Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Saturday
Dec172005

Method to Mormon Madness

I forget. I forget how oppressive it is to live in Utah among 'the chosen ones'. Those who look down on the 'nonmembers', silently feeling sorry for the unenlightened, the ignorant who don't believe the same things they do. Those who just KNOW their church is true and silently pity me, the friend who has 'lost her way'. Those who will pray for that friend to 'find her way back', to realize 'the truth'. Those who are quick to feel offended when you don't believe what they do, but have no trouble routinely offending you over your spirituality, because they KNOW their church is the 'ONE TRUE CHURCH.'

Listen my 'friends' - I have read and read and read, just like you read The Book of Mormon.. I have studied, just like you study The Pearl of Great Price and your Doctrine and Covenants. I have educated myself and made a well informed decision to seek God in MY WAY instead of passively believing what was shoved down my throat since birth.

I am not Mormon bashing, although many deserve it. I am talking about myself and what I have done with my life after leaving Mormonism behind, where it belongs. I do not intend to be disrespectful of individual Mormons. I am outlining what I see as the deceit of the Mormon church. If you don't want me to 'Mormon bash' don't bash my beliefs either. Do unto others as you would have done unto you, isn't that right?

I had been out of touch with a friend (and I'll use the term loosely here as he was fairly mean to me in high school.. regularly making my life miserable with his narrow minded posse of judgmental Mormon pals) until we recently began emailing. I found his email and sent a hello his way, just wanted to see how his life turned out, that he was doing well.. yada yada yada.. We recently had the following email exchange... Keep in mind it's been ten years since I've seen or talked to this fella we'll call "Mormon".


"ME: Cuh-razy that I'm still in touch with the you... Bored (obviously) at work and emailing everyone I've ever met...so don't feel too special.. Love you!

MORMON: You're too liberal to be putting anti-mormon links up on your site. Mormons really aren't that bad are they? Take it off for all of your friends, like me of course, that have found a lot of joy in being Mormon. There are a lot worse things out there.

ME: Ex-Mormon, not anti-mormon my friend..

MORMON: It's all the same, don't act like you don't know that.

ME: That's where we'll agree to disagree. Or at least I will. Just because someone doesn't share your beliefs doesn't mean they're against you.. Just means they don't believe what you believe and you shouldn't take it as an attack or be offended. I'm not offended that you believe in Mormonism.. why should you be offended that I don't?"


And that was the end of that little exchange. Typical really. Only a Mormon would have the gall to preach to someone they haven't seen in a decade.. Sanctimoniously weilding their religious sword of superiority over those of us who are surely headed straight to hell because we don't believe. If my Mormon mom can respect my beliefs, surely a friend I haven't seen in decades should afford me the same courtesy?

Finally, I'll take the liberty of quoting the Mormon's eleventh Article of Faith because if it applies to Mormons, it applies to everyone, even us subservient women and those sinner homosexuals.

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

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me...

Why I Left

Reader Comments (18)

You are right,my child.My love knows no bounds. All are right.None are wrong.

And to be honest:coffee is fine by me!

Love,
G
December 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGOD
It is likely that you weren't able to live the standards of the church and because of that, you have determined the standards are wrong and bad.
For every person like you in this world, incapable of striving to live to the lofty standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are thousands trying to do their best, and haven't given up, like you.
December 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterProud Mormon
Wow, Proud Mormon - you managed to prove her point in just two short paragraphs! How on earth anybody feels like a church (or any person, for that matter) has the right to dictate someone's standards...well, not sure.

Different things are right for different people. Open your mind.
December 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersandra
"It is likely that you weren't able to live the standards of the church and because of that, you have determined the standards are wrong and bad."

If I had a dime for every time I heard that "theory"... or the one that "deep down, I know the church is true" I'd be rich, unless I was Mormon, in which case I'd have to pay ten percent to the church so they can increase their empire--I mean, help the needy.
December 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
I have no tolerance for people with no tolerance. Every single religion is based on God loving everyone, and being all-forgiving and yadda yadda. So who exactly made the decision that if you don't follow certain "rules" He will abandon you as a heretic? Ridiculous, no matter what religion is claiming superiority. I was raised a strict Catholic and to this day can't figure out why not eating meat on Fridays will get you into "Heaven" easier. Right now, I have my own personal relationship with God, and I'm raising my daughter the same way. We both believe in God, but don't feel the need for organized religion of any sort. BUT - I would never bash anyone else's beliefs. Live and let live - as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to God, there are no wrong answers.
December 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdasi
Isn't "Proud Mormon" kind of an oxymoron, if indeed that person really is Mormon, then I wouldn't think they would label him or herself as proud. Unless things have changed since last time I went to church...

