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Old 09-15-2014, 06:15 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Default The Mormon Club!

I'm curious how many active Polyamory.com members also have a Mormon past/present. Seems like there's probably a significant number of us. If you were raised in the Mormon church or otherwise have had close ties with it, sound off!

I was born and raised in the heart of Utah Mormon country (mostly Highland which is in "Happy Valley," not far from BYU to the south and church headquarters to the north), was expected and trained to be quite active, and in 1985-1986 served a full mission in the Detroit suburbs of Michigan.

I stayed active til about 1995, then started questioning more and more from 1995 thru 2005. Had some bad experiences with certain members of the church (especially authority figures). It took me most of 2002 to do it, but I finally got my name removed from the roles of the church.

Though most of my Utah friends and family are still loyal churchmembers, a few brothers and friends at least have pulled away. I personally have become what I consider to be a full-fledged atheist. Yet I retain good memories from the church and use all of its Scriptures (Book of Mormon included) from time to time.

I ended up questioning a ton of stuff including what really constitutes morality (and immorality). I concluded that informed consent is really all that's required in any (e.g. romantic and/or sexual) relationship. So by the time I heard about polyamory in 2005, I was ready to embrace it.

More of my Mormon story can be found starting with the following two posts:
So what's your Mormon story? In a nutshell. Are you still a Mormon now? How do you reconcile (if you do) Mormon doctrine with the ideals of polyamory?

Regards,
Kevin T.
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Last edited by kdt26417; 09-16-2014 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:13 PM
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Default The Mormon Club

I'm not Mormon so please forgive me for any ignorance. I see us as kind of the same.
You coming from a Mormon background and me coming from an Apostolic background.
I can't help but notice some similarities in your journey to mine.

As I grew up within the church I was taught to believe that you did good works, the
bishop was pretty much like the pope or at least God's prophet, and if you didn't attend our churches you were pretty much on your way to Hell.

I guess it's because of my nature that I question things. Even if it was only internally (hence poly). This is in the same church that I talked about in one of your racial post.

Quote:
Multi-partner relationships Vs Mono
As I mentioned before, I've been in these type of relationships and they were nonsexual. I think my first was a MFF with my first love and her cousin. We all went to church together. My first love asked me to go out with her cousin too because she liked me.
Anyway, back to it.
I would read for myself. Sometime the bishop would read things and it would go totally against what I read. Or, what I felt the text was saying to me. At times it was like he as daring people to challenge what he said as far as interpretations. Of course no one wants to be put on the spot. So, things went on as planned.

I started noticing that over the years, as he would go back over the same scripture. He
would preach it the exact way I interpreted it. Therefore contradicting himself. He would also employ a tactic like saying "Saints, look to your left, and look to your right. Not all who sit here is of us. Not all in here is going to heaven. The were never part of us". This would scare the hell out of me. Yet, I kept reading on my own and studying.

After going to different churches and being exposed to different "Christian" interpretations of the same bible. I officially stopped going to church and started studying hard on my own. I talked with Mormons before and thought they were pretty nice guys. It wasn't until
I had to do a study on polyamory that I came across more Mormons, Wicca, and other forms that fell within what I called the "poly umbrella". I had received a Mormon bible and started reading it. I wanted to know what they truly believed. Especially since the whole Mitt Romney thing.

It was doing this research that I came across this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3BqLZ8UoZk

I thought well damn, really? Over time I kind of brushed it off. Yet it was still in there in the mind. I thought, not all of them probably feel that way. A year or two later I saw another type of video. Had I not saw the previous video, this video would've meant much to me. However, if you truly look at it. You can see, at least by the previous video. Part of the Mormon theology.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu85Cp__vJ4

All in all. I think religion is loosing it's grip of mental control. So, they are kind of going
to 2 extremes. One to tell everyone you're going to hell and that this is part of prophecy. You know, the Great falling away. Or, they're going to the other extreme and throwing doctrine totally out the window.

As for me and my house. I will keep learning and teaching my children. They can make up their own minds on which way they want to go.

Again, didn't want to hijack your post. Just pointing out some of our similarities on our
journeys for truth.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:07 PM
Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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My grandmother on up are all LDS. My grandmother is the second of 15 kids. Grandma occasionally attended church but I never felt that spirituality was part of my family. She definitely was not devout. As a child i attended lds churches but I never felt my mother had a preferred domination, wedl'd sometimes go to other churches (moved around a lot). Ive been an atheist since I was 8 but I liked church and went willingly with friends as a teenager.

Oddly enough a morman magnet, I have several former morman friends and a couple practicing. Also they tend to be freaky deaky from what I've seen
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:29 AM
AkiSnow AkiSnow is offline
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I am a former Mormon from Texas. I think my siblings and I being the only Mormon kids in school made me feel kind of special. I was on the fence about my beliefs until I went to BYU for four years. I attempted to date during my first year, but the women all had baby rabies and wanted to get their Mrs degree.

