Sunday in Outer Blogness: Honesty Edition!!

There was a lot of discussion this past week about “lying for the Lord” — see this video for a good overview of the issue.

Specific complaints include feeling pressured to “bear testimony” when you’re not sure, or to use the word “know” when talking about stuff you don’t really know:

Many times as a youth and as a missionary at the MTC and in the field, I was told to say I know instead of I believe despite how I felt inside. I view this as an invitation to lie. I believe was viewed as weak because it expresses some uncertainty.

This encourages members to mislead others on how they actually feel and creates the false impression that other members are much more faithful than yourself when in reality they may feel the same as you.

Despite commandments favoring honesty, sometimes leaders directly state that promoting the faith is more important. Then there’s failure to notice obvious contradictions plus the usual spin from the newsroom and the amusing fact that some people still take the CoJCoL-dS’s self-reported population figures seriously.

To provide some contrast, Jon Stewart — a political comedian often found mocking Fox News — won the praise of the faithful (and stirred some controversy) by demonstrating that he’s perfectly willing to mock the less-religious when they go after Mitt’s Mormonism in absurd ways.

In the department of constructive self-criticism, atheists take one of their number to task for simple-minded racism, and work on the sexism. The Mormonism are taking on Mormon racism as well (since it seems to have spread to political space).

Prairie Nymph told a great story this week, about the Holy Ghost Train — and about skepticism opening up imagination and curiosity:

One of the girls was disappointed there was no supernatural explanation and said it wouldnt be as much fun to see anymore. The other was delighted- not that there was no supernatural explanation, but that the real reason was so fascinating: If I had heard theres this really neat phenomenon with light waves, Id be more inclined to want to see it than a ghost train, she said.

And it looks like Dave agrees.

In personal stories, Neznem has been telling the story of growing up as a gay Mormon and coming to terms with it, and Johnny Townsend tells of his homophobic gay Mormon uncle.

According to Mormonism, everyone should have one gender and stick to it. Ruthie Renfro demonstrates LDS gender-appropriate goals.

Now, let’s wrap up with a little fun, including Mormon movie night, Runtu’s concise dictionary of Mormonism, and my favorite exmo reddit headline of this past week:

This is why I love Formons. From a TBM-run survey on why believers fall away: “when asked to describe what would bring them back, more than of those respondents included an impossible or intentionally clever comment”.


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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