Work in Progress
dialogues & poems
A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes. - Ludwig Wittgenstein
Good evening, All.
My name is J.A. Carter-Winward, and I am not a recovering Mormon, I’m more in the “Rationalizing Recovery” camp — that’s a thing, right? That’s a joke, much like religion…
(Now, watch how important punctuation can be w/r/t your eternal salvation…)
What I meant was, That’s a joke. Much like religion, nobody worships the same god/God/Gods. Everyone is an atheist, because your idea of god isn’t the same as your friend’s idea of god. The reason, to simplify it by 100,000%, is this:
No Mormon, or Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (which they now insist on being called, specifically because they believe detractors will be put off by the sheer length and ass-painage of writing out the whole kit-n-caboodle, but I am not put off, I am turned on…*), practices the same religion.
As homogenized and straightforward as they try to make it, I’m betting no one follows the main Gospel tenets the same way or with the same vim and vigor. So they rationalize it through a few cool Mormon Loophole Mainstays:
- Personal revelation
- Going by the current community zeitgeist a.k.a “What the Brother and Sister Joneses are/are not doing.”
The personal revelation is based on your feelings, or as I like to call them, “feel-goods.” Here’s an example of making a huge decision based on “feel-goods”:
“While we were dry-humping in my new RM apartment, The Spirit revealed to me that you and I should be eternal companions.”
This is a true story. I would love to say they were married happily ever after, had 6 beautiful children, and are now temple workers, sealing all her single-sister ancestors to him, but alas.
They were engaged after dating for 2 weeks, married after 2 months, had 6 kids then were divorced because unhappily, he was an addict. (Okay, what if I wrote: “…because he was unhappily an addict”? See how that changed….everything?! Trust me, I have a point coming up.)
In other words, he started to get all kinds of “feel-goods” in allll the wrong places. How confusing, I bet! And no wonder everything that feels slightly good is a sin. Except overeating or finishing off a Neilson’s Frozen Custard concrete in one sitting (chocolate-almond-malted, omg…best. Sin. Ever.) But I digress.
The second loophole is tricky, but effective. Healthy competition between Sisters in the Church has led to some remarkable crafting breakthroughs and rampant prescription drug popping, but more important, it’s a sort of communal pressure to look like you’re doing the right things, all the time.
Now, the easiest way to pull that off? Just do the right things, all the time. Kind of a no-brainer. But if we refer to the very beginning of this little piece, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints tend to rely on personal revelation aka “feel-goods” less than they rely on the social-order pressure.
*Okay, as a small side note, everyone remembers the Mickey Mouse Club and their song?
“M-I-C (See ya real soon!) K-E-Y (Why? Because we like you!) M-O-U-S-E! Mickey Mouse…” Okay, sing it with me:
M-O-T (See ya back home!) C-o-J (Why? Dunk the Dead!) C-o-L-D-S!
That’ll teach them…
Okay, sorry for the digression but it’s important to understand who you’re dealing with, here. I schooled Korihor in the pre-existence, okay? I’m probably immortal because Heavenly Dad does NOT want me moving back in. But in reality, I was sent here by super-secret special mission to bring you The Word.
You want proof? Open a Bible you wicked and somethingwhatever generation, always needing signs.
Let me refresh your memory. From The Holy Bible, John, 1:1 KJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
There’s not a ton of ambivalence, is there? The Word is God, and Words are my tools. That isn’t to say God is a tool.
Now, we believe the bible to be true, as long as it’s translated correctly is Mormon Loophole Mainstay (MLM) #3.
In other words, if we don’t like it, not gonna do it. Even if it IS in the bible. Sorry, THE Bible.
Even if it’s The Word. And under the bumbershoot of The Word? Grammar, punctuation, and so forth. I hope you see what I did there. With all that punctuation/grammar, uh, the um…
(Nvrmnd it’s Friday and I’m spent)
So the point of this Revelation today is this: I AM… here to share a great, awesome-sauce new book with you, (kind of a big deal), and the book reflects what/who we are on this earth: works in progress. So.
This book can be described as the “Newest Testament of the Oldest Trick in a Book.”
I don’t need your faith, your belief, your devotion, or your money…well, okay buy the book when it’s out, that’d be great. I am not a jealous writer/poet. But really, this book reflects what I think happened, in the beginning.
You see, religions say that God took chaos, and it was without form and void and then he separated the light from the dark, the land, firmament, air, water, man and woman and…well, what *I* think happened?
I think man took the chaos of himself and called it ‘god’ because it was without form and void. Man separated human beings into light and dark and gods, without taking water, land, air, fire, or women into account and…?
It was not good.
So it’s time for a new scripture, ladies, gents, and “other.”
The following is from my upcoming book, Work in Progress: Dialogues & Poems and this piece, in particular, is some straightforward advice, a multiple-choice quiz about whether or not you’re ready to leave — to resign as a Mot CoJ CoLDS!
poster children 101
they tell you when you’re young
that if you leave Mormonism
your life will shatter. so every time i
hear about ex-Mormons doing stupid shit
it pisses me off.
if you leave, you have a new and
even more solemn responsibility to
set an example, an even better one than
when you were a practicing, true-believing
Mormon (“TBM”), one that includes
behaving like a grownup who understands
cause and effect.
so here’s a little multiple-choice quiz for you
so you can decide if you’re really ready to
walk away from the church. The Church.
the Mormon Church. The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints. The One and Only True Church
of Jesus Christ — Your Savior
1. You haven’t worn your holy garments in months.
They are still in your drawer, and you want to get
rid of them. To do that, you:
a. Ask your local bishop, or consult lds.org on how to
properly dispose of them.
b. Snip off and burn the holy markings, then stuff the
remaining garments in a black plastic bag marked
“dead rats,” and toss them in a dumpster
in the next town over.
c. Rip and rend them with your bare
hands while screaming about your lost potential
and stolen youth.
d. Use sewing shears to dismember them
while sobbing your final ‘goodbyes’ to your
sweet Grammie who is surely in the
Celestial Kingdom, sobbing (way to go, you made
e. Repurpose the cotton ones as dust rags and try to
sexy up the sheer, nylon ones for Mormon porn.
