Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quit the Church

I have an uncle that knows how I feel about the church, so he sends me messages that he feels will "bring me back into the fold". Since I was so amused by one he just sent me, I thought I would post it here on my blog for anyone interested to see. Of course, I had to add my $.02 to the mix offering what I would love to send to my uncle (and the author if there was any way to track him down), however, I realize this is a fruitless exercise because no matter what I say to people like them, they will not be able to see my point. So, without further ado, here is the note along with my interjections throughout. Enjoy!

"Quit the Church"
In a local newspaper there had been an ongoing series of articles written by individuals who wanted to persuade LDS Church members to leave the Church. In response to the highly critical and spirited remarks, a local member wrote this rebuttal:

I have been thinking of quitting the Mormon Church. Yes, if I can, I am going to get even with that church.

(ME: You can tell this guy is trying to feign anger at a non-existing - or at least unknown - list of reasons to be angry. In addition, this statement is pointless because it is extremely difficult to “get even” with a large multi-national corporation such as the LDS church. It is like saying, “I have been thinking of quitting smoking brand X cigarette. If I can, I am going to get even with that rotten tobacco company...as soon as I can find a tobacco company that can tell me ...[all the same things that tobacco company X has told me over the years]")

As soon as I can find another church that teaches about the Gathering of the House of Israel; the return of the Ten Tribes and their mission; the return of the Jews to Palestine and why, and how they are going to build the temple; the building of temples and what to do with them; the mission of Elias, the prophet, as predicted by Malachi; the method for the salvation of the people that died at the time of Noah in the flood; the origin of the American Indian;

(never mind that the explanation offered by LDS, inc. for the origin of the American Indian does not jive with ANY scientific explanations for their origins)

the complete explanation of why Jesus of Nazareth had to have a mortal mother but not a mortal father; the explanation of the three degrees of glory (three heavens) as mentioned by Paul; the complete explanation of why Elias and Moses did not die but had to be translated (since they both lived before the resurrection was introduced by Christ); the restoration of the gospel by modern revelation as promised by Peter and Paul and Jesus himself; the belief in eternal marriage and the family and the knowledge and the place to be sealed for eternity; that teaches abstinence from all harmful drugs and foods; and that sells the best fire insurance policy on earth, for the last days, for only a 10th of
my income.

(The one piece of information this gentlemen needs is that all the things he lists here that he is looking for an explanation to may have all been entirely made up in the first place. All of the above items that he is looking for a replacement for, or alternative explanations for, is like saying, “I am looking for a replacement for my belief in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as soon as I can find a story that explains all the goings on of the people in middle earth”)

Yes sir, as soon as I can find another church that teaches all that, or even half as much, I will say good-bye to this Mormon Church. The church that I am looking for must also be able to motivate 50,000+ youth, and adults, for the first, second or third time, to leave their homes for two years at their own expense and go to far-away places to teach and preach without salary. It must be able to call, on a frosty day, some 5 or 6 thousand professors, students, lawyers, doctors, judges, policemen, businessmen, housewives and children to go and pick apples at 6 a.m. It must be able to call meetings and get the attention for two hours of more than 150,000 men.

(It is pretty amazing what can happen when people believe in something isn't it? However, the numbers in the LDS church are not unique as far as what large organizations are able to command in terms of people and service.)

Yes, it must also teach and show why salvation is assured for children who die before eight years of age.

Mr. Editor, could you help me find a church that teaches all that and more than hundreds of other doctrines and principles, which I have no room to mention here, and which brings solace and comfort to the soul; peace, hope, and salvation to mankind, and above all, that answers the key questions that all the great philosophers have asked;

