Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mormonisms Beginnings...well, my understandings of it at least. (Part 1)

To write about Mormonisms beginnings is something that comes with a very important question.  Which beginnings?  The beginnings of the Mormon church?  The beginnings of what the church claims the beginnings to be?  Because those can be very different things.  And from a Mormon perspective, these "beginnings" also change over time.

What I'm going to do in this post is give a background of the Mormon church as I was taught during the late 80's and throughout the 90's.  Once I have regurgitated that shit, I can then start to tackle some other issues--plus for those of you who weren't Mormons, you'll be able to get some of the "jokes."

Growing up in the church, the story started off simply.  Joseph Smith was a lovable little rascal that just had such a noodle scratching dilemma during the 1820's.  The whole state of New York was in a fervor over religion.  Many religions were preaching a ton of different shit, and Joseph wanted to know which church to join.  He couldn't just take each preacher's word for it, because that would be stupid-- so he decided to ax god directly.  He had recently read a scripture that said something to the effect of, "yo, if you don't fuckin' know, then fuckin' ax god, motherfuck."  This extremely eloquent scripture hit Joseph like a thunderclap from Mothra's wings.

So Joseph went and fuckin axed god.  He was only 14 at the time, and the results were astonishing.  Normally when someone prays to god, they don't really get much of an answer.  Usually god is too busy scratching his balls and watching 'Die Hard' on TBS for the 1000th time, but god decided that Joseph was too cool and decided to roust Jesus and go to answer his question.

Joseph was down on his knees like a good lover would be, when suddenly he was attacked by Satan.  Satan knew that some shit was about to go down, and wanted to try to fuck up god's plan.  Apparently they had had a falling out after the whole Job bet, and Satan wanted to get god back by ruining god's plan to restore the one true church on the face of the earth...and possibly the moon.

Joseph was able to cry out to god, and god banished Satan to his room for a time out.  During my time at church we learned this event to be the "First Vision" because Joseph had an actual factual literal vision of the "Godhead."

Now "Godhead" isn't what it sounds like.  It's not the first time you got blown and it was so amazing you shot jizz into the chick's eye and she ran screaming to the bathroom--because that shit burns!  No, the "Godhead" is the Mormon explanation of god.  For Mormonism (at least at the time I was taught, Mormonism tends to change shit) god is actually three distinct and separate beings.  God, the father; his son Jesus, and the "holy ghost" who is just crashing for a little while until he can get a job at Home Depot and get back on his feet again.

Joseph's "First Vision" is "Joseph's" recounting of meeting the Big Bros.  Joseph claims that he saw god the father as a man having "flesh and bone" and Jesus "also having flesh and bone" and that he "felt" the holy ghost just so super strong around him.  Joseph described a big, bright tractor beam of light and then god and Jesus descending within the beam.  Joseph was struck speechless but god pointed to Jesus and spake, "'Sup! This is Jesus, dawg. Represent."

Even though he had pissed his pantaloons, Joseph axed his question, "which church is yours?"

God the father answered, "Man, fuck all that shit.  Those motherfuckers don't know me! They think they do, but they DON'T! Fuck 'em. We's startin' our own church, aiight??"

Joseph was beyond flabbergasted.  He had never thought that ain't none no churches wasn't no good.  He didn't dream that he'd be starting his own church.  What a lot of responsibility to give to a fourteen year old boy.  But god thought Joseph was legit!  Joseph was going to "restore" god's church!  But how???  What a cliffhanger!

American Revolution! Mormon style.

We all know that the American Revolution happened in order for god to give us the greatest country on the face of the world that he has ever given us.

And what makes this the greatest country? Well because this is the country that the gospel would be restored.

In seminary we learned that there is a scripture that hints that "Captain Moroni," the sexiest of sexy angels was most likely the one that fired the first shot.

Don't ax me to find the scripture that "proves" that, I'm not your goddamn scriptorian. Do YOUR OWN RESEARCH!

Anyway, I was thinking about that this morning, and I'm sure I know exactly how it went down.

The rebels were tensly faced off against those naughty Brits. No one ready to fire, when suddenly, out of the deafening silence a musket shot was "heard round the world."

Captain Moroni whips off his sunglasses and lights a cigar (since the WoW hadn't been enforced yet). He rises from his crouched position and hands his musket to a stunned rebel. Moroni begins to walk away, but turns his head. The smoke from his cigar billowing around him.

In a deep gruff voice he simply states, "You're welcome."

Suddenly music can be heard everywhere.

Shot through the heart!
And you're to blame
You give love
A Bad Name!

One reason why church sucks.

We all know that church sucks. Especially those of you who are still going (sad pandas), and we also know the reason why church sucks.

It is boring. Soul crushingly boring, because you go each week to place that you don't own, but still have to clean to listen to the same ridiculous shit over and over and over again preached by people who either don't believe it themselves, or believe it to the point of madness.

Everyone else is there to basically agree with what's going on. So the "discussion" ends up being:

"Oh, I think baptism is very important; don't you, Brother Buttkiss?"

"Oh, absolutely Brother Asanine. The scriptures say it's very important."

"Of course! The scriptures. They are great."

"Yes they are."

"Then we are agreed."


And this could be and IS repeated with any topic-- just replace the word baptism with whatever else. The holy spirit, or the "gifts of the holy spirit," or prayer, or, or or or. You get the point. Nothing new, three hours of your life that you could have used playing video games. But instead those hours are wasted. You are older, closer to death, and actually dumber than when you went in the chapel doors.

And then of course there's the sacrament/fast and crappy story time meetings too surrounded by dead eyed zombies that won't remember what was said in the meeting five minutes after it's over, but will swear to you that they love going with all of their shriveled hearts.

The only time this ever gets insteresting is when the resident crazy goes up to "bare his testimony" and you can hear the collective inhalation of breath by everyone steeling themselves to whatever non sensical rant is going to come spewing forth.

But mostly sacrament meeting is just about how much you AREN'T sacrificing enough, AREN'T doing enough, AREN'T faithful enough. And how to use the "gospel" as a cudgle to bludgeon anyone who is doing something that you don't agree with.

The only real "peace" comes from when the sacrament is administered and the room is quiet enough to hear your brain screeming, "WHY ARE WE STILL HERE? THIS FUCKING SUCKS! IF YOU DON'T LEAVE, THEN I WILL!"

Response to a Fundie response to my Power of Myths essay.

I originally posted the Power of Myth essay elsewhere, but I'm using this blog to archive all of the neat things that I have written in the past. This essay was so great that the heavens opened up and I got to meet god. He finally admitted that he was an asshole and will be checking into rehab. He's just going through a lot right now, and needed to borrow $20 for a cab ride home.

All I had was a $30 gift card to the Olive Garden at which point god responded, "Kill yourself. I wouldn't be caught dead there. Although most of the waitresses do know how I could score some more rock." And god was on his way.

No matter how cool I thought was because of my writing prowess, one poster was not happy with my insight.

Here's what was said.

"All of these ex-mormons who thoroughly believed in the myth of moromonism now declaring, "Behold, I am wise, listen to me as I know that of which I speak." Mind you, this is coming from people that were once no doubt completely duped (or dishonest or foolish), but we won't talk about that now.


Insofar as spiritual matters go, what makes you the arbiter of what is truth v. what is myth now? Why the constant effort to equivocate the stupidity of mormonism with the Bible? Why should we trust anything you have to say about any part of the Bible? How would you know?

Given your spiritual background, your testimony cannot be trusted on spiritual matters. In a court of law, you would be what is called an "impeached" witness. No one has to accept what you say, and given your track record, the jury would be instructed to be very careful in assessing the veracity of your testimony. Sweeping conclusions by you would be sticken from the record.

Oh, I see, you took an undergracuate class in mythology and read a couple of books, and your mom thinks you're smart, so that makes you an authority on the matter. Right?

Some of you people forgot to leave the mormon ego behind when you left mormonism. Arrogance is putting it mildly.

RJ, I know this might be impossible for you, but I would appreciate a response that does not include any words that start with an f and end with a k. Thanks in advance!"

Once I was done weeping like a little girl-- but not because of this post. I was crying because I found out that Batman is not a real person. This information hurts me deeply. You have no idea how much I love Batman. Now it's not as much as I love Wolverine or Deadpool, but it's still WAAAAAAAYYYY more than I love the New Avengers. Seriously, fuck those guys. Laaaaaame.

Anyway, what? Oh, yeah. The post. Well, I had a lovely day watching Damages with my wife and then started drinking wine while I was cleaning the kitchen (it was gross), when I thought that my next "project" should be to take this post apart. So here goes:

Was I duped? Hell yes. I was BIC, so every week I was indoctrinated with Mormonism ever since I was born.

