice as well? And “Oppressing Workers for the Lord” and “Bankrupting Farmers for the Lord” and “Befriending Murderous Tyrants for the Lord”?

“Denying Healthcare to Millions for the Lord” and “Labeling the Free Press an Enemy of the People for the Lord” are just friendly fire casualties in the ultimate battle between Good and Evil.

When my mother was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 43, the doctor discussed the diagnosis with my father, and together, they decided not to tell my mother, deeming her too emotionally fragile to handle the news.

When a newly assigned nurse met my mother for the first time, she said cheerily, “Oh, you’re the leukemia patient.” When confronted about his deception, the doctor still refused to give my mother a prognosis, so she asked me to go to the library and report back to her.

The doctor and my father started my mother on chemotherapy without her consent or even her knowledge.

But they were able to form a “righteous” secret combination because their lies and plotting were all for my mother’s own good.

She was dead two and a half weeks later.

Far too many Mormons are okay with Trump as the nation’s doctor. They just offer their arms for the IVs and do what they’re told. After all, Trump’s only cleansing the country of people that Jesus would have to eliminate later anyway.

“We thank thee O God for a Second-Anointed One.”

Sing along!

With saints like these, who needs sinners?

Sunday in Outer Blogness: We shall overcomb edition!

The voting for the Brodie Awards has begun!! Please go here to cast your votes. I know that there are quite a lot of nominations, but you have two weeks to vote — so I really hope you’ll take the opportunity to review these awesome nominations a few at a time, and vote for the ones you like best!! And check out this Mormon news year in review!

Mormon news was overshadowed this week by the reality of Trump getting sworn in as the new POTUS — and the overwhelming response from all over the world!! There are so many reasons to march:

I feel sad and afraid as I think about the future. What will happen to me and to people like me? I didn’t have anything life threatening, but what if I had? What if I do in the future? What if Todd does? What happens to the people who are “uninsurable” now?

And the work doesn’t stop there!

Of course there was a bit of a Mormon angle. After compromising their reputation by sending the MoTab choir to sing for Trump’s inaugural, the CoJCoL-dS was rewarded with the news that Trump’s pre-inaugural church service was given by a pastor who has called the CoJCoL-dS a cult. God I wish the church leadership would grow some self-respect and stop begging for a seat at the mean girls’ lunch table. It’s not going to happen. Let’s instead stand with our fellow minorities. Catch a clue!

Donald Trump, to me, is not someone that decent, God fearing, family loving, fiscally conservative people ought to be backing. To me, it doesn’t make any sense. Here’s a man dripping with riches, living in a fucking gold tower in New York City. Yes, he’s filthy rich, and Republicans like that. But did he get that way by being fiscally conservative? No.

Fortunately my feed is full of Mormons who have caught the clue:

And so, no thanks. Trump is not worthy of our respect in any way. I don’t support him and won’t support him. A transition of power to someone like him is cause for mourning, because it appears that the electors of this nation have chosen evil over good. I support those exercising their rights to demonstrate against Trump. I view all those performing for Trump as having tainted themselves and their reputations. In the case of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Piano Guys, the pain is particularly acute. Mormonism is small. Our reputations are linked in the eyes of the public. Now, Mormons have vocally and disproportionately identified their brand with Donald Trump. But I won’t normalize him or respect him until he demonstrates himself as worthy of respect. I don’t respect offices. And neither should you.

In other Mormon News, BYU is still working on the rape problem, and it’s a bit of a bumpy ride — just have a look at this open letter. Also, what’s up with those mountain letters…?

In life journeys, check out this new podcast! Also, Gina’s faith has irreversibly changed, GenX Gillian is healing, and Julie de Azevedo Hanks listed things to say and things not to say to a loved one who is leaving the church.

And let’s close with a poem, an allegory, and a tale of magic and the Eagle Forum. Good luck in the coming week, not to mention the coming few years…

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Still not OK edition!

So, the reason I didn’t get SiOB done yesterday is explained in this helpful comic. I was thinking that rounding up this past week’s Mormon discussion would distract me from our current crisis of democracy, but it appears that the LDS-interest bloggers are also still talking about the election.

Well, a few people talked about some other topics:

In good news, the CoJCoL-dS has discontinued use of the infamous “little factories” pamphlet.

There was also a new infographic inspired by one of the essays, and Zina responded to an article about Satan telling a woman she’s not pretty.

Then there were a couple of interesting exit stories and a letter from a young Mormon just came out as transgender. Additionally, you may have seen some drama recently on the exmo reddit — here’s the explanation.