2. There’s a knock at the door and it’s your
home/visiting teachers or Mormon missionaries. You:
a. Wonder how they knew you were just thinking
about them and Church and Outer Darkness,
then hide behind the couch until they leave.
b. Answer the door, but have the irrefutable proof
the church is a cult printed off to read in case they
try anything untoward, like talking to you.
c. Open the door, completely nude and begin pleasuring
yourself with Peppermint Schnapps-infused lube
and a giant doobie hanging off your lips.
d. Answer the door and invite them in. Would they
like some water or a diet Coke? Oh, you also have Postum
and herbal tea.
3. You’re invited to a frat-style party of ex-Mormons and
though you’ve never had a sip of alcohol in your life,
all the other kids are doing it. You’re offered a Big Gulp-cup
filled with some odd “tea” from back east (Long Island?),
and someone offers you tiny, bite-sized chocolate brownies
with…are those dried mint flakes? You:
a. Don’t need to worry, it’s not really a “sin”
and you’re an adult, so you can handle
yourself just fine. Tell them you’ll take 5 brownies.
b. Bbrrown itzz brownnhahahahahaha get it?
Brrrown is browwwwn hah hah hah hah
hah oohh my heck-eck-eck hahaha aahhh
c. s’not sinning spin, azz’n the room
isssick…imma fillin’ oh fuhhhdggge….bllluuckaggh!
d. Ask what’s in the cup and brownie. No,
really, what’s in it? Just winking at me
tells me nothing, so, no thanks…
e. You wouldn’t be at such a gathering
because you enjoy the same shit you did
before leaving Mormonism and also? You’re
a grown-ass adult. So unless there’s another
point to the party (dinner, concert, costume or other
holiday celebration, karaoke, poetry reading…)
other than getting wasted…what’s the point?
4. You realize it’s not a sin to lust after another
woman (or man) in your heart so you lust away.
After learning your old high school flame
is now single, you plan to meet for an innocent
drink at a hotel bar during your lunch hour.
Then, your old flame tells you over chat that
they want to sleep with you. You:
a. Begin Googling “wild oat-sowing without
getting caught” tips.
b. Create a secret Facebook profile, get a burner
phone, then test the whole “what they don’t
c. Meet them, go to an empty conference room and
dry-hump each other to orgasm while repeating,
in your head, “not a sin, not a sin…”
d. Do the above, get a room, but repeat the words aloud.
e. Hey, you’re not Mormon now. What’s the big deal?
Go for it!
f. Don’t know when your spouse got so fat,
uptight, bloated, weird-looking, dumpy, boring, frigid,
disinterested, and what the eff is going on
with his/her pores on that schnozz of a nose??
Hey, you deserve happiness after all the
Church took from you….oh, sorry. YOU:
f(2). Have a full-blown affair.
g. Re-live your high school romance right, and with
class, dignity, and style by doing full-blown Kama Sutra-esque
sexual congress at their place in the early a.m.,
before work, after their youngest gets on the bus,
during lunch, and on their kid-free weekends
with all the sticky, sweaty, sickening guilt, remorse,
nausea, shaky, terrible-pit-in-the-gut-lying, and
soul-crushing shame from high school — but
taken down a couple notches.
h. Why yes, this is an oddly specific multiple-choice
question. Your point?
5. You don’t believe in the Mormon church anymore. You
just don’t. It’s ridiculous and stupid, all of it. A family member
asks you how and why you lost your faith, and btw, don’t you
know your life is going to fall apart!? You:
a. Tell them how and why you lost your faith
in a 28-page document entitled “Fuck Off, Forever Family.”
(notice the comma placement. Are we savages? We are not.)
b. Set a meeting, bring all the anti-Mormon handouts and
pamphlets you made during your now-free Sunday
afternoons and, just in case you “get through” to
them, some wine coolers and a pitcher of iced
c. Calmly, gently, and empathetically
explain that they’re basically brainwashed sheep who belong
to a cult and even if they could hear you, “you create your
own reality” so “it is what it is” and “we’re all children
of the universe,” so you don’t judge them for being judgmental and unaccepting and disappointed in you because you’re so evolved
now, thanks to coffee, Deepak Chopra, and weed.
d. Seek-out any relatives you know who have
also left the church, and then have long coffee-shop
bitch sessions about how judgmental, petty, small-
minded, and blind the sheeple in your “Moron” family
are, all the while saying, “bless their hearts, though, huh?”
e. Thank them for asking and for loving you enough to be
concerned about you. Tell them you’d love to have dinner
sometime and talk — your treat.
how did we do?
if you want to know the answers to the quiz? please.
don’t leave the church.
because if you leave before you’re ready,
your common sense literally
disappears when you throw out
the magic underwear. trust me.
go repent, right now.
-from work in progress: dialogues & poems
by J.A. Carter Winward
COMING SOON, July 24th, 2021
Preorder your copy HERE** and stay tuned for more excerpts from the book.
**Only available in Kindle, but the hardcopy is coming. Where the hell is John H. Gilbert, Egbert Grandin and/or Martin Harris when we need them the most?!