"Either that or you were dishonest." Haha. Nice false dilemma, but I'll let that one go because it saves me from having to address being a missionary and spreading this shit, and all those times I was a "teacher" for the church. Not to mention every time I lied in interviews about not masturbating or dry humping my girlfriend. So, let's just say I was duped and move on. Makes me look better, and I'm already an expert at that.

"What makes you the arbiter of truth vs. myth?"

I don't fucking know, Spider-man? I'm a human being who loves science and English Lit. I was a public school teacher for a few years, and while I left, I still believe strongly in education. If that's not a good enough answer ask my therapist, or maybe this poster should ask his priest. What makes his priest the fucking arbiter of truth vs. myth? Why am I the only one that should be asked this question? What about the poster? What makes him the arbiter of truth? What makes any of us the arbiter of truth? Maybe just being human makes us truth-seekers to some extent.

"Why the constant effort to equivocate the stupidity of Mormonism with the Bible?"

Well, because Mormonism is stupid and parts of the Bible are stupid. I mean, have you read that shit? Cover to cover? There's some really stupid shit in there. And there's some really fucked up shit in there too. And I should know about stupid, fucked up shit. I watched "Human Centipede" all the way through. People may like a lot of parts about the Bible, but they may not be reading the whole thing, because the whole thing has some really stupid parts. And like the Book of Mormon, the whole thing is booooooooooring.

Don't believe me? Well, did you read the whole thing cover to cover? Well, why not, you read Harry Potter cover to cover (and that evil book was about witchcraft)? Oh, that's right, getting through the Old Testament is like sitting through 8000 Sacrament Meetings back to back.

But go back to the old testament and re read about when god gets mad at the isrealites for NOT committing both genocide and xenocide. Go read the story where the prophet has two bears eat teenagers alive for making fun of the prophet's baldness. Where the daughters of a prophet get their father drunk to fuck him and get pregnant. Go read the passage after passage where slavery is completely acceptable.

But, raptorjesus, where are all these insane stories? Well, they're in the bible. If you don't know about them, then you didn't read the bible all the way through did you?

"Why should we trust anything you have to say about the bible? What would you know?"

I claim that the bible is full of stories that aren't to be taken literally. Gee, what would I fucking know about this? Oh, yeah. All that shit that the bible says happened that never did!

Adam and Eve? Nope. Sorry no genetic evidence of that. Especially not the fundamentalist claims that this happened six thousand years ago.

Human beings have been around a lot longer than that. And you don't even have to take my word for that. Even wikipedia got that shit right. Civilizations and other writings were in full bloom six thousand years ago. We have artifacts from Human hands and human writing, and human art from waaaaaay longer than that.

The bible claims that the whole world was covered in a flood. Again, no evidence, but it's odd that the Chinese, Mongolian, Native American, African civilizations didn't seem to notice. They were around then. Even the Egyptian civilization pre-dates the fundamental date of the flood. And that's where it supposedly took place if you read Hugh Nibley.

After the flood, comes Moses. Would be nice to see some archeological evidence for that dude. He was the Chris Angel of the Nile, mindfreaking all of Egypt with fantastical plagues and godly "magic." Yet, only the bible has that shit in it. Odd, that we have so much of the writings of the Egyptians, but no one bothered to write down all the horrible shit that went down during Moses. You would think that one person at least would update their Egyptian equivalent of a Facebook status.

"OMG!!! Frogs from the skies? WTF!!!"

"Given your spiritual background, your testimony cannot be trusted on spiritual matters. In a court of law, you would be what is called an "impeached" witness. No one has to accept what you say, and given your track record, the jury would be instructed to be very careful in assessing the veracity of your testimony. Sweeping conclusions by you would be sticken from the record."

Oh how convenient. I was the arbiter of truth, now I'm the witness. Ok, Mr. Mixed Metaphors, I don't remember that this was a spiritual court of law. I never got served. Who's the judge and jury? Is it judge Judy? She's a bitch. I mean, yeah, that white trash needs to be taken to town, but I call for a mis-trial. I mean this spiritual court of law isn't Vietnam, dude, there are rules.

Odd that my testimony is simply that the stories in the Bible never happened literally, and that's what makes MY testimony suspect. the book of Genesis happened because there's no scientific evidence that it did???

Sorry. I hate to be Captain Bringdown, but the truth is that there is no evidence to support the claims of most of the Old Testament. This might harsh your buzz and other bad 80's phrases, but evidence is evidence.

If you want to believe in the Bible. Ok. But all you've got right now is belief. That's it. History and archeology is not on your side for most of it.

And it's also interesting to bring in the distinction about "spiritual matters." Yeah, I have NO authority over spiritual matters because I don't know what that means anymore. But no one else seems to either. What a convenient defense. Well, the bible claims a bunch of shit, but those are "spiritual matters" so, you can't really talk about it. Shhhhh. Just trust us. They are "spiritual." Just accept it. But don't you dare look at anything that anyone else says it is "spiritual" like Buddhism, Mormonism, Islam, Zoroastrianism. Those are silly.

Sorry but if you believe in the literal truth of ALL of the Bible, then be prepared for criticism. If you want to claim that these matters are "spiritual" then don't shit on someone who says they aren't literal.

"Oh, I see, you took an undergracuate class in mythology and read a couple of books, and your mom thinks you're smart, so that makes you an authority on the matter. Right?"

I've been smiling at this all day, because this is probably the true crux of the matter-- the anti-intellectual stance.

How dare I read books! How dare I go to college! How dare I "know" shit! How dare my mom think I'm smart!

Well, my mom does think I'm smart. But she's not a fan when my Facebook profile pic is the photo-shopped image of Jesus wearing a "Tool" t-shirt.

And the internet thinks I'm smart too. The free I.Q. tests said I was a genius. Mostly because I took them several times, and experimented with the answers until I got them all correct.

But my undergrad taught me how to research. And my graduate degree taught me how to research and think better. I know what I know. And I'm at least honest about my knowledge. I know when something doesn't seem "true." I know how to look for verification.

But the psychology is interesting. Attack the messenger when you don't like the message. Take down the credentials so you don't have to accept the claims.

There's no proof to support the Bible to be taken literally. I'm not the only one saying it. If you want the Bible to be taken literally, get your degree in anthropology and prove it. The burden of proof is not on me anymore. It's the same with Mormonism. Taken literally and Mormonism makes very specific claims that cannot be backed up with archeology, genetics, and anthropology just to name a few.

"Some of you people forgot to leave the mormon ego behind when you left mormonism. Arrogance is putting it mildly."

So humility is about accepting "truth" without "facts." Sorry, that's what Mormonism taught me NOT to do. I was told my whole life just to trust people about ridiculous claims without looking into them myself. That humility was about not educating myself and not being "deceived by the learned." Those were the biggest deceivers. The ones that simply said 'trust me. You can't know with your 'mind' and your 'learning' and your 'education.'

If this is the definition of arrogance, than I'd rather be arrogant. Because the opposite would be ignorant. I spent my entire childhood and my young adult life being ignorant. I won't be ever again. And no amount of bludgeoning with passive aggressiveness will change my mind. You want to change my mind? Prove it! You want the "scriptures" to be the "word of god?" Prove it! All I see is a collection of myths, ramblings of megalomaniacs, and a desperate attempt to keep the masses ignorant.

What a fucking "loving" god. Too bad he couldn't be bothered to leave any evidence behind, or better yet, write it himself if he wanted to be taken so seriously.

"RJ, I know this might be impossible for you, but I would appreciate a response that does not include any words that start with an f and end with a k. Thanks in advance!"


By the Power of Greyskull!

Myths have the POWER!!!

Mythology is all about desires. The desire to explain phenomena before science came around, and the desires that humanity most desperately wants to achieve. Mythology is all about symbolism, and unfortunately religion has poisoned mythology.

Myths are symbolic stories that only make sense when NOT taken literally. They are stories to be shared about desires, but not about literal reality. Religion tries to impose a sense of literalness that debases the myth from something beautiful to something non-nonsensical and silly.

One of my favorite myths is the story of how Odin learned to read: Odin new that to be the father-god and ruler of all, he needed wisdom and magic. After consulting the witches on how to do this, he hung himself from a tree for seven days. During this time when he was hung, twigs fell from the tree and made shapes-- the shapes of runes. After being hung dead, Odin learned the magic of the runes and brought himself back to life--literate. Full of wisdom and magic.

Taken literally, this story is beyond stupid. But again, that's not the power of the myth. What's amazing to me is the symbolic nature behind this story. Odin needed wisdom. He sacrificed himself. Hung himself in order to learn how to read. The Norse storytellers understood symbolically that education comes with a price. And any of you out there who've been to college, know what it's like to hang yourself--choking, gasping, dying just for your education. It's the symbols that make the story.