Good luck to all — let’s see what next week will bring!

The 8 things I’d like to ask

I know…I have resigned my membership. So why do I care about the new Mormon church policy update that impacts LGBT Mormons? Why bother stressing about it if I don’t even belong or believe?

Because this was my faith community for 46 years. Because it was how I was raised. Because I have active believing children (and now grandchildren), parents, a sister, extended family and friends that do continue to believe and participate. Because the Mormon church continues to impact those relationships. I have a gay brother whose married to a wonderful man and they’ve been together for a lot of years. During my faith transition, I reached out and made many friends online and became aware of their struggles and pain. I’m a Mama Dragon, even if I don’t have any gay children myself, because LGBT issues have impacted my life. I’ve received private messages over the past couple of years about what it means to be gay in the Mormon church. I have listened to stories of unimaginable pain and anguish. And the most basic reason is because I’m human and I care about people.

So I’ve examined this policy, as currently written (with no clarification issued yet), and engaged in a lot of discussions. While doing this, I’ve compiled a list of questions – questions that the video the church released with Elder Christofferson left unanswered. Here they are:

#1 – Since the primary reason for the policy given by Elder Christofferson was to protect the children from mixed messages, how does this policy accomplish that when it only bans them from saving ordinances while allowing/encouraging them to attend church? If this is the primary concern, why not ban them from attending our church services all-together until they’re 18? How does the church reconcile the mixed messaging happening for children in other families that are living in situations where parents are living in ways that don’t align with church doctrines/policies? Like non-members, those engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage, those with addiction issues, those living with partners but unmarried, those that have left the church, apostates, etc. If the church is trying to prevent mixed messaging or family conflict, why aren’t these same rules applicable for all children under age 18? Are they still working on policy updates for those children/families as well? Because there are many children currently participating in the church the hear messages that conflict with what they hear and see at home.

# 2 – Does the church anticipate that the children of gay parents will still attend church with these new rules? Do they hope that grandparents, family members and friends will continue to bring these children to primary, church and youth activities? Will the church be encouraging that? If so, how does the church envision this experience working for both those children and the adults teaching primary/YM/YW? Because the messaging will be the same. And they won’t be able to fully participate in some things (baptism, blessing/passing the sacrament, temple trips, ordinations). Does the church plan on altering the manuals to help teachers and leaders prepare for these situations and how to make the children feel truly involved/included?

# 3 - Since baby blessings are not a saving ordinance, and viewed as a celebration of a child’s birth, and are done for children whose parents are inactive/non-members, why is this different for children with gay parents? The reason given, during the video, was it creates a membership record and starts ward responsibilities for that child. But that happens with other children, as well, whose parents may not even be attending or believe (and living in situations where mixed messaging will happen). Is the church concerned about having the gay couples names on the certificate of blessing? Or in the church system listed as a family unit?  If so, why? Wouldn’t the church want primary/ward leaders and members to reach out to these children, just like they do for inactive families?

# 4 - Why is the church just now enacting these changes when same-sex marriage has been legal in roughly 20 other countries for anywhere between 1 year and more than 10 years? The total church membership in those countries is about 2.5 million. The church has said this is to protect children and families. Was the church concerned about the children and families in these other countries as well? And, if so, why did they wait until marriage laws changed in the U.S. when this is a global church?

# 5 –  How does the church view support of same-sex marriage for members now? In this interview with Elder Christofferson in March 2015, he stated:

“Our approach in all of this, as (Mormon founder) Joseph Smith said, is persuasion. You can’t use the priesthood and the authority of the church to dictate. You can’t compel, you can’t coerce. It has to be persuasion, gentleness and love unfeigned, as the words in the scripture.”
There hasn’t been any litmus test or standard imposed that you couldn’t support that if you want to support it, if that’s your belief and you think it’s right,” Christofferson said after a Jan. 27 news conference.

We have individual members in the church with a variety of different opinions, beliefs and positions on these issues and other issues,” Christofferson said. ” … In our view, it doesn’t really become a problem unless someone is out attacking the church and its leaders — if that’s a deliberate and persistent effort and trying to get others to follow them, trying to draw others away, trying to pull people, if you will, out of the church or away from its teachings and doctrines.

The current policy update states that children with gay parents, in a same-sex marriage, will need to disavow this practice in order to be baptized or serve a mission. Does that mean regular members can support it, but children with gay parents can’t? What about after they are baptized and 18 years old? Or after they return home from their mission? At that point are they allowed to support it like the rest of the members?

