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Assumptions, Judgments and Persecutions

I have been an active member for 30 years. I know exactly how this goes. Anyone who goes into “apostasy” must go because of one of the following reasons, right?

  • Sin or the desire to sin.
  • Convinced by the devil!
  • Convinced by someone else
  • Church is hard and its easier to quit
  • Offended by other members

I can write all day about how wrong each of those is in my position. I know the judgments will come regardless of what my decision is, of whether I stay or go, simply because I researched these things. Why is it such a terrible thing to want to know the truth about your own religion?

I think the Mormon church encourages demonizing “apostates.”  Mormons generally treat people of other religions well, but treat ex-Mormons with derision.

Is there a similar experience?

Let’s say, for example, that you are raised thinking that eating meat and drinking milk is healthy. You are bombarded by advertisements for milk “doing a body good.” But at some point, you decide that you want to find out the truth yourself rather than just trust what is normal in the society and culture you were raised in. So you do some research and realize that the meat and dairy lobbyists have spent billions of dollars on changing government policy. They have spent billions on advertisements, claiming that their products are healthy. They have heavily influenced health guide pyramids. They have successfully lobbied so that they were the only products legally allowed to be fortified with extra vitamin D.

Then you do some more research and learn that statistics and science are very clear that a protein found in meat is strongly linked to cancer and that those foods also are strongly linked to heart disease, obesity, and other major illnesses. So you decide to eat healthier. You decide to subscribe to a less biased view on healthy eating, like the Harvard School of Public Health.

Maybe you don’t completely cut out meat and dairy. Maybe you’re not immune to heart disease or cancer. But you certainly feel better. You’re happier, healthier and even look better. But a strange thing happens. Some of your friends and family are opposed to it. They don’t want you to change your diet. They think you’re crazy or that you have been tricked by some other people around you. They are simply incapable of being happy for you, despite you being healthier and happier.

I don’t know what it stems from. Jealousy? Some other natural response to someone rejecting the culture and understanding they grew up with? But I have noticed that it has remarkable similarities to how some people have reacted to this journey of mine. Instead of being happy that I am finding out my own truth, instead of recognizing that I am happier and more spiritually healthy, they are judging me. They want some reason, something that would justify it in their minds. And they make up that reason without even talking to me.

Respecting the person

It’s likely that my blog, beliefs, or actions will cause me to be ostracized by some family members and friends. How sad that I will have (and already have had) false assumptions made about me and been treated as though I have done some great sin.

The 11th Article of Faith states,

“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

I don’t believe in attacking someone for their beliefs. I believe strongly in free agency and I don’t believe that free agency of an adult should be infringed upon just because I or someone else believes something different.

Before you judge me, know me. Before you condemn me, understand me. Before you do either, think of Christ. I will endeavor to do the same.

Next step: Questions I Want Answers To

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