The Adam and Eve story has a similar beauty to it, but again, not if taken literally. Man was not meant to be alone so god made his partner from his rib. His rib, the bone that protects the heart, but also that which comes from his side. Eve is part of him--part of his side, and she protects his heart.

Unfortunately, re-writing, re-working, twisting the story for "literal" truths can poison the crux of the story. And fighting over a "literal" interpretation can also poison a society.

Eve is "beguiled" first by the serpent to partake of the fruit of knowledge, then forces Adam to partake. Taken literally, and suddenly women are root cause of all of the "suffering" in the world-- when really the symbolic nature of the story would be more appropriate. The fruit of the tree of knowledge is really the knowledge that we as humans will eventually die. We know we will die because we are "smart."

At some point in our past, our species finally figured out that other animals die, and that would happen to us. We gained the knowledge of simply knowing that we would die-- and doesn't that put a damper on our spirits? Suddenly, the world isn't so rosey and Garden-of-Evey anymore because, oh shit, we're going to die. Again, it's unfortunate that religion has to come along and try to make these stories literal, and that their institutionalized interpretation is the ONLY correct interpretation.

As soon as that happens, these stories are either just silly or can become damaging. "God made ADAM and EVE not ADAM and STEVE." Well, had we been raised with the Greek myth of the origin of love, we wouldn't have had this annoying phrase.

The Greek myth (and the movie Hedwig turned it into a wonderful song) has three original sexes. One sex is made up of two human males attached, another with two females attached, and the third sex is one male and one female attached. The gods became jealous of our independence from them and so Zeus split us apart and scattered us. When we find our significant other we find the person who knows our pain of being alone and that aching feeling of "missing something." So we put ourselves back together by making love. We find our "missing half."

Pretty easy to see the symbolism there.

Nameofraptorjesuschrist. Amen.

Mormonism and Science

Mormonism makes it very clear that they have the answers to the big three questions in life.

Who are we?

Where do we come from?

Where are we going?

Unfortunately these answers are just not true because Mormonism is just not true. We were taught that we are literal sons and daughters of god from a Heavenly Mother and a Heavenly Father, that some of us were awesome enough to have helped create this world when living in the pre-existence. That we chose righteousness when Satan was being a douche and started a war in heaven, and we are being teased here on Earth until we die-- teased like god teased Moses in the dessert for forty years. (Forty year dessert must have been tasty). Also, that we can live with heavenly father and jesus again if we pay a lot of money and clean a lot of church toilets.

When the bottom comes out of Mormonism, lots of peeps are curious as to the answers to these questions that they no longer have. And because Mormonism is pretty good at telling folks not to pay attention in science class (and because science class is sadly sadly lacking in America anyway), people are left wondering what in the fuck do they do now.

Religion has always been there to sell these answers, but science has done a pretty good job at answering two out of three. For everyone who is bored or pretending to work, I'll give a quick raptorjesus rendition of what we know so far. (And I won't even charge for that. Boy am I waaaaay better than that other Jesus?)

1. Who are we?

We are apes. Yes, it is disgusting, but tough shit, we are apes. We are first mammals (ladies got the great boobies), but we evolved along with other apes from an "ape-like-ancestor." Chimps are our closest genetic relatives, and gorillas our next closest. If you don't believe me, go teach Jr. High for a couple of years. We are slightly less hairy monkeys that think a little more, masturbate a little less (only a little), but still throw our shit around when threatened. (This board is proof of that).
But are we still children of god? The most honest answer anyone will ever give you is that nobody knows. Nobody knows who or what god is for sure-- science doesn't know. And no religion knows either. People believe, but anyone who tells you that they know is fucking lying to you and only wants your money and your obedience. Everyone who reads this board gets that now, and it's a painful lesson to learn.

2. Where did we come from?

We are star dust. It sounds really cheesy, but it is true. If you don't like thinking that we are apes, then think about being star dust-- then think about unicorns and bedazzling your levi jacket. All of the elements that we are made from came from the stars. The universe is mostly hydrogen and helium. These simple elements are the fuel source for all of the stars. As fusion takes place to keep the stars twinkling and wish-upon-able-- heavier elements are made. When a large star dies and erupts in a super nova, even heavier elements are made. These elements are then scattered throughout the universe eventually to re form into second generation stars and planets. Our planet was formed from the corpses of previous stars and allowed for important elements like iron, carbon, nitrogen, etc.
Our planet is around 4.5 to 4.6 billion years old and fit right into place where it was able to have the correct conditions for life. Life took awhile to come about, but about 3 billion years ago, it did. Science is still trying to exactly describe this process-- it is a field called "abiogenesis." It is where inorganic matter turned into simple "organic matter."
Once organic matter began and the matter was able to replicate itself, a great thing called natural selection came into play. Duplication of "traits" that were beneficial to survival in a given environment were more likely to succeed and be passed on. These traits that were passed on could be built upon and built upon given the needs to survive in any given environment. This was the start of evolution. All of life came from this start.

As cheesy as it is, we are all star dust, and all life on this planet is connected. Everything living goes back to the "primordial soup" and everything living and non living goes back to the early stars, and all of those go back to the Big Bang. So, the next time you get sick with the stomach flu just hug those little viruses and say, "thanks, little brothers."

A lot of books exist on these subjects for reference depending on which topic interests a person. Astrophysics deals with the stars and how humans know about the Big Bang, our connection to "dead" stars, and the formation of the planets. Abiogenesis deals with the formation of life, and Evolution and Biology deals with how we get the life that is here now 3 billion years after life began in the first place.

The last question is still where no one has a good answer.
3) Where are we going?

If taken in the context of the usual, "what happens when I corpse out?" Again, no one knows. People have compounded a lot of "near death experiences" but that's not the same thing as discovering the actual dimension where dead people hang out, or tying a rope around one's waist to go into the closet to find the little girl who got lost in the dead people's waiting room after a storm and now only can speak to the living through the television. But when you do go in the closet to pull her out covered in strawberry jelly, you also find a giant demon head that will later manifest itself as a big skeletal praying mantis or a giant vagina with a long tongue.
Anyway, the point being, we don't know what happens when we die. Maybe we just rot in the ground until that glorious day when we can arise to feast on the flesh of the living. Maybe I'll be in a "spirit world" where I can make fun of everyone who died before the 1980's and never got to play video games. I don't know. But the point is that you don't know, and your stupid still religious friends don't know either. They can pretend like they know all they want, and can invite me to watch The Passion with them to guilt me into doing what they say, but when we watch the Passion and I just laugh through it, everyone gets uncomfortable--but did they think about that? No, they didn't.

Some of the topics today that weren't references to movies can be difficult to grasp. Some of the topics require a person to finally throw their scriptures in the dumpster where they belong and pick up a science book. Or better yet, go back to college where you can get a degree in a field. But not one of those online colleges where you can get your PhD in "ghost hunting" in less than six months. Ok, I can see your "degree" on your mantle and that the school was clearly not accredited. Fuck you, I'm not calling you Dr. for attending the school for "kids who can't read good and want to learn how to do other stuff good too" ok?

The internet has some good information on topics, but it also has some shit. Youtube videos are nice because they are fast, but for every good, informative video, you can still find one about intelligent design that is disingenuous and you'd be better off just watching the video where the panda bear sneezes and scares his mom. That thing is just too precious, and that panda was made from star dust too.

Mormn folklore retold: A returned missionary is sitting in a Philosophy class.

Which tells you that bad shit is going to go down. Because what mormon story ever involves anything good when you are in a class learning to think?

Anyway. The philosophy professor says that prayer is for stupid butt faces, and that god is a silly nanny.

The RM couragesly challenges this idea in front of everyone.

Not to be outdone, the evil philosophy professors laughs evily and then evilly states, "if prayer works then say a prayer that this chalk won't break when I drop it to the ground," and stretches forth his evil hand evilly.

The RM gives a humble prayer, "dear heavenly father. If thou wilst taketh a moment of thy time from nurishing and strengthening food, to show this "philosopher" that he's an ass for using the brain that thou didst grant him. Then please let the chalk go unbroken in these the latter days. Nameofjesuschristamen."

The professor drops the chalk! Gasp! And the chalk disobeyes all laws of physics and drops at an angle to slide sexfully down the professor's pants to the floor. Unharmed!!!

God 1: Philosophy 0

Mormonism and Creationism

Mormonism had quite a history of teaching creationism for some time. Joseph Fielding Smith was quite adamant about it, and claimed to be speaking FOR god (and not as a man) whenever approached with the subject. Bruce R. McKonkie in his "seven deadly heresies" also made sure to put apostalic pressure on any who might disagree with Bruce on anything that Bruce said. Even when it was wishy washy as I've put below where McKonkie actually quotes Joseph.