# 6 – Now that the church has included same-sex married couples in the definition of apostasy/apostates, are the temple recommend questions going to be altered to reflect this? Especially the question that asks:

“Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” 

Does this mean belonging to a group like Mama Dragons is a violation of this? Since they support their children and others that live with their partners or get married? What about parents who support their gay children that are doing this? What about being a member of a LGBT support group that supports these as valid options like Affirmation?

# 7 – We’ve heard rumblings that there will be some clarification or additional training coming forth to help expand on this written policy. If this is the case, and the church was planning on doing this from the start, why didn’t Elder Christofferson mention this during the video? The video was released late the following evening and the media and online discussions had been happening for 24 hours. Many people were upset, confused, surprised and honestly shocked at this update and wording. The church would have been well aware of this by the time they began filming the video. Wouldn’t it have been good timing for the church to reassure the members that further clarifications would be forthcoming? And that the church recognized there were a myriad of individual circumstances that would need to be taken into account? That the church was aware of the pain and anguish this policy was resulting in, and that they would work hard to expand on the language to help local leadership understand how to implement this? The policy change became public on November 5, the video was released on Nov 6, and it is now November 12. There has been no clarification. If the church had these exceptions/clarifications prepared, why is it taking so long to release them? Or is this delay due to not anticipating the need for these?

# 8 – If the church provides additional clarification, and allows exceptions for children who have divorced parents (mixed-orientation marriage), how will these exceptions work? Will it be based on specific percentage requirements for the amount of time they can live in the home of the parent that is cohabiting or in a same-sex marriage? After they turn 18, does this requirement end (say, for instance, a student at BYU that lives with a gay parent during a term break)?

OK so perhaps it was more like 8 groups of questions I’d like to ask!

Park Romney’s legal challenge to exmo’s everywhere

I am absolutely convinced that the only thing that stands between the successful prosecution of the leadership of the Mormon Church for fraud and their exposure for blasphemy, is the simple collective united grass roots will of a relatively modest representative number the American people and, particularly of the ex-Mormon community, to support this cause and demand that their public officials attend to this matter. It is highly unlikely that this representative critical mass of support will be accomplished until after such time as a smaller group demonstrates their intent and resolve through a civil action against the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I support such a civil action, as a starting point and invite ex-Mormons everywhere to join me in speaking up in support of Mormon accountability and the prosecution of religious fraud.

Can we unite to form a civil lawsuit?  How many laywers are exmos and would be willing to help?  Can we get the ACLU in on it?

Original post found here

Maybe Conservativism Is Hurting Religion After All….

Given that the “liberal churches are losing members because they’re liberal; conservative churches are growing because they’re conservative” argument is invoked every so often here at MSP, I thought people would be interested in this article from Religion Dispatches analyzing some of the problems with that claim.  An excerpt:

Hout and Fischer released a study this year with Mark A. Chaves, which seemed to show that the trend continues. Their original findings have been partly confirmed by the Pew Forum, which found in 2012 that the nones overwhelmingly saw religious organizations as “too focused on rules,” “too concerned with money and power,” and “too involved in politics.” Not on the list: a desire for a stricter moral code. Along with another major study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, the Pew Forum found that Americans without religious affiliation strongly identified with the Democratic party and liberal social positions.

All of which tends to indicate that Hout and Fischer were right when they said that disaffiliation is driven by a rejection of the religious right. It seems perverse to say that members of liberal denominations show their displeasure with religious conservatism by walking away from their own churches, but that seems to be exactly what’s happening.

On the surface, this might seem like a point in Eberhardt’s favor. “Orthodox” churches keep their members in line; liberal ones can’t. But how then to explain that the most liberal of the liberal denominations—the Unitarian Universalist Association—is in fact growing? For that matter, one might argue that Catholics have more to lose by alienating liberals than they have to gain by growing conservative families. The bishops seem to have decided just that when they put together their “Catholics Come Home” a d campaign showing a “kinder, gentler version” of the faith.

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Election Extravaganza Edition!!!

I assume I don’t have to tell you: Obama was re-elected President of the United States of America, and the Internet exploded with commentary, analysis, and personal takes. Did prophecy fail big? On Mitt’s team, some people are freaking out (no really), some are trying to calm those who are freaking out, and there’s even some pleasant reconciliation.

Of course, not all the Mormons lost. Also some other religions won some firsts, whereas the only non-theist in Congress lost and the science vote had a little fun.

