2016 is coming to a close, and you know what that means! Time to give a little extra recognition to the best exmormon stuff of the year! The nominations for William Law X-Mormon of the Year have been open for a week now. If you haven’t added your nomination yet, please do it here or here. As usual, I will keep the nominations open for two weeks, so the voting will begin a bit after Christmas. Then we’ll start on the Brodie Awards!
Sorry I skipped SiOB last week. I have just been so distraught over recent news that our climate situation may already have crossed the point of no return — to the point where we’ll be extinct with a couple of decades. I hope it’s not true, and that we can still do something. But folks, this is not a drill. If the temperature continues to rise as predicted, no other issue will matter because we’ll be dead. Maybe briefing the US electors on the evidence of Russian interference in the US election would help with the local disaster (related Star Wars references).
Now I’m sorry about that extremely no-fun and not-even-Mormonism-related digression. Let’s get back to the lighter stuff, specifically the CoJCoL-dS’s new “Light the World” campaign! It perhaps leaves something to be desired:
But was the phrase, “In an increasingly dark world,” really necessary as a lead-in to the above-quoted sentence? Wouldn’t it have been so much more uplifting if it hadn’t been prefaced by this dark thought (i.e., “We can be a bright light …”)? Why was it necessary?
Then there was a bit of a scandal over a song called “White”:
It’s difficult to rehabilitate scriptures talking about becoming “white and delightsome” or “pure and delightsome” as just being metaphorical when those same scriptures talk about people becoming darker as a way to differentiate and distinguish them. We must in our modern times be wary knowing that we come from a tradition that until the late 20th century — denied core ordinances to people because of some…thing (whether you call it doctrine, theology, or simply a “policy”) that said that people of certain racial heritage were cursed.
In other church-related discussions we have some discussion of the tax-exempt status of the CoJCoL-dS, an explanation of why treating sex as an addiction is itself harmful, Mormon fragility, allowing women to serve as witnesses, an infographic on tithing over necessities, and the CoJCoL-dS demonizing apostates:
Recently, I just read another article that repeats this pattern at the Deseret News, Mormons with doubts shouldn’t give up faith without ‘intellectual and spiritual kicking and screaming’. It is pretty standard fare for denigrating those who leave the fold (and trying to convince people not to be those “bad people” by leaving). They just didn’t try hard enough or don’t have the virtues of people who stay. Honestly, I don’t know what to say about it. I feels like a hit job on me and makes me feel terrible and unwanted. It is very hard to maintain even a limited relationship with a church that has such an uncharitable view of me. In my view I was simply honest with myself about what I believed and felt, and acted accordingly and with integrity. Yet I am deficient. I am deficient because I can’t manage to muster faith in things that frankly make me sick (e.g. many of the circumstances of early LDS polygamy) or things that in my view just plain contradict reality (Facsimile 3, I’m looking at you).
But if you think about it, shouldn’t the burden of explaining why such faith is a virtue be on the person asking me to have faith? I’ve not heard a single explanation on that subject that made any bit of sense to me.
In theology, writers addressed questions such as can we decide what God would or wouldn’t do? What is Mormon Transhumanism? Others discussed the virgin birth story in terms of consent and problems with the age of accountability.
In books, Knotty reviewed a book about a traumatic experience with LDS scouting, Walker Wright reviewed the LDS comic “The Garden of Enid”, and Corbin Volluz reviewed “The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy”, including an interesting personal tale:
My second wife had to cancel her sealing to her deceased first husband to be sealed to me. She made the application; it went to the First Presidency; and we were shocked to find out that her deceased husband’s parents had to give permission for the cancellation to go through. What an awful position to put those parents in! Here they had a son married in the temple and with two beautiful children born in the covenant. Their son dies tragically. Their daughter-in-law, the mother of their grandchildren, now wants to be sealed in the temple to me. And it is the parents of the deceased husband who have to make the call. What does agreeing to cancel the temple sealing mean for their deceased son? Is he now without the highest temple ordinances necessary to exaltation? What does this do to their grandchildren? Are they now severed in some eternal way from their grandparents? Why on earth do we have a system where the parents of a deceased son are forced to give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down on a subsequent sealing? This is just cruel. In our situation, both parents of the deceased first husband were incredibly gracious. They did not ostracize their daughter-in-law from the family, as happened to the “voice” in your book. But I cannot imagine the distress they must have gone through, in spite of how graciously they presented. If anything, the fact they were so gracious only served to make their sacrifice all the more heart breaking.
Some more discussion of “The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy” can be found here.
In history, Mithryn gave an overview of how the CoJCoL-dS hid information about Joseph Smith’s seer stone.
In personal stories, we have another faith crisis and a memory triggered by “the November policy“, a Mormon gay dude making peace with a lifelong celibacy plan, depressing Christmas trees, and another comic in the life of a transgender Mormon.
And let’s close with a little fun! Until next week, I hope we’ll all be OK! Oh, and Merry Christmas!