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The Subtlety of the Truth

In my considerable experience, those who express the most certainty on a subject, those who speak about it in clearcut terms, probably know the least.

Either that, or they actually do know their shit, but in their estimation, I’m too ignorant to handle the subtlety of their world.

Anyway, the truth has always proven more nuanced than its presentation in school, at church, and on PBS.


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Journal Entries from 2006 – Part 2

April 12, 2006

Releasing myself from what I thought I knew about God and Satan has empowered me.

I was taught to be in perpetual combat with my adversary, Satan. This colored my life and perceptions with a tone of crisis. Putting down my weapons of war has given me the calm, inner clarity to see that the evil that I do comes from within, not without. I have the power to direct my actions, not an immaterial tempter. I alone bear responsibility.

Releasing my hope for a life beyond what I can see has made this life more precious. I do not know whether I will live beyond my death or whether my consciousness is a function of the biological processes of my body. I can no longer see injustice and pain and excuse it in the hope that it will be rectified in an afterlife. My best hope is to improve the human situation today, now.

Strangely, Alma the Younger’s word have more meaning to me today than I can ever remember:

“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.”

My heart swelled with peace and confidence when I finally accepted the evidence that has been before my eyes my entire life. Still there lingers some shame for being disloyal to the community that nurtured me. If anything, the Mormon faith has taught me virtuous principles and a loyalty to the truth above all else. For that I am grateful.

[It is true that I learned the importance of truth from Mormonism. However, the LDS church for all its talk about the truth has a stilted, awkward relationship with it. Where I learned to value the truth from Mormonism, I learned how to find it from scientists, skeptics, and freethinkers.]

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Small and Simple Things

Some spoke not of rage, but of a moment when, like a revelation, the contradictions would be resolved if they simply accepted that the church is not true. As Michael L. described, “Though you see your entire identity and your life potentially shattering and crumbling around you, it’s almost like standing in the eye of a storm, where you come to realize that now everything makes sense.”

That statement rings true to my experience. I wasn’t angry when I first accepted that Mormonism doesn’t reflect reality. The anger came later and has since subsided. When I learned truths that had been hidden from me, I felt my world slipping away. In the midst of chaos, the idea came to me that Mormonism was false. It seemed so simple a thing. Once I grasped this little idea, the world came into focus again, but sharper than ever before.

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De-conversion has an excellent summary of existentialism and how it contrasts with religious fundamentalism. The world is a different place when you try to strip away fantasy and live as true to your experience as possible.

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LDS, Inc. Evades 21 Questions about Mormonism

A PR representative for the LDS church has answered 21 questions posed by reporters from FOXNews. I use the term “answered” very lightly. I felt deeply saddened (and slightly disgusted) by the time I finished reading.

The answers illustrate the opposite of integrity. It’s like they know their doctrines are going to be ridiculed, so they lie about them. Part of why I stopped believing in the church is for exactly this reason: the church started to discard the things that I had been taught were eternal truths. I started doubting because I was too Mormon for the LDS church.

Equality Time has a good blow-by-blow reaction to the answers.

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