Meanwhile, Obama’s team is pretty happy, as are women:

Let all parties understand that ignoring basic biology and presuming to dictate to women how they should approach tragedy and trauma and its aftermath is a sure road to defeat and irrelevancy. Let us shape better conversations about what being “pro-life” means. Let us end not only these stupid remarks about rape and unwanted pregnancies, but rape and unwanted pregnancy.

I had a little trouble getting excited about this election (because of stuff like this), but I’m glad to see that the overtly misogynistic politicians got their asses handed to them. How did this happen? Itwould appear that:

For the first time in over 200 years, the votes cast by men created in the caucasian image of the Lord, God of Abraham may be rendered impotent by waves of unheartlandishly-hued and vaginated voters.

Some are wondering whether Mitt’s political career is over, and — more importantly — Is the “Mormon Moment” over!? With all its opportunities? Mormons work on their strategy:

But for now I remind all of us to love our neighbors. Not because we do, necessarily, and certainly not because Heavenly Father wants us to. But because if we don’t at least act like we do, the nonmember community might think that we’re a bunch of misogynistic, homophobic, small minded sore losers.

Remember, the election may be over, but the LDS PR campaign continues!

I was more surprised that marijuana was legalized in two states (we should see some interesting “states’ rights” battles ahead!) and by the fact that team Marriage Equality won all four states with ballot initiatives about it. Best post title: Scuse Me While I Marry This High Guy . Meanwhile, the Mormon political opposition to marriage equality seems to be on the I don’t remember we taught anything about that track.

One of the fun parts about the commentary is that (while most people analyzed the election in terms of the common assumptions) there were outside perspectives, plus people analyzed some walls of the box, to help think outside it. It appears that values and ideas Americans vote for are changing.

Now, for those crazy non-conformists who wrote on other topics this week!!!

Parenting in families divided by Mormonism can be a challenge! (Single dads get a poem!) See some tips for exmos on wine and beer, and tips from President Paternoster for the new legion of Sister Missionaries. Plus some personal stories and a new book!!

Ziff wrote some interesting analysis on how unreasonable commandments need to be. Kent Larsen did some fun historical research on Joseph Smith and baseball. Johnny Townsend analyzed the boundary between “the gospel” and “church policy.” Another single Mormon wrote about how women in the church get their identity through secondary attachment. There were also interesting pieces on Mormonism and selfishness. I guess Theological and Scientific study of Mormonism doesn’t stop, even for elections!

I hope you made it through election week OK — let’s see where things go from here!!

Mormon Moment Series on

Ahhhhh! The smell of fresh, juicy, slightly wrong Mormon blog posts. It must be Sunday!

I have been doing a series of posts related to Mormon and Post-Mormon issues that seem to be *hot* this year. With more and more people interested in Mormons, and now the change in rules for when male and female missionaries are allowed to serve, the Bloggernacle keep heating up! So, if you missed the first posts in the series (because I was a slacker and wasn’t cross posting) here is your chance to catch up. If you have been catching them on my blog, you will notice they are a little different. Thanks to Kevin who suggested that I should include the topic of the post in the title, and not jsut which post number it is. Ahhhhh, aren’t friends great for helping you see your blind spots? I am glad I have so many friends looking out for me.

I am using the same introduction for each post, both because I think that it helps keep them uniform, but also so I don’t have to try to come up with 20 ways to say the same thing!

What this series is about:

If you are Mormon, you are probably sick of hearing about the Mormon Moment. There are so many people who are suddenly interested in Mormon culture, and there are lots of Mormon bloggers that are cashing in and sharing their stories. Some of the stories end up being kind of silly, but if you are simply trying to get people to read about what is important to you, the Mormon Moment is one way to draw people in.

I do not want people to think that I don’t respect the bloggers whose posts I am sharing. All of them are good bloggers, and most of them write about Mormon topics all of the time. I have no doubt that they would have shared these thoughts and stories at some point, but as one friend told me the other day, “in the race to the election, bloggers are pushing hard to attract new readers before the Mormon Moment is gone.” So, to help you, I sifted through hundreds of posts to share the ones that I still remember. (This group of posts are nowhere near a complete view of Mormon bloggers. All of the bloggers are either Mormons, post-Mormons, or write about Mormon issues, even when it isn’t election time.)

So, what have you missed?

Mormon Moment Series – Part One – Mormon Mind Control?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Two – Ayn Rand and Quirks in Mormon Culture

Mormon Moment Series – Part Three – Modesty, Perfection and Secrets

Mormon Moment Series – Part Four –Why can’t we seem to say what we mean?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Five –Fasting For Followers!