For all those great Mormons out there that are just trying to be good people and not judge others (like my family and most of my friends) there are always those that really suck. And I really hate the ones that suck.
December 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Monica
So you have discovered their hypocrisy. What now? There are so many layers of hypocritical illusion and undercurrents in society at large. These are much more subtle than what you will see in a "church" -- the harbinger of cloddhoppers...

However, this learning process can continue IF you want it to.......
December 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjenny
Good point.. However, I haven't just discovered their hypocrisy.. I just wrote about it now. My learning process began long ago and will continue until I die.
December 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Oh, I'm always rediscovering things like that -- hypocrisy. I often tend to forget what I think I know. And generally, I rediscover the same thing again.
December 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjenny
Hi Monica. I thought I would visit your blog since you visited me. I am not sure I am ready to post hear but I guess I do have an opinion here.

I am a Catholic and there are certain things I am not pleased with. The big thing is they figure unless you believe in their God, you will not make it into heaven. I am sorry. There are a lot of other religions out there that believe in their own version of God. What makes them wrong and Catholics right? I also noticed Baptists thinking they are better than others. I am sure there are others.

Anyway I don't know about Mormons other than my one week visit to Salt Lake and Provo but I just know, in general, I am not a fan of thinking one is better than the next.
December 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBarman
PLEASE.... all this mormon crap...I'm a roman catholic and my mother was a mormon who crossed over (thank the lord)!!!! She saw the shady light of the mormons....I'm not saying the roman catholic church is better but truthfully I think it is since my job isnt to shove down my thoughts or beliefs to everyone in exsitence! Just think how great of values mormons have you could have 9 wives but only one husband! YEAH NO!
December 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJrLouie
Danielle, don't take life so serious. I appreciate your "loosely"comment about our friendship. You are a funny gal, I miss the days you tossed salad on heads of my friends. Hope your doing well. Just saw this post and found out I'm a celebrity on your site. I'm honored, although I wasn't seriously trying to ruin your day with my high minded mormon comments.
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermormon fella
Wally, perhaps you're right.. I'm a bit sensitive as far as this topic is concerned.

P.S. He SO deserved that salad to the head.
April 24, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Wow this is awesome.
How vain are human beings that they think they are the chosen ones who go to a heaven. Us poor deer just die and become dust in the wind. Well guess what your smart religious brains so huge and perfect imagined the whole idea of heaven so that you can get through your said existence on earth.

The true geniuses, who are not brainwashed by money hungry religion, figured out what Lennon said: Imagine people actually living for today.

June 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShizahead

well i ges he has a point. I mean Im mormon and I think t hat maybe we are a little "preachy". but if ylou get affended by us then tell us! we dont mean to offend at all

October 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbubba

PS. we dont practice poligamy anymore

October 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbubba

I don't think the Mormon church is to blame for the abundance of hyprcrisy among its members. There is a funky culture that is derived from everybody knowing everybody in their wards and stakes, seminary classes etc. and the un-controllable human urge for people to gossip is crazy. I am not condoning this, I am just saying that fortunately the religion is NOT the culture, otherwise I would ex-communicate myself. I can't stand alot of Mormons. I did leave Utah because I got sick of it. As far as passing judgement on TheGirlWho... no need - she is just doing the best she knew or knows how like the rest of us. Life is about having fun, not about all this "overcoming trial after trial after trial bs" the Mormon CULTURE teaches. So make it fun.

October 23, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteranother mormon fella

Have you ever posted your reasons for leaving the church? This is a super personal question, I know. . . .I'm the child of two converts & have lots of questions. I've always felt out of place in the Mormon church. . .and am trying to find my way as a Recovering Mormon. I haven't been to church in a while, but I can't shake that whole going to hell thing! I'd love to read about someone else's journey. . . I came across your site today (50 groovy bloggers). . .I love your blog! ☺

April 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterme

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