"Heresy two concerns itself with the relationship between organic evolution and revealed religion and asks the question whether they can be harmonized.

There are those who believe that the theory of organic evolution runs counter to the plain and explicit principles set forth in the holy scriptures as these have been interpreted and taught by Joseph Smith and his associates. There are others who think that evolution is the system used by the Lord to form plant and animal life and to place man on earth.

May I say that all truth is in agreement, that true religion and true science bear the same witness, and that in the true and full sense, true science is part of true religion. But may I also raise some questions of a serious nature. Is there any way to harmonize the false religions of the Dark Ages with the truths of science as they have now been discovered? is there any way to harmonize the revealed religion that has come to us with the theo- retical postulates of Darwinism and the diverse speculations descending therefrom?

Should we accept the famous document of the First Presidency issued in the days of President Joseph F. Smith and entitled "The Origin of Man" as meaning exactly what it says? Is it the doctrine of the gospel that Adam stood next to Christ in power and might and intelligence before the foundations of the world were laid; that Adam was placed on this earth as an immortal being; that there was no death in the world for him or for any form of life until after the Fall; that the fall of Adam brought temporal and spiritual death into the world; that this temporal death passed upon all forms of life, upon man and animal and fish and fowl and plant life; that Christ came to ransom man and all forms of life from the effects of the temporal death brought into the world through the Fall, and in the case of man from a spiritual death also; and that this ransom includes a resurrection for man and for all forms of life? Can you harmonize these things with the evolutionary postulate that death has always existed and that the various forms of life have evolved from preceding forms over astronomically long periods of time?

Can you harmonize the theories of men with the inspired words that say: And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

And they [meaning Adam and Eve] would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. [2 Ne. 2:22-26]

These are questions to which all of us should find answers. Every person must choose for himself what he will believe. I recommend that all of you study and ponder and pray and seek light and knowledge in these and in all fields.

I believe that the atonement of Christ is the great and eternal foundation upon which revealed religion rests. I believe that no man can be saved unless he believes that our Lord's atoning sacrifice brings immortality to all and eternal life to those who believe and obey, and no man can believe in the atonement unless he accepts both the divine sonship of Christ and the fall of Adam.

My reasoning causes me to conclude that if death has always prevailed in the world, then there was no fall of Adam that brought death to all forms of life; that if Adam did not fall, there is no need for an atonement; that if there was no atonement, there is no salvation, no resurrection, and no eternal life; and that if there was no atonement, there is nothing in all of the glorious promises that the Lord has given us. I believe that the Fall affects man, all forms of life, and the earth itself, and that the atonement affects man, all forms of life, and the earth itself."

Bruce has put himself in a tight position, and anyone who wants to take these "truths" literally has quite a bit of compartmentalization to do.

The world is a little over 4 billion years old. Mankind has only been on this planet for not 6000 years, but over a million. Species have come and gone--including ones incredibly similar to us but who weren't "quite human." Yet the timeline of this speech is simple:

God created the earth, all the animals and Adam and Eve in the garden. Nothing died until Adam fell, then people need jesus to save them. Evolution has zero room in this short time-line.

Once again, the profits don't know what they are talking about. No scientific evidence supports the creationist outline proclaimed in the above speech.

Mormonism today has tried to shy away from this strict position, but only because the current authorities have been incredibly silent on the issue.

Interesting for god to allow his profit to be so wrong about something, but not give more light and knowledge to his pack of grovelers.

Personal Finances and The So Called Church (TSCC)

I've been wanting to write this essay for awhile, but I kept getting distracted.

However, the doggies have pooped outside and mrsraptorjesus is at work, so I have the house to myself. I can collect my thoughts and write while I enjoy a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and a glass of Chardonnay (because I'm klassy).

I got my Master's in Finance because I wanted to try something very different, and while I'm not working in the "personal finance" industry, I keep track of it, and am a big supporter of personal finance education--something that's sadly lacking in the United States of Awesome.

Now, I know that many of Recovery From Mormonism's (RfM or posters are old. Some of them, really old. How they can even use a computer is a miracle having been around when the first computer was simply a very smart horse that was given a carrot everytime she clomped once for "yes" and twice for "no."

*And that's how we got "binary code!" :O

Anywho, the ancient relics of the board probably need not read this, and it will be another of my posts that slowly sinks to the bottom like a person's self esteem sitting through General Conference because old people, like teenagers, know everything.

However, the difference is that old people know what they know because they've spent a lifetime fucking everything up and finally learned from their mistakes whereas teenagers just fuck everything up.

So, talking about personal finance-those who are tempting death everyday just by getting out of bed, have figured out a system that works for them. And I don't want this essay to be mistaken. I'm trying to spread some light on this subject without trying to tell anyone what to do with their money. Excepting of course to give it all to me. Fuck the Mormon concept of one tenth. If you cheap bastards can get a lot of magical blessings with only one tenth of your money, think how super duper MORE blessings you'll get if you give ALL your money to me.

But enough of the pan handling; personal finance.

TSCC does a couple of things right by suggesting that people get a budget that they can live within, have some savings, and avoid debt. However, that's about all that the church gets right.

For my generation, these are the things the church taught without ever going into further detail. Things may have changed (what a surprise would THAT be. The church changing shit??? Whoa!) But that's how it was. The phrases were as simple as "pay the lord first, then pay yourself second." Or another one was "the only two things you can go into debt for are a car and for school."

To be fair, I NEVER heard that second phrase come from anyone else except other peasants-- I mean members, not leadership.

What makes these kinds of phrases dangerous though is their simplicity. Personal finance is not something that can be boiled down to a couple of cutesy colloquialisms. It is especially dangerous when people throw bullshit around like, "money is the root of all evil." Again, it's the simplicity of the statement that makes it wrong. Same with "money can't buy happiness" or "money isn't everything."

The last statement is the jumping point to my diatribe. "Money isn't everything"....unless you don't have any, and then money becomes EVERYTHING.

Several studies have been done about money buying happiness and the studies show that money does make people more happy to a certain point. (I'll link to a news article with an abstract to the article at the end.)

This study from the end of last year puts out some general ideas that I'm going to re-iterate expanding on some ideas. And the article shows that the salary dollar figure where "happiness" curves off is around $70,000 a year. So, a quick summary is that the studies show that people on average are happier making more money until they get to $70,000 a year, and then money doesn't really seem to impact their happiness quite so much.

Now before I go any further with an analysis, I want to put in some clarifications. The study is using average dollar figures for the entire country. So this $70,000 would be a different number in reality for New York City then say Paul Idaho. So, keep that in mind. (And yes, I am aware that unfortunately this mark is well above the average salary that the average American works. However, remember that this dollar figure is NOT the figure you HAVE to make in order to be happy. Rather the point at which more money doesn't necessarily coincide with more happiness.)

My take on this study is that one of the major reasons that people seem happier making more money is that around this dollar figure money becomes less about survival and more about choices.

While Americans make a lot more money compared to the rest of the world, it also takes a lot of money to live here. Food, rent/mortgage, utilities, cars, education-- it all adds up. But after a certain dollar amount people are able to buy things that they want rather than just things that they NEED. Instead of scraping just for rent and food, people can buy books, movies, go on vacation, have hobbies, etc. Again, the pressure of just "making it" paycheck to paycheck eases up.

Now let's shit all over the church because that's why we're really here.

The church wants you to pay your tithing first--10% gross. Then the church wants you to have a lot of kids. Then the church really wants your kids to go to school and get an education, all on one paycheck because "women who know" know that they don't belong at work ( and if you've ever wondered why, it's because they make the most money off of the middle class. They don't make money off of the poor.). So, you start with a 10% pay cut, then you've been told that you need to save 10% of your money, then you need to feed your kids--well, fuck, they can't BE fed unless I stop saving. Then you need to try to find a way to pay for their college--well, if you didn't get help maybe your kids can get student loans like you did-- oh, fuck that's right, I need to make sure I have paid that this month. Well maybe I'll work some overtime--except that would cut into my callings and I've already been reamed out for that. Oh and I really wanted to get that new house too, fucking Jonsons always rubbing my face in their huge ass house. Well, the lord will provide right? I mean maybe if I just got it, he'd help out somehow, I mean I've done everything he's ever asked of me, he owes me doesn't he?

But I don't really have the equity in this one, we took out that other mortgage to pay for the vacation. I really wanted to show our kids Navooooo, would have been nice to have gone to Disneyland. Maybe next year we'll do that. I'll figure out a way to leverage that trip in there. Oh, but Susie's medical bills. Shit, those things keep coming back. Yeah she's a "blessing," but if we hadn't had her, I could have made it work a lot easier. But everyone kept asking us when we'd have another and I didn't really have insurance at the time, but we "felt" that she was supposed to come down from heaven to our family.