Mormon Moment Series – Part Six – Who is a Mormon?

While it is not officially part ofmy Mormon Moment Series, please take a minutes and check out this post about Mormons, Masterbation, and the story of a teenager driven to attempt suicide, because of his wet dreams.

But for the Grace of God….

This post is about a teen suicide attempt and some of the actions that led to it. The language is not vulgar, but it is specific. Please read only if, it is emotionally safe for you. A few days ago, I sent an email out to several family members and friends about a post on the Mormon Therapistblog. It deals with a sensitive subject, so please understand that this particular linked post is not g-rated, although it will not include any explicit language either. If you are uncomfortable with discussions about sexuality, masturbation, how to teach adults and children healthy sexual attitudes, or the negative impacts of shame, I suggest you skip this post, and not click onto the linked article.”
You can go here to read the entire post, including the responses from TBMs who are supportive of Mormon Therapist’s view, who also explain how the email about this young man touched their lives, and the lives of their children. This is a bold stand from all sides, as Mormon Therapist boldly proclaims, “Masturbation is not sinful behavior in of itself nor is it a transgression.”
We live in a time of great turmoil, and out youth especially need to love and support to deal with a variety of challenges. From masturbation to Coke, homosexuality to the age of sister missionaries, the church is changing or softening on a number of important issues. I believe that we need to support those who are members of the church, who continually ask questions and look for answers. I also believe that current and former members need to find common ground, in as many areas as they can, and work together on those shared goals. Almost every post-Mormon still has family or friends who are members of the church. Almost every member of the church knows someone who has left, been kicked out, or is inactive. While there are very real hurts on all sides, I believe that coming together and being the chance we want to see in our own lives, the lives of our family members, and in the lives of all of the children we love, can make that change a reality.
Whether you are celebrating General Conference today, or are in mourning because of it, there are always ways to find a little common ground, a little place of friendship, a little piece of shared light. We do not have to change our minds about our belief or lack thereof. What we can do is put the first brick into creating a bridge, that will help span the gap between us, and the children and youth who need to know that it gets better, no matter what your sexual orientation or habits!

One last link. If you have a talent to share, leave a comment, and you could be the lucky winner of a pair of pearl stud earrings!

David Twede and looking for a powerpoint

Apparently LDS Inc. isn’t fond of David Twede, the lead editor there, is being summoned for a disciplinary council September 30th. Since I don’t live too far away, I’m happy to go protest. Feel free to think of other creative ways to express your thoughts on this.

Also, apparently some LDS leaders are walking a fine line between advocating for Mitt Romney and encouraging voting in Nevada. A powerpoint is circulating. If anyone has seen it, I’m happy to post it on here to share it with the world. Send it to me at:

The Hammer of Judgment – What Would You Say?

My last post: Gay Trees and Gadianton Robbers gotseveral comments on my own blog. One, which I took from an email that was sent by a former classmate in high school, was pretty forceful. You can see the original post, and my response in the comments section here.

I am less interested in my personal response, but more about howyou would respond if someone left a comment like this on your blog. When there is a comment like this, does it matter whether you are a current or ex-member, or would your response be the same whatever your status with the church? If the person leaving it was a current or former member, would the difference change how you would address it?

So, how do you deal with people who are obvioiusly not in agreement with something you wrote?

I like you, but I REALLY hate it when you talk about politics. It was bad enough in high school when you read communist stuff and Godless philosophers. There is NO REASON for anyone to read things that go against the scriptures.
You always said the reason you read all the weird stuff was because you needed to understand it to be a good debater. You aren’t debating now, and still you make fun of people who are working for GOD. Romney was a BISHOP! Obama has never held a calling or made a lemonade stand. Romney was a STAKE PRESIDENT! Obama hasn’t ever been a good enough person for God to give him any responsibility.
Julia, it is time for you to stop being STUPID. You are too smart to let Satan tell you what to say and do. You should be telling everyone the Truth. God gave you your talents and the gospel and church gave you the Truth.
You need to do the RIGHT thing, instead of just trying to be popular to a bunch of apostates, liberals, and other people who offend God! I am calling you to repentance and I hope that you can still hear the Holy Ghost enough to go what YOU know is RIGHT!
I am emailing this to you because I KNOW you WON’T let anyone who agrees with you have a comment on your posts. You just want everyone to tell you that you are wonderful. You might think your post is funny, but really it is just a MOCKERY OF GOD!

So, what would you say, if this comment showed up on your blog? Would you delete, or let it stay?