Friday, February 10, 2017

Blind Leading the Blind

I often wonder some days what would happen if we took a large group of people and isolated them from the world and never taught their kids religion?  Would the kids grow up with some innate belief in a God?  It would be a very interesting social experiment, and would settle some arguments of some that say a belief in God is biological.  Perhaps something like this has been done before but I’ve never heard of it.  

I was an active member of the Mormon church until I was about 30 years old.  I did everything I was expected to do, and believed the church was the one True church on the Earth.  I didn’t get there though by myself.  It was my parents who told me the Mormon church was True, and as a kid, you take the opinions of your parents seriously.  In fact it was my parents who taught me what my feelings meant.

Mormons base the majority of decisions they make on the Holy Ghost.  They rely on the Holy Ghost to confirm “truth” to them on a daily basis.  It’s the Holy Ghost that informs a Mormon that their belief in their church is correct, or that the Book of Mormon is True.  However, what exactly this Holy Ghost is supposed feel like is somewhat vague.

“But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” (Doctrine and Covenants Ch9 Vs8)

This is what I was taught growing up in the Mormon church.  The feeling you get when the Holy Ghost was telling you something is true is a “burning in your bosom”.  But what the hell is that?  Heartburn?  I never truly understood what I was suppose to feel.  Lucky for me, my parents and church leaders would come to the rescue and tell me, which turned out to be pretty much everything.

I would be told the Holy Ghost felt like a giddy feeling, butterflies, warm fuzzies and even an “it just makes sense” feeling.  I would ask my parents if X was the Holy Ghost, and so long as X was felt in conjunction with being pro Mormon, then it was indeed the Holy Ghost.  Clear as mud right?  That’s how I came to learn the Mormon church was True.  No revelation, no vision, no divine intervention.

How could I have ever determined otherwise?  It’s not like my parents were teaching me different ideologies and allowing me to decide.  I was only taught Mormonism.  I was  simply taught the church was True, and if I would ask God myself, he would tell me so.  I was told what my feelings meant and thereby I knew the church was also True, because that feeling I got was the Holy Ghost.  This cycle is repeated to anybody looking to discover whether the Mormon church is True.

When I began to serve my mission, this concept came full circle since I was now the one to tell others what their feelings meant.  As I would teach people about the Mormon church, I would ask them, “doesn’t it feel good to be able to live with your family for eternity”?  When they tell me yes, I would then ensure them that was the spirit confirming it’s real.  That was such a scam, of course they feel good about it, that doesn't mean it was spirit talking to them.  But by doing this, they would know the church was True since the spirit told them what I was teaching them was real.

I would say the majority of Mormons have never had much more than a simple “feeling” to cause them to believe their church is True.  The reason it has any impact is because they’ve been told those emotions are the Holy Ghost telling them it’s all True.  The problem with this is those feelings are just natural biological responses, and can be replicated at will.  You can get these feelings during a movie that triggers an emotional response.  I’ve given myself this feeling when asking God (before I stopped believing) if I could do something against church policy.  It’s highly untrustworthy, yet many Mormons happily give freely of their time and money for a simple feeling.  

The funny thing is, when you ask a Mormon why other religious people are convinced their religion is True for the same feeling; they say, “well, the Holy Ghost simply confirms truth, no matter where or who the truth comes from.”  Mormons are quick to dismiss their shaky history in preference to be more mainstream.  They will say other churches have truth, just not the whole truth and so when the Holy Ghost confirms to others those truths, then it’s no problem.  Except there is a problem with this.

“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.  I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Joseph Smith History, Ch1 Vs 18-19)

Joseph Smith was told ALL the churches of his day were an “abomination”.  Does it sound likely the Holy Ghost would confirm truth to someone in another religion, thereby causing them to believe in their Non-Mormon church?  No, it doesn’t make since at all, yet all the Mormons will say so.  Now, I have heard one other excuse for why someone would feel a similar feeling for Non-Mormon beliefs, and that is because of the Devil.  Yes, Satan mimics the Holy Ghost to get people to join and believe other religions, because at the end of the day, he wants them to become miserable.  Mormons ignore the obvious question of, “well then how do you know what you felt wasn’t the Devil”?  

The Mormon church is True because the Book of Mormon is True.  The Book of Mormon is True because the Holy Ghost told them it was.  They know it was the Holy Ghost confirming the truth because the Mormon church tells them it was.  This is incredible.  The Mormon church could probably sell it’s members property on Mars, and they would willingly buy.  Hell, they already believe the Garden of Eden was in Independence, Missouri, and that one day the Prophet will command the membership to all journey to Independence, Missouri in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus.  I wish I was making this shit up.

Mormons believe it though because they have been told their feelings were the Holy Ghost.  My own parents have said they will up and leave their home when the Prophet tells them to.  That is some scary stuff.  I was very successful on my mission because I was able to trick gullible people into thinking the church was True.  Of course I believed at the time it was True and I was actually offering these folks salvation, but I know better now.  I know now my feelings are not a good tool for making important decisions in life.  It’s not a good idea to solely trust our emotions.  By doing so, we run the risk of falling for a scam.  The Mormon church, regardless of what they are now, started as a scam.  The history of that church is clear, although it’s not the history I was taught growing up, it's the history they can't hide from anymore.

Now please excuse me, I need to go transfer $50,000 to a nice guy in Nigeria who’s gonna send me an unclaimed inheritance of $1,000,000.  Not to worry, I got excited when I read his email, and that's what the Holy Ghost feels like, so it's totally legit.

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