Oh god, maybe I can ask the Bishop for some help. No, I can't do that. I can't be like all of the other disgusting cretins that come crawling to him asking for handouts. This church isn't about handouts, it's supposed to be about helping those who help themselves.

The church is a nightmare when it comes to personal finances. Like I've stated earlier, I have never seen any kind of actual education on the subjects, but the average American who makes around $40,000 to $50,000 a year is royally fucked. The pressure can never ease up with 10% cut out of that before a budget is even set.

I don't want to get into personal finance tips--unless asked, but I did want to shed a little light on the subject and why the Law of Tithing actually makes me furious.

Trust Jesus

The other day while I was driving home from work, I passed a teenager who was holding a giant sign that said, "Trust Jesus."

Now when I see signs like this, a lot of things go through my head. The first one of course being, "What the fuck? That sign forgot the 'Raptor.'"

But after realizing that the kid purposely left the "Raptor" off the sign, I thought, "How odd."

And a human billboard for Jesus is odd. Normally this kind of thing is relegated to teens who are trying to let me know that Hot and Ready Pizzas are only $5 just around the corner. Or that there is a sexy car-wash going on to help raise money for some school shit.

But here was a kid that took time out of his busy day of not masturbating to let me know that I should "Trust Jesus."

Now, I know that his not quite fully developed brain thought that there was power in this vague statement. That somehow the simplicity of a two word imperative sentence would be paradoxically deep enough to shake me from my unbelief.

Oh how that ring pledged virgin was wrong.

I was confused by the statement. "Trust Jesus." Ok. "Trust Jesus." Ok, with what?

Everything? I know some fundies would say, "Yes, now you understand the Power of the Jesus."

But that doesn't quite make sense though in real life.

I mean, no matter how many times I hear that semi-inbred hillbilly warble, "Jesus take the wheel" that shit doesn't work. If I had 'trusted Jesus' to get me home safely and let go, not only would I be dead, but most likely so would the driver who was coming right at me.

Oh, but I've been told all my life that that would be "tempting Jesus" with that kind of shenanigans. And apparently somewhere in the bible it says that thou shalt not tempt the lord thy god. I think the verse is somewhere around where god says that he hates gays and lobsters equally.

Tempt god? That's an interesting phrase. As if god is this giant middle-aged, depressed single woman with diabetes, and I just walked into the room with a huge ass chocolate cake saying, "Who wants some?"

I've also been told Jesus helps those who help themselves. Well, that's quite convenient for Jesus isn't it. So I could do all of the work and Jesus would then help with what exactly? I just did all of the work. I just helped myself. That sounds like a great cop-out. Again try it in real life.

"Bill can you help me with this TPS report?"

"Gee, Fred, I don't know. I kind of help people who help themselves."

"Ok, Bill. Why don't I help myself to firing your fucking ass? And then you can say that you helped too?"

The other thing about this sign that really got my edible panties in a sweaty ball of potassium benzoate is that this "sign tactic" is the same kind of thinking that TSCC uses all the time.

Is there really any difference to, "if I hold a big sign of 'Trust Jesus' long enough, people will feel the throbbing, rhythmic power Christ's love and know him," and, "if you Elder's will stop wiggling your ding dongs, and Sisters stop pretending to play DJ Hero with your hoo hoos, more 'investigators' will feel the sweet warmth of the Holy Spirit all over their chests and convert to the One True Church."?

No, I don't think there is a difference.

So what now?

Well, I don't know I kind of lost track of the point I was going to make because I'm hungry.

I guess if this story had a "moral" or a "bottom line" you know one after we've accounted for depreciation, operating expenses, and taxes it would be:

Don't hold signs on the side of the road. People will just drive by and think, "Huh, what a tool."

Part 4: The Gospel of Mariodon.

Part 4: The disappointing conclusion

A little after my brother decided to climb the faggotree, I met my wife.

My best friend called me one night and convinced me to come over to his house for an impromptu party. He told me that he met a chick at work and I HAD to come over and meet this bitch, otherwise my life would be ruined. I was exhausted from classes all day and night but agreed to go.

I showed up and met the future mrsraptorjesus (MRJ for short) for the first time. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, the first thing I noticed about her was her huge tits. (Later in a Sunday School class I was asked, "Raptorjesus what was the first thing that attracted you to your wife?" I responded, "uuuuuuuuuuuuhhh....her sense of humor?" While the wife was giggling.)

MRJ and I hit it off immediately. We had a great evening together even though I left early because it had been a long day, and I had to do classes all day and night over again the following morning. We solidified a real first date.

The first date went incredibly well, and I tried my hardest to get a second date from her. She agreed, and we had roughly a date a night for the next week. After six dates, I told her that I loved her even though it made me scared to say that. We had only known each other for slightly over a week, but I felt the sweet spirit massaging both my heart and loins ever so tenderly. She felt the same way, both in heart and loins.

We spent the next couple of months learning everything we could about each other as quickly as we could because we were headed towards marriage. Dating was fun, but we discussed everything from kids to careers to money to sex. We had both seen friends and acquaintances jump into marriage without knowing each other, and even though our marriage was to be incredibly fast, we would at least know each other in the mental sense before we knew each other in the biblical sense.

The wedding was a blur of pictures, horror, and joy. Satan, the cocksmith, was up to his shenanigans again and caused us both to be late to our own weddings by creating a terrible accident on the freeway. When we got to the temple, we were greeted with really rude, unfunny jokes about, "golly jilickers, which one of y'alls forgot yer temple recommend to be so late?" MRJ cried in the dressing room, while I tried not to roundhouse kick some people in the face--in the "House of the Lord."

From the beginning, MRJ was completely fine with my brother and his HO MO Sexuality (that's always how the G.A's say it. Like it's so egregious before god that it needs to be three words.). She was very supportive of him and persuaded me to simply observe and keep an open mind.

My wife and I fluctuated between activity in the church and inactivity in the church. It took about the third wave of inactivity for us to actually recognize a very clear pattern however. We were much happier not going to church. Church sucked. And we really tried to make it work. We kept our temple recommends active, we had callings, we did our home-teaching and shit, but church just made us angry. Angry and bored. We’d either come home pissed off at some ridiculous bullshit that we had to put up with, or just soul crushingly bored. Church wasn’t spiritual, it wasn’t uplifting, and the only thing it “added to my daily life” was more work that was also unfulfilling.

As mentioned in the previous installment, my mind changed over time with my brother. I did keep an open relationship with him, and over time I just realized that I was completely wrong about the entire issue. Sexuality was not a choice, was definitely not an "abomination," and was not some "problem" to be solved. Sexual orientation is just an orientation. I had been taught wrong by the church my entire upbringing, and my views on it were wrong. I was wrong. The church was wrong.
And with my brother’s gaiety, I finally had a revelation.
The church was wrong about gays.
The church was wrong about blacks.
The church was wrong about women.
The church was wrong about the “spirit.”
The church was wrong about history.
The church was wrong about scriptures.
Wait, maybe it wasn’t about the church being “wrong about shit” so much as the church is just wrong….

GODDAMNIT! Why didn’t I see this before? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!

I really couldn’t be too hard on myself though. I still really wanted godhood. (I still do.) But these asshats were in no position to offer it, not to mention what this leadership would do with it if they actually got it. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young set it up as a “doctrine” to eternally hump bitches and order people around—delighting in killing those that disobeyed them. Did they ever worship the god of the old testament…or the Greek gods? What a punch to the crotch to be raised in that kind of a universe.

“Who’s your god?”

“Oh, Brigham Young the Almighty.”

“Oh yeah, what does he do?”

“Well, my wife was pretty hot so he came down and raped her. Now I’m fathering this universe’s messiah, and let me tell you is he one bossy little douche. But don’t tell anyone that I said this or god will make me dig my own grave, slit my throat, and let the blood pour into the grave before my corpse falls in to “atone” for speaking “ill” of him.”

“That sucks. Any love, or whatnot? Can you appease him some way?”

“Yeah, dressing like an Indian and murdering unbelievers. Or you can castrate young men who attract the attention of hot chicks god wants to fuck instead. Oh, and you can stone interracial couples. Boy does our god hate black people. Curious as to why he made them in the first place. But I guess god has to hate someone.

Who’s your god?”


“Dammit. That’s awesome.”


My wife and I renewed our temple recommends one last time in order to attend some family weddings. I lied on just about every single one of the recommend questions, and was even complimented on the “spirit” I had brought into the interview. Haha. I had become an atheist and they couldn’t tell.

When the cracks started forming in my testimony that the church was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of god and no way wrote the boring Book of Mormon himself by stealing ideas from people around him and conspiring with failed pastors. That Jesus was the motherfucking Christ, and shouldn't be mocked by hack writers because Jesus was going to come down and make everyone kneel before him like General Zod---or like every gay porn that I've laughed at before clicking on the lesbian links. (I'm a straight man. I don't make the rules, I just follow them.)