(The LDS church does all this??? I had no idea. If anything, I have found quite the opposite; the church can’t even begin to provide solace and comfort to women who don’t desire to be eternal housewives, those that are attracted to the same sex or those that just don’t feel like they can measure up. Not only that, but it also does not begin to adequately answer key questions that all the great philosophers have asked...unless you are willing to suspend reason and good judgment in favor of supernatural myths that seem to be made up by men. Men, who claim to be speaking on behalf of an eternal and all knowing being, that speak so-called truths that have had a tendency to contradict each other over time or depending on the circumstance. I would be very curious to hear what questions this author feels are answered by the church and what those answers are. If there could be some listed, I could very easily show how those very answers have not always been held to and do not seem to apply universally when trying to apply to unrelated cases inside, or outside, of the religious context.)

questions and answers that explain the meaning of life,

(Life has whatever meaning we place on it)

the purpose of death,

(Maybe death has no purpose – why does it need to have a purpose?)

suffering and pain; the absolute need for a Redeemer and the marvelous plan conceived and executed by Jesus Christ the Savior? Yes, as soon as I find another church that teaches that, and also that has the organization and the powers

(What “Powers” does the church have exactly? Oh, I forgot, the supernatural power given by the supernatural being to act on the supernatural beings behalf)

to make that teaching effective, I am going to quit the Mormon Church. For I should not tolerate that "they" should change a few words in the Book of Mormon-even if those changes simply improve the grammar and the syntax of the verses-for,

(How come the most correct book on earth has grammar and syntax errors? If you can explain that sufficiently, next you have to explain why the changes were not always simple grammar or syntax changes like changing the word white to pure)

after all, don't you think the Divine Church should employ angels as bookmakers, and clerks, to do all the chores on earth?

(I guess the point the author is trying to make here is that God had to employ imperfect men to do his work because apparently all the angels have better things to do?)

Don't you think, Mr. Editor, that the Divine Church should also have prophets that don't get sick and don't get old and die,

(If God was truly interested in convincing people of his power this would be one way to do it, sure)

and certainly, that don't make a goof here and there.

(Goofs are one thing...deliberate and selfish deceit is entirely another)

No, sir! A Divine Church should be so divine that only perfect people should belong to it, and only perfect people should run it. As a matter of fact, the Church should be so perfect that it should not even be here on earth!

(Amen! The church really shouldn’t be on the earth...but not because of perfection. It shouldn't be here because it encourages delusional thinking in so many areas. It also creates, among its members, dependence on those who run the thing for guidance about how to live life, guidance that should come from the individual for their own benefit and not from a man, or men, who claim to represent God on the earth and therefore claims authority over you as an individual.)

So, I repeat, if any one of the kind readers of this imperfect letter knows about another church that teaches and does as much for mankind as the Mormon Church, please let me know.

(There are actually plenty of organizations that do much more for mankind than the Mormon church corporation. The author should look into the United Way, American Red Cross or Catholic charities for some examples or go here to see the largest charities by revenue)

And please do it soon, because my turn to go to the cannery is coming up.

(So you want a church that does the most for mankind, but you expect that if you found such a church that you would not be expected to serve in such an organization? Why does one have to be a member of the LDS church to go to the cannery? Why are you going if you don’t really want to?)

Also, "they" want my last son (the fifth one) to go away for two years and again, I have to pay for all that. And I also know that they expect me to go to the farm to prune trees, and I have heard that our ward is going to be divided again, and it is our side that must build the new chapel. And also, someone the other day had the gall of suggesting that my wife and I get ready to go on a second mission, and when you come back, they said, you can volunteer as a temple worker. Boy, these Mormons don't leave you alone for a minute. And what do I get for all that, I asked? "Well," they said, "for one, you can look forward to a funeral service at no charge!"... Do you think you can help me to find another church?
--Thomas D. Clark

(Thomas, you make an excellent point at the end of your letter. The church expects [some might even say, demands] a lot from its members. This speaks to the importance of such an organization being able to stand up to any scrutiny related to the authenticity of its claims. Doesn’t it make things so much easier if you just asked, “What do I WANT to do?” instead of, “What does a church WANT me to do?”)

Thomas, I sincerely hope you feel like you are getting your money’s (and time and everything else) worth in a church where the best that can be said of what is received in return is that you get to hold your funeral free of charge. Best of luck to you.

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