After the first year I was missionary aged but decided not to go on a mission. With each passing year I got more and more odd looks when I told people I just didn't want to go on a mission. It was a relief in a way, I was back to being the oddball that I was in Texas. I spent my college years playing Final Fantasy 11 and World of Warcraft, ignoring all the beautiful Mormon women who I just couldn't relate to.

Now I live in Japan, so I get to be the oddball white guy 24/7 I think Japanese culture and Mormon culture have a lot of similarities that make it easy for me to live here. I like the group mentality and respectfulness of Japanese culture. I think most Japanese people accept polyamory, but they prefer the "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy, which is why there are so many love hotels here.

Since I was young I was very spiritual, but I was also very dedicated to learning the truth. I read other religious books, philosophical books and anti-Mormon literature because I wanted to be able to defend my faith against any attack. Instead I started to doubt everything.

I still haven't gotten my name removed, it sounds like such a hassle, plus I know it would break my parents' hearts.

The Tao Te Ching has been the most influential book in my life. It's so simple and profound. It helped me to leave the Mormon church and now it is helping me to accept polyamory.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:40 AM
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Thanks for your responses so far guys.

I think one of the church's defense mechanisms is to gradually modify the doctrines and practices as the generations go by, at first putting less and less emphasis on this or that embarrassing doctrine or practice and then eventually denying that the doctrine or practice was ever taught in the first place. Among other things, it makes it hard to keep up-to-date on what the church currently practices and believes. Yet the changes are made slowly and rarely enough that the members often hardly notice anything has changed. As I said, a particular change could be instituted over the course of multiple generations.

The church recently denied ever having any teachings or practices that marginalized dark-skinned people. For me that's a hard pill to swallow because I remember as a kid the racist doctrines that were handed down to the younger generation and even supported in church meetings and Scriptures. I heard racist doctrines taught in the church into my adult years as well.

The promises of patriarchal polygyny in the eternities have not (yet) been officially rescinded (denied) by the church, but they are seldom even whispered about nowadays. When the church phased out its earthly polygyny, it did so under the pretext of being forced to do so by the federal government, asserting that in the afterlife, we could expect patriarchal polygyny to resume. The church is working on phasing out that doctrine; not sure how long they'll take to finish the job.

There were a lot of strange (and ugly) things taught in the early days of the church; Brigham Young particularly taught some strange stuff and is suspected of being culpable for stuff like the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Joseph Smith is *strongly* suspected of practicing a lot of polygyny, before making it official church doctrine, including adding young girls to his secret harem and marrying other men's wives while those men were away serving missions abroad.

I have to cringe because I know how the above assertions I've made would sound to a faithful believing member. Latter-day Saints are taught/trained/programmed to fear and abhor anything and anyone that speaks ill of the church, and speaking ill of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young is especially "bad" to do. Many of my old Utah friends would angrily tell me that I am just spouting a bunch of unfounded lies out of my mouth, and that my bitterness against the church is what's driving me.

It's a tangled mess, from my point of view. I can't speak against the church without villainizing myself, yet what I've posted in this post is really just the tip of the iceberg.

And what I hate is that I don't want to alienate any forum members here who might still hold the church near and dear to their heart. Without diplomacy, I fear that the rift between Mormons and ex-Mormons will be impossible to heal.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:44 AM
AkiSnow AkiSnow is offline
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It's crazy how much people can rationalize away and ignore things they don't fit with their world view. I know because I did it for years. I didn't leave because of negative experiences with other church members, or because of the church's habit of rewriting history. I only left when I realized it was the only way to be intellectually honest with myself and when I realized that I wasn't alone, the stories on exmoron.org helped me a lot.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:31 PM
exmormon1986 exmormon1986 is offline
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I left the Mormon Church at age 18. My resignation probably was the singlemost defining point of my life. In the ten years since, I've remained active in exmormon bulletin boards. I guess I consider exmormonism as just one knock-off branch of the mormon culture, because people remain so active in thier exmormonism.

As child/ teenager, I learned about the church's history of polygny. I questioned everything about it? Was it wrong? Ultimately, I concluded that there is nothing wrong with polygamy, but there is certainly much wrong with the way it was practiced by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others in the history of Mormonism. Having more than one spouse or lover is not an issue but using these relationships to control people is wrong for sure.

Im not currently polyamorous but I think that I am poly at heart. I can imagine that it is not a perfect way of living and has its share of problems. But it appeals to me because I view the value of relationships in being able to help people, and I think it's more honest than the way that most people practice monogamy. I want to be loved and I want to love others. I don't see why it's not possible to love more than one person.