Anyway, when the cognitive dissonance was palatable enough to give an elephant diarrhea, I took to studying again. I read about the scriptures. How the Bible came about. Mormon History, and the odd similarities to the Book of Mormon to the other ideas of the Indians at the time.

I also was reading a lot about evolution because there was a good possibility that I would be teaching biology at some point, and I only had a very basic understanding. Evolution was like a great simile that I'm too lazy to come up with at this time. But it rocked my socks off. I was reading it the same time that I was reading deeper stuff about Cosmology and Astrophysics. The natural world was far more interesting than the "doctrine" of any religion. While I still appreciated the mythology, it was just that. Mythology.

Science was about reality. Sometimes it's nice to pretend, but that's all religion had. Pretend time. Dress up for adults, imaginary friends, arbitrary rules to hold onto control of other people, and secret clubs.

And this was more than Mormonism, it was every single religion fell into the same boat. Every organized religion made checks that their asses couldn't cash. Specific claims that had zero evidence in reality.

So, I just stopped believing. Maybe there still is a god, but I doubt it. No evidence positive for it, and people seem to only want you to believe in one just so that you will do what they tell you.

No thanks. I've had enough of that. Until god decides it's important enough to shoe me who it is, then it either doesn't exist, or it doesn't give a SHIT that I believe in it.

Apparently that might make me "arrogant." Or filled with hate. But I'm not filled with hate. I might not go gay for Jesus, but I would totally go gay for Batman, or Superman, or Wolverine, or Deadpool.

Did you ever think about that Jesus freaks? Huh? I didn't think so.

Part 3: The Gospel of Judasythicus

Now Part 3: Sometimes all it takes is a fairy

I came home from my mission and was instantly assured by everyone that I would be back out in the mission Field in no time.  German doctors were most likely just shaved baboons with learning disorders. So where they had failed in months, American doctors would surely succeed in a week.  I just needed to have the faith.  People asked me how I felt, and I was dumb enough at the time to be honest with them.  I told them that I not only felt horrible, but that I felt that my recovery was going to be a slow process.  This always brought on a lecture about listening to Satan.  Oh, Satan, that sneaky douche, was whispering in my ear again.  Everyone had so much advice to give to me about what they felt about me, and my future, and how wrong I was about my own feelings, and clearly I was listening to Satan, and these people couldn’t possibly be wrong or listening to Satan.  From all of this, I guessed the best way to avoid “listening to Satan” was to have your head shoved up your own ass like these people did.  I thought “personal revelation” meant “personal revelation,” but clearly it meant “everyone else tells you what they would like to hear.”
It would be a kind and gentle description to call the next two months of my life hell.  I was still a missionary, but I had no companion so I couldn’t go anywhere.  I was sick and couldn’t do anything but go to doctors and not get better.  Just before my mission, I earned my Black Belt in Taekwondo and was taking other classes in Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin Kempo, Capoeira, and MMA.  But now working outside in my parents' yard (or the "farm" as we called it because of the shear amount of plants), left me exhausted and drained for an entire day.
I spent a good portion of my time reading everything written by Hugh Nibley.  I had encountered Nibley at the end of the mission and at the time thought that he was neat-o.  I had never had an interaction with "apologetics" before. And while I had heard criticisms with Mormonism before, I had not ever taken the time to read the “other side.”  Mostly these “concerns” had been dismissed by seminary/institute teachers as having “already been addressed,” but I wanted to see the “addressing.”

            At the time, the writings of the Grand Apologetic were interesting.  I enjoyed his works, and liked some of the parallels with early Christianity and some of the ancient writings of the “Gnostics,” but I didn’t quite gain any real ammunition against criticism.  Parallels aren’t evidence, and at best the works give a very articulate way of saying, “yes but, here’s a grandiose way of making it a possibility-- a maybe.” At which point Nibley would delve into a lengthy "spiritual" tangent.

            I was enthralled in soaking up as much information as possible, but yet, at the end didn’t get anything substantial.  I never realized until later that an apologist argument is someone simply waving a hand in front of your face and saying, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.  He can go about his business.  Move along.”

            Those two months truly were the worst mental and physical suffering I’ve ever encountered, and at the time there was no end in site. I went to doctor appointment after doctor appointment with no results.  My friends were all still out on their missions.

People were uncomfortable to be around me.  No one said anything at church.  I tried my hardest to be and act "normal."  I over-compensated.  I talked up my mission trying to find any kind of validation. No one said anything.  I couldn't tell how I should feel.  No one said anything.  I felt like a failure.  No one said anything.

I fantasized about suicide at least once an hour.  I imagined taking a knife to my abdomen and plunging it in and sliding it across to release all the pain and hate and anger and guilt and shame once and for all.

 After two months the Stake President decided to take pity on me and release me as a missionary.  I was astounded because I knew this man for years, and he had nary a pity in him. (Interestingly, a little after I was released, this Stake President was excommunicated for having an affair.  I can’t help but think that he had been discovering his humanity.)  When the Stake President told me that he “felt” like I should be released, he asked how I felt, and for the first time since I was sick, he really wanted an honest answer.  I told him that I felt that I still had a lengthy battle to get my health issues taken care of, and that if he wanted to release me as a missionary, he needed to be the one to call my parents and tell them.  He was perplexed, and I didn’t know why he was perplexed.  My mission was to be cut short.  Everyone had insinuated that I was a failure in some regards--because I got looks but no one said anything otherwise.  EVERYONE—including my parents.  The only “honorable” way to come home from a mission early was in a body bag.  Sure, no one said that out loud, but you felt it.  You faced a wall of silence with nobody to support you.  I had never been so surrounded by people and felt so alone in my entire life, and that included god.  Where was god in all this?  I did everything I was supposed to do to serve him and what did I get in return? Empty priesthood blessings and the chance to “suffer a portion as he did.”  Oh boy, what a great exchange.  I didn’t get love, or encouragement, or support from jesus, I got the old D&C 122.  “Oh, you’re having a hard time?  Are you in pain? Well, fuck you, f.aggot! Do you think you’re better than me? No! I’m Jesus H Motherfucking Christ, and I didn’t bleed from every pore and die on a cross so you could whimper like a little bitch.  I asked god to stop when it happened to me, and he told me the same thing I’m going to tell you, ‘Fuck yourself, stop being a twat, and do what I tell you to do.’”
Unfortunately I was still too stupid to argue.

I went back to school. I was a late birthday and had gotten two semesters in before leaving.  I picked up where I left off and started taking classes again.  I had to repeat one Physics class because it was too stressful for my body to attend and focus.  I focused and passed Calculus 2 instead that semester. It was shameful.  I had to quit a class, and take it over again.

About 18 months passed before I was diagnosed semi properly and on a treatment that worked for me.  I was also sporadically going to therapy as well.  One of the kindest things that my father has ever done for me was just say "ok" when I told him I needed therapy.  Not one question.  Just an "ok."

The suicidal thoughts had continued this entire time. After I was released, that had lightened slightly. I was now fantasizing about killing myself once every couple of hours.  I was trying to “endure to the end” but the “end” was still very tempting.  However I began to have panic attacks and couldn’t stop the worst parts of my life (my mission) from replaying over and over and over again in my mind, I knew that I needed help.  I went to counseling and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.  I worked on rebuilding a “normal” life by still going to school and church and trying to date even though it made things awkward whenever I had to bring up that I came home early from a mission on a date.  I never felt “good enough” for anyone.

            One Christmas my brother decided to come out of the closet to the whole family (this oft time to out oneself is what’s known in parts of the gay community as “homo for the holidays.”)  My family was shocked and appalled.  I was shocked and appalled.  This little q.ueer was going to be making a terrible “lifestyle choice” that would most likely ruin him forever, and I told him as much when he asked me how I felt about it.  He told me that he still loved me and that for once in his life, he felt at peace and was happy. 

I was skeptical, and I was devastated.  How could he do this? He was putting his eternal salvation at risk, and he was splitting apart our family.  We wouldn't be together forever, and I loved my brother.  We were always naughty together.  It was a contest sometimes to see what kind of shock we could bring to each other.  Like when he said, "fufferin' fucketash!"  Except that my dad was unknowingly in the room and about shit himself.  Or the time that I was changing a light-bulb and the bulb exploded and I blurted out, "fuck my tight little school girl asshole!"

We weren't going to be able to swear in heaven together.  And what kind of heaven would that be?

But over time I realized that I was wrong.  The only choice he had made, was to be open about himself and for once to choose what would make him happy.  We kept a good relationship, and I just empirically saw that he wasn't any different really.  Nothing had changed.

