I have read and enjoyed your three articles and listened to both http://www.mormonstories.org/amy-mcphie-allebest/ podcasts, after which I wrote a comment for you that I don’t see posted yet. Unfortunately, I did not keep a copy. Hopefully it will get posted.
I appreciate your discovery that Jesus did not found a church hierarchy. The LDS hierarchy seems to be summarized by the 6th Article of Faith: “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.” I had always wondered why there are no “pastors” or “evangelists” in the Church. And why aren’t deacons, priests, elders, seventies or high priests mentioned in that article of faith? (Never mind there are no roles for females.) If Jesus did not organize anything, then the Primitive Church is a myth, and the LDS Church is founded and patterned after something nonexistent. Never mind Christianity.
You have already completed your Smyth-Buster expose’ on the LDS Truth Claims and discovered that the correlated version of Church History is a cartoon. You have excommunicated the Temple and the Garments of the Holy Priesthood from your life. Truly impressive progress, Amy! And I mean that very sincerely.
Where does all of this leave you right now?
“ I am at a cross-roads and I feel exhausted.”
Truly, that’s understandable.
Well, let me see if I can offer you a bit of clarity (while ignoring your advice to just listen for understanding). (I am a male of the species, so please humor me for a moment.)
Your expressed reason for continuing Church attendance and participation is the sense of family and community you feel. And your bishop is a kind and decent man. That’s understandable. Those are good reasons.
Well, about that, here is a QUIZ for you, Amy. Two questions:
- Ask yourself, What is The Source of virtually ALL of what you value and appreciate about your Mormon experience? Where does THAT come from? Who or what GENERATES whatever it is that you personally VALUE about being a Mormon woman?
- Ask yourself, What is The Source of virtually ALL of what you have rejected and do not remotely appreciate about your Mormon experience? Where does THAT come from? Who or what GENERATES whatever it is that you personally DO NOT VALUE about your Mormon experience?
The link below plays some think-about-it music for you. I’ll give you 30 seconds, but if that’s not long enough, you can take an additional hour if you need more time. Now click on this link . . .
. . . and return here when you have your answers.
Got your answers? This is a self-scoring quiz. Check your answers against these allegedly correct answers.
- The Members
- The Brethren
Amy, you have made it abundantly and eloquently clear that many fundamental aspects of your personal Core Values are at diametric odds with the Core Values of The Brethren who own and control the LDS Church. You personally would NEVER, as in NOT EVER, treat your fellow human beings the way The Brethren demean, undervalue, marginalize, disfellowship or excommunicate people they find substandard or lacking (or wrong gender).
How do you personally treat people, Amy? Simple. You treat and respect people as you would appreciate being treated and respected yourself if your roles were reversed. And that’s not Rocket Surgery. Dirt simple, actually.
Are you alone? No. Not at all. Most of the members in your ward and within the world-wide Church share your personaly Core Values and, when left to their own devices (that means not AUTIOTB acting-under-the-influence-of-The-Brethren) would generally practice the Golden Rule and do what Jesus would do. They might even value women and girls on par with men and boys. They might love and embrace all members born within the spectrum of naturally occurring sexual orientations.
The solution to your cross-roads exhaustion might be (conceptually) simple:
- Continue to associate with kind and decent people who share your Core Values. There are lots of great new friends out there who will love and respect you, Amy, for the amazing, authentic woman you have become.
- Excommunicate (from your life) The Brethren whose core values result in behaviors that harm literally millions of decent people and stunt their spiritual growth and happiness.
You already know that the only person’s behavior you can actually change is your own. It is empowering to realize that if and when you DO change your own behavior, that the rest of the Universe is compelled by Nature to accommodate and adjust to YOUR CHANGE. Why? Because you are part of Nature, and Nature makes room for everything that exists, including YOU. When you change yourself, you change Nature.
Well, this comment is way too long, Amy. But it’s your fault for not only thinking outside the Mormon Box, but writing so intelligently about your discoveries and experiences as a Mormon woman who threw up the Kool-Aid and is well on your way to Full Recovery.
I wish you All the Best, which is what you so richly deserve! You are 90% there. You are about to trade in your cross-roads exhaustion for a sense of liberation and exhilaration beyond what you thought was possible on this planet.