Mormonism taught me to question every facit of society. So it's only natural to question monogamy. Also, I feel that I need a big, supportive family. I dream of having many female partners and male brothers to share them. I think it would be a very practical environment and could serve to fulfill the lives of many more unhappy people. I think a big poly family could help many people.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:54 AM
AkiSnow AkiSnow is offline
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Default Male and Female Values

Just to clarify... I will refer to male and female values and make a lot of generalizations in this post. Please understand this is all my own personal speculation and I am aware that many people do not identify with their traditional gender roles or behaviors, but I think it is helpful to talk about the biological motivations behind our behaviors.

I think the growth and popularity of the Mormon church has a lot to do with the way it treats it's male and female members differently. There are even separate meetings for men and women so that men can talk about man stuff and women can talk about woman stuff. The church generally gives men and women different assignments based on their gender roles. Mormon culture gives us a strong sense that men and women are equal, but that we are different. We can fulfill each other's roles, but for most people it goes against their biological drives.

I think polyamory is a similar blend of male and female values, trying to take the best that we both have to offer. The male values of honesty, honor, leadership, risk taking etc, the female values of love, nurturing, kindness, sensitivity, safety etc.

No one ever explicitly taught me the values of being a man outside of the church, and in the church the value of being a man was just being a leader and having magical "priesthood" powers. I was raised in such a feminine environment, I needed to be involved in the MGTOW community for a while to get in tune with my masculinity. Some MGTOW take things a bit too far though. Some of them see things like the development of the artificial womb as a way of replacing women, which is just as bad as the extreme feminists who want to reduce the population of men... It's creepy.

Male brain chemistry rewards us for being powerful, and being leaders, it's just something that men are more driven to do. Female brain chemistry rewards them for being loving and caring, it's just something women are more driven to do.

Women are becoming stronger and men are becoming more gentle, I think this is a natural result of the more peaceful world we live in. But there are still biases against women being powerful and against men being gentle. And there certain professions that men and women are more drawn to. For example women now dominate veterinary medicine because of their natural drive to be caretakers. But now there is a shortage of vets for large farm animals because they aren't so cute and cuddly, they can even be quite dangerous.

I work in Japan teaching English to children as young as two years old. But I have to be very careful, especially with the little girls. Even in a country like Japan where there is no hysteria about pediphiles, there is still a innate distrust of men who are involved with children. It takes a long time to prove yourself trustworthy.

Sorry for the long rant ^_^; just my opinion, but I think perhaps that is why Mormons/exmormons are drawn to polyamory, we appreciate the strengths of the opposite gender more an most folks.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:12 AM
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Thanks for the new posts, and a welcome exmormon1986 to our special club.

Loosening up about the church's sacred cows was actually part of my departure, so I admit the Salamander Society was my go-to website when I felt rather crushed by the church. For me it was easier to laugh at a hypothetical before considering the possibility that the hypothetical was a reality.

I have one Utah friend who really probably doesn't believe, but isn't comfortable letting his family worry for his eternal soul, and wants to be of some help in reforming the church from within, so it's my understanding that he still attends (the three-hour blocks of) Sunday services. He is still active. Maybe he even accepts a calling of some kind too, I don't know.

I have to agree that it is hard to leave the church and "leave the church alone" as well. I mean Jeezh, with all the years I poured into the church, I'd like to get some little bit of that back out. I guess that's one reason why I'm motivated to post about the church on a poly forum. Exmormons have a peculiar sort of fellowship with each other, don't you think? (and as free showed, you don't have to be LDS to have similar experiences.)

I suppose the church's history of "polygamy" (read: patriarchal polygyny) did help prepare me to take on a polyamorous mindset. As I and various Utah brothers and friends debated about polygamy (by email), the matter was turned over and over in my mind until it dawned on me that there'd be nothing wrong with polygamy in principle if the women were also allowed to have multiple husbands (and had equal standing with the men).

I think the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a complex church because it both draws people in and it leaves an opening for its people to think outside the box. And thinking outside the box comes with a spiritual peril: the risk of apostasy. The church seems to be willing to "live on the edge" with respect to that.

And AkiSnow, I agree with you that part of the church's appeal is its particular way of acknowledging that men and women are inclined to have their gender differences, and encouraging that to be so. Though I don't quite see the connection there with poly -- after all, gay and bisexual (and pansexual) people can be polyamorous too ...
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:44 AM
AkiSnow AkiSnow is offline
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I admit, it is a very subtle connection. Basically the church and polyamory both both focus on positive male and female traits. Polyamory just goes a step further and says those traits are positive for anyone, regardless of your gender or orientation. The church provides a community for fulfilling our need for companionship of the same gender and the opposite gender, polyamory provides a framework for building your own community or network.
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