I was wrong about homos; the church was wrong about homos.

Part 2: The Gospel of Apatothomas.

Part two: How much more black can it get?  None. None more black.

I started High School the next year.  My love of learning began to blossom like a Mormon girl's hoohoo at a Rascal Flats concert.  I took the widest variety of classes I could, and loved all of them.  I loved English, Art, History, Band, Math, Science, and Seminary.  I absorbed the knowledge like a sponge absorbs water and excelled at everything.  My hobbies flourished as well.  I loved playing bass guitar in a band, and I stilled loved to draw.  I was working on drawing my own comics because I had found how much I loved them in 6th grade.  My art was getting better, my songs were getting better, and the girls were getting hotter.  Sweet sexy Jesus were the girls getting hotter.  I tried my hand clumsily at dating with partial success my Sophomore year.  In that year, two “tumultuous” relationships lasting all of a couple of weeks.  But it was High School and that was par for the course.
By this time I had had several more priesthood interviews.  After the third interview with my Bishop pulling out my spiritual permanent record, asking for tantalizing details, and copying down my deliciously decadent debauchery of pulling on myself; I learned a very valuable lesson.  Just lie!

            “Raptorjesus, do you still have a ‘problem’ masturbating?”

            “Nope.” Next Question.

            That didn’t stop the soul crushing guilt of what I was doing, but that was better than the alternative.  I actually did stop masturbating for a period of time, and it was long enough to have several “wet dreams.”  These “wet dreams” were not normal.  Every single one of them was a “wet nightmare” that involved rape, incest, or sex with demons.  After the third “dream,” I was done.  I couldn’t control my dreaming, but I could control what I thought about awake.  The “dreams” were awful.  I didn’t care what any priesthood holder said or what kind of guilt they piled on.  There was no way Jesus could condemn me for releasing my “little factory” in a way that didn’t equate ejaculation with terror and violence. This wasn't Russia.
The rest of High School was spent juggling learning everything I could about everything, dating, art, music, writing, martial arts (I started Taekwondo my Jr. year), work, and church activities.  But with all of this, I was not a good Mormon teenager and was guilted frequently.  I still loved metal music, I hated (HATED!) weekly NAMBLA meetings-- oops, I mean scouting. Never got my eagle scout, and Young Mens/Mutual was on the bottom of my priority list.  If I didn’t have guitar lessons, or Taekwondo, or homework, or a date that night, I would go to the church activity; however, that was few and far between.  So, no matter how busy I was, I was never good enough.  But I didn’t let that get me down at the time because I had a different drive burning inside me at the time.
Seminary taught me that one of the core doctrines of the church was that we could, given a long time, be like god.  Eternal progression meant that given enough time and enough knowledge, we could be given our own universes to create.  That lesson hit me like a thunderclap.  I was a creator at heart with an insatiable curiosity about everything.  The church was telling me, that if I was obedient to god, that he would give me time to learn everything I’ve ever wanted about everything and let me create forever with no authority over me.  Endless stories, endless music, endless history, perfect knowledge of the minute details of the universe.


The Church must be True!  And if it was True, I had better know everything I could about the Church, and learn what I could about human knowledge along the way.

            I read the Bible cover to cover.  I read the Book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price. I loved the Books of Abraham and Moses.  Not only could I eventually create my own worlds, but I most likely already had helped create this world.  I wanted to learn more; I read everything about Church Doctrine that was Church Approved. I was taught that Mormonism had the whole truth.  That other religions were all partly true, but that Mormonism had the fullness of truth.  Ok, well, I better learn what I can about other religions.  I studied Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and past religions.  The major world religions were a quick and dirty study because I kept getting distracted by ancient mythology.  I loved Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology.
I put a lot of pressure on myself in High School.  There was a lot to learn about everything, and I had very limited time with everything else going on in my life.  I had AP classes and life was getting hard, and I got very stressed out.  I could tell when I became extremely stressed out because my dreams changed.  Instead of having a normal dream or even a nightmare, I would enter a weird mixture of being half awake and half asleep.  I would always be conscious of my surroundings and would always be in the bed and room I fell asleep in.  The room would always be exactly the same as when awake except for the lighting of the room.  I would always be paralyzed, mute, and terrified.  Sometimes I would be alone in this state until fully awake without incident.  Other times I wouldn’t be so lucky.  Those times would involve some kind of “visitor” that would usually enter the room and torture me physically until I awoke.  I knew that these were dreams because the physical violence never left a mark and any entity would vanish the moment I awoke.  Oddly enough, I never questioned my encounter with the evil spirit from Jr. High even though the similarities were so striking.  I knew these were dreams, but I never thought the same about the first time until much later in my life.

It was time for my mission.

I didn’t want to go.

I knew that I had to, though.  This feeling didn’t come purely from all the seminary lessons about “every worthy male.”  The Church had the Truth.  Who was I to not offer that to everyone?  The Church promised me what I wanted from Eternity.  I had to at least offer that to people, but how?  People’s beliefs are personal.  Who was I to try to change those?  I was depressed because I didn’t want to go, and my family could sense that, but I assured them that I would go.  That was most important.  It’s normal to feel “nervous,” the mission is a big step in your life, but as long as you go you’ll be blessed for it.

I got depressed enough to go to my bishop.  I had battled some depression in High School enough to know that I had a "cycle" that was just as beautiful as any other girl's cycle of sloughing off blood and tissue and having it slowly leak out an orifice.  But this cycle turned into a spiral.  Instead of every six to eight weeks feeling trapped in a shithouse for a few days without any sun or escape, I felt trapped in my life without any sun or escape.

I had not asked for help before, and my current bishop was a friend.  I went to him and said that I just needed to talk to someone discreetly.

Well, if there's a problem in your life, the church can fix it!  They always know what to do, and are better than any other organization in the world.

My bishop refers me to LDS family services just to talk to someone and says that it will be fine and discrete, and I go.

Five minutes into my session I get up and leave.  I was asked if I was depressed. Yes.  Did I have any suicidal thoughts? Yes.

Wrong answer.  The counselor flipped his shit.  I needed to shut my entire mission down right now.  I didn't agree with him.  I can't leave the session. I do.

I went home to a meeting with the bishop who is clearly feeling like an asshole.  While traveling home from the "therapist's" office, counselor McBitchtits contacted the MTC and informed them that a dangerous young man was about to enter the MTC.  The MTC then contacts the stake president to ax why in god's unholy name did he let an evil demon slip from hell to come and join god's army.  Stake president then calls bishop to ax what the fuck was even going on, and bishop learns a hard lesson about LDS family services being malignant twats.

Getting into the MTC suddenly becomes the ordeal of getting a real, licensed therapist to write a note that I am not a danger to myself or anyone else.

This ordeal, of course, is all proof that Satan really didn't want ME to go on a mission, because I AM totally that badass. Satan's shit was about to get fucked up by me.  I was going to go on a mission and kick open the doors of hell and unleash havoc on Satan and his minions. 

"Merry Christmas, bitches!"

But since you are reading this on, you already know that Satan wins, and god's plans were retarded.  Wait;, sorry, the first one.

Anyway, I hated the MTC.  One of my favorite books in High School was 1984.  I had sections committed to memory after reading it multiple times.  Now I was living that book.  The Thought Police were everywhere.  I was taught double think daily.  We were commanded to teach with the spirit, but taught to market the Gospel like a Product.  I was an ambassador of the lord; I was a Door to Door Salesman.  We were there to serve; The Commitment Pattern was the most Successful Tool for baptism.  I was in hell; The Field would be Better.
And I did love Germany.  I loved the people, the culture, the food, the architecture, the deep sense of history, the old toppled fortress and castle towers in random fields.  I loved everything except for the Work.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that missionaries were only there to annoy the shit out of Germans.  They were happy and prosperous without god, and let us know quite bluntly.  As missionaries, we could only sigh regretfully and make remarks about how they’d destroy themselves with their pride.  While I hated the Work, I kept all of the missionary rules and continued to teach the Gospel anyway.  I tried harder; I became more annoying.  The Germans didn’t care what I had to say, but I was going to go home with a clear conscience.  It wouldn’t be my fault that nobody was baptized.  When general authorities came to rip on us about the lack of baptisms, I never took it personally.  They weren’t talking to me.  I was doing the best I was.  They were talking to the other elders that I knew weren’t doing their part.  Same went with the mission president’s motivational lectures about “catching the fire.”  I had as much “fire” as god would give me; if he wanted more baptisms, he’d have to do something about the Germans he created.
One night, I get sick.  Very sick.  Something is seriously wrong with my abdomen.  I have excruciating pain and it can’t be appendicitis because I already had that.  My companion takes me to the hospital where I am admitted.  After some tests, the German doctors feel it necessary to perform a quick surgery.  I am admitted to the hospital and have surgery two days after being admitted.  I am scared.  I am in a foreign country alone—no friends, no family, no phone call home.  The mission president will take care of it.  This isn't a big deal.  I will be fixed up lickity split, and be back out tracting in no time.  But I am “lucky.”  Very “lucky.”  Most elders shouldn’t get to have a surgery.  Most elders go home for surgery and then have to be “stateside.”  I am “blessed,” aren’t I?

            My recovery is slow.  Too slow.  My mission president demands to know why it is so slow.
I don’t know.

            He demands to know why I am not getting up at 6:30 every morning.

            I’m not sleeping at night.

            He demands to know why.

            I’m in too much pain to sleep. 

I usually can only sleep from about 4:30 in the morning to about 9:00.  If I get up at 6:30, I still won’t sleep until 4:30 the next night. 

I’m in pain.  I’m having a hard time getting around.

            Where’s your Faith to be Healed, elder?

            I’m trying.

            You aren’t trying hard enough.  The best thing for your recovery is to do the Work of the lord.  He will heal you if you are Faithful enough.

I complain about this conversation to my companion.  He says that he got yelled at because he let me be so “lazy” and “disobedient.”  I ask if him if the mission president actually used the words “lazy” and “disobedient” to describe me.


            The next morning I get up to go to the weekly “street preach.”  My companion asks how I’m feeling.  I tell him, “It doesn’t matter.”

            I collapse during the middle of the street preach.  An ambulance is called.  I feel strangely at peace for the moment.  If I’m sent home, my conscience is clear.  The apostles give talks about coming from the mission in a stretcher from working so hard, but none of them have ever done it.

            The next month is a constant struggle.  I feel better, I feel worse, I feel better, I feel worse.  I am inundated with the most asinine stories of “miraculous healing” from everyone.  My faith is constantly questioned.  Finally my mission president has had enough.  I have a “choice” to make.  Either I choose to have faith and stay, or I go home like a coward.

            I tell this to the mission doctor, and he looks at me like I’ve just said the stupidest thing that he’s ever heard.  He tells me this, and I sob in his office like a small child. 

You need to go home.

            I know.

            You don’t have a choice.

            I know.


            I can’t say it this time.

            My mission president calls me at the airport, and I’m given a lecture about not listening to Satan.  It will be one of many of the same lectures I’ll hear for the next year from different people.  The phone drops the call in the middle of the lecture so I don’t have to hang up on him.  Maybe god still loves me.

Raptor Jesus's Exit Story Gospel 1: Let's say the Gospel of Dinonydus.

Raptorjesus, the greatest gift god has given mankind because that's how little god thinks of mankind.

I was born into the church as many are in Northern Utah, and I was born to "goodly parents" like Nephi from that one book you hated to read. Except that I was a real person and Nephi was not. My parents were true believers, but for the area I had a much more “liberal” upbringing in the church. While we attended church every Sunday, we never had Family Home Evening, nor family prayer other than at dinner, we never read scriptures together, and my parents would much rather discuss art, literature, history, and film than what we learned at any church meeting. Perhaps because of this, our family was active but never “popular” with other members. Occasionally my parents would mention this when help to other members was always given, but never returned—even when cases like a death in the family or a serious illness would suggest that our family be given help. My parents’ never begrudged the other members, their philosophy was very clear, “Take care of yourself and don’t be a burden on anyone else. Give more than you take. The “Gospel” is there to make people better, but it will never make them perfect.”

I was baptized at eight. I don’t recall anyone asking my permission, but I also don’t remember anyone needing to. I was eight, and you get baptized at eight. I took my baptismal covenants as seriously as any eight year old could. I tried to be a better person as soon as I got dry, but it was hard for me to define what that meant. I simply tried to be honest, nice, and not say bad words (the last being a difficult challenge since I learned at a very early age how much I LOVED curse words. Saying naughty words was such a rush, and the worse the better.) I remember the next week at school joking about putting hotdogs in taco shells because it was very suggestive then feeling bad about it. Those feelings of guilt and shame would return but never detract from an awesome chance to say or do something naughty.

Like most children, I thought church was boring. It was a chore to get up and get dressed and spend three hours attending primary, and Sunday school, and Sacrament Meeting. One of my escapes was my love of drawing. I loved to draw during Sacrament Meeting, and most of my family members felt the same way. My older brother, mother, and I would draw pictures to each other to pass the time because the time needed to be passed. My mom would draw McDonald's hamburgers, shakes, and fries and we would pass the drawings around pretending to eat them. We feasted on imagination, because only "feasting on the word of the lord" will leave you a dying husk. Jesus was once quoted as saying, "Man cannot live on bread alone," but I'm pretty sure he didn't mean sacrament meeting.

I discovered another passion in Jr. High along with drawing. I loved music-- specifically hard rock and heavy metal. The grunge movement was in full swing, and I fell in love with Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots. After convincing my parents that I deserved to be given (at the behest of some friends that were forming a band) a bass guitar. Once I began to learn how to play I also fell in love with Metallica, Megadeth, and Tool. My father was a classically trained pianist and organist, and our house was always filled with “classical” music. While I knew music could be beautiful, I never knew it could be so spine snappingly awesome. My parents had gotten cable and that meant MTV, and at that time MTV meant Music Videos and not, “if an all loving and all just God existed, all these spoiled children would be dead or poor” television. I mean, seriously, those parents and their children are fucking evil. If you sat the real Jesus down in front of the television and made him watch one episode of "My Sweet Sixteen," after ten minutes he'd get up and be like, "fuck this, I'm killing myself. Get me a cross and some nails-- I'LL DO IT!"

I would sneak into the basement to watch hoping for a chance to see another hard rock music video. I began to gather CDs in secret because the music I listened to was not acceptable, but I loved it.

My first priesthood interview was quite a memorable experience. I was asked quite directly by my Bishop if I masturbated. Being the honest person I was, I said yes. I’ll never forget what happened next. I guess I was expecting some sort of small lecture about love and forgiveness, or, I don’t know, something. Instead, the bishop pulled out a file, asked me questions about frequency, and what I thought about--while taking notes in the file. I was twelve and too shaken up to do anything other than answer honestly while he put everything down in a “spiritual permanent record.” I left feeling disgusting, dirty, and horribly guilty, and it was impressed to me that I should feel this way about myself, and at “some point” I’d be “forgiven.” I didn’t tell my parents about this. Why would I add to my shame? I clearly was involved in something “unnatural,” and I didn’t want anyone else to know.

Seminary began in 9th grade. Because I attended school in Northern Utah, we were fortunate to have seminary during regular school hours. We were privileged to not have to sacrifice to go to seminary. We just gave up one credit towards graduation to attend seminary and have a class to “escape from the world” and learn about “the Gospel” everyday.

I enjoyed seminary. I finally felt like “the Gospel” could be an intellectual exercise. I asked a lot of questions and got answers to my questions. I was learning “deeper doctrine” – something that I never felt in church. While I enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of most of seminary, this was the first time that I started to feel guilt bombed at the same time. Every lesson ended up with exactly what we should, hear, wear, say, how to dress, what movies we should enjoy, what we shouldn’t watch, read, or listen to. This was also the first time in my life that I was really introduced to the concept of Satan. While primary lessons touched around this topic, seminary really explained that Satan was a real being. He was a douche to be avoided at all costs, but he was lurking everywhere. Satan could be invited in to our hearts by the most seemingly benign things. This is why we had to be careful with everything we heard, saw, etc. Satan wanted us most especially. He hated our bodies and wanted to take control of us so badly.

During 9th grade I had an experience that really solidified my "testimony" at the time. My brother happened to come across a song on a compilation CD that scared him. Not wanting to keep the fear bottled up inside, he played the song for me in my room one night. It was the most evil thing I had ever heard. Musically, it was little more than just bizarre poly-rhythmic playing on multiple percussive instruments with occasional shrieks overlaid, but it horrified me. I was sick to my stomach and my room felt diseased. I had terrible nightmares that whole night.

I awoke around 5:00 am. My entire room was unnaturally dark and heavy. The room seemed to pulsate with evil, and while I could look around, I couldn’t move. My blankets moved. I couldn’t breathe. They moved towards me. I tried to scream. They attacked me. I had never been more terrified.

Time went from stretching out from an eternity to collapse into a singularity. I scrambled to the top of my bed, raised my arm to the square, mumbled something about Jesus, the blankets fell, and the room lit up.


Satan was REAL. And he WAS a douche.

I was a wreck the next day. I sobbed the story to my Seminary Teacher. He asked me to share the experience with the class, and I shared an abridged version that wouldn’t leave me weeping in front of my peers. But the Church was True. I was one of the Lord’s elect, because I had the Gospel and Satan was jealous of me and wanted to eat my face...