“Families are Together Forever. My name is Kerri Bodie and I’m an Ex Mormon.”
I always thought I would be a member of the LDS church for my whole life. I believed it was the only true church on the face of the earth and I never thought anything would change my mind. My journey out of the church began when I started researching the deeper meaning of the temple. We had a new temple built in our city and I didn’t attend as often as the leaders had encouraged us to, so I figured if I understood the deeper meaning of the ceremonies, that I would be more motivated to attend.
As I searched, I was surprised to discover that there really wasn’t much information available for me to read. I thought that was strange since this was the pinnacle of our religion. I asked a few LDS friends if they knew where I could find more information and I was introduced to the FARMS and FAIR websites, where of course I found even more questions that I hadn’t even considered asking. I was disturbed by the things I was finding but I was sure that if I kept researching, that I would find answers that would confirm that the LDS church was true. This began a three year long deep study of the history and doctrine of the LDS church.
I discovered some horrifically racist comments made by the prophets of the LDS church. The one that struck me as the most ungodlike was by John Taylor, who was President and Prophet of the Church at the time that he published this statement. He said:
“And after the flood we are told that the curse [of dark skin] that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God;…” From: “DUTIES OF THE SAINTS-THE ATONEMENT, ETC” AUGUST 28TH, 1881, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, page 304. [my emphasis]. This is the church’s own publication, this is not anti-Mormon literature.
Don’t forget that the Journal of Discourses was like conference talks in the Ensign these days. Talks by the prophet and his counselors were written down and distributed to the members, even sent out to the members in England. Older LDS lesson manuals quote from the Journal of Discourses many times, it cannot be dismissed as not a valid LDS source. The LDS doctrine teaches that the prophet is the mouthpiece of God. Therefore I had to believe God actually told John Taylor to share these disgustingly racist words with the world.
I thought “This means either God is a racist, or the prophets were wrong.” I couldn’t believe that God was a racist in any way, so this left me with the conclusion that the prophets were certainly NOT speaking for God, they were wrong, a thought that is nearly impossible for an LDS member to fathom.
Then I remembered these quotes:
LDS President Marion G. Romney (of the first presidency), quoting LDS President (and prophet) Heber J. Grant “Conference Report” Oct. 1960 p. 78 said this:
“Always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, even if it is wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it but you don’t need to worry. The lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” [my emphasis]. This comment is disturbing on many levels.
Brigham Young, in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 289, 1862, said: “The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother’s arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth.”
John Taylor was not swept from the earth for saying that the African race was the devil’s representative here on earth, nor were his words struck from the record. They were kept and distributed to all LDS members, fully leading them astray in anyone’s definition. These hateful words have never been explained nor apologized for. I do not think there is a human alive today who would agree that a god who loves every human being, black, white, bond or free, male or female, would ever say such a terrible thing. i.e. these “prophets” do not speak for God, therefore…false church.
I could barely believe what I was being brought to understand. I didn’t want to believe it. I had to find better answers. I then looked into why so many other religions kept insisting that Mormons were not Christians. I thought “How can they say that? We have Jesus Christ’s name right in the name of our church!” So I decided I wanted to know just exactly what their “weak” arguments could possibly be. In a nutshell, these arguments pointed out that the LDS religion claims to believe that Jesus Christ provides us with salvation, yet the temple ceremony disrespectfully negates the atonement of Jesus Christ.
John 14: 6 states: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
It was pointed out to me that essentially, the LDS doctrine is saying: “Oh yah, we know Christ said that, but if you REALLY want to go to heaven, you also have to go to the temple and learn special handshakes and code words. Jesus Christ’s atonement alone just won’t cut it.” I was stunned as the depth of that sarcastic statement sunk in.
In John 18: 20 it states: “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.”
Nowhere in the bible is the temple ceremony spoken of by Jesus. After a bit more research, I realized that the temple was just a giant red herring – work for the dead was certainly something God could take care of – therefore all this work was just a distraction. People love the things they sacrifice for, so members must be kept busy, even if the work is meaningless. I do not think that a loving celestial parent would need to clutter up a true spiritual practice with useless rituals. I realized that my time would be better spent at a soup kitchen, or with my own children for that matter.
As I backed away from the church, and I now had more time to read and learn with a newly opened mind in which to finally explore my world without blinders on, I discovered even more lies within the LDS doctrine.
My first clue came when I learned about Quantum Entanglement Theory. Now I don’t claim to understand the mathematics of quantum physics, but the concept of Quantum Entanglement Theory can be understood by anyone, it is explained as this: Two or more particles born from the same source, from the same event, are now entangled – even if they are separated by a great distance – meaning that there is a communication that occurs instantly between the particles. Whatever you do to one particle, a measurable reaction occurs in the second particle instantaneously. The communication is therefor many times faster than the speed of light, which was thought to violate “special relativity”, but it was happening none the less. It is described as a “quantum non-local connection”. Einstein didn’t like this, he called it “spooky action at a distance.”
Quantum physicists have not fully explained this phenomenon, but they have observed that it does indeed happen. I discovered that String Theory and M Theory support this phenomenon as well. These theories have brought us the understanding that “matter” is merely energy condensed to a very low vibration, meaning that at our most basic level, everything and everyone is just energy, we are all connected, as energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Now tie into this Carl Sagan’s famous observation that “we are star stuff” – in which he meant that all the elements we are made up of, were once inside a star before it exploded and gave birth to what would become our solar system. Therefore, it is assumed that, on some level, every particle we see is entangled to some degree.
And if you want to take it a step further, your children are born from one egg, the result of the union of egg and sperm from the mother and father. All of our particles then, are theoretically, if not literally, entangled. We are all connected, ultimately part of one great whole.
Many religions, including the LDS religion, teach that there is a measure of divinity within every being. This connects with the thought that what is in the “one” is in the “whole”, or what you see in the microcosm, is reflected in the macrocosm.
This also ties in with fractal, or holographic mathematics, in that what you do to one part of the system, you do to the whole, or what you do to the whole, affects the one.
If you check out Michael Talbot’s Holographic Universe, he explains this very well. He describes the understanding that if you have a piece of photographic film with the image of a rose holographically encoded onto it, when you shine a laser light through it, you will see the three dimensional image of the rose. Now holograms of this nature have an interesting quality in that if you cut the film in half, you don’t have half a rose on each piece, you have the entire image of the rose on each piece. If you cut the film into four pieces you get four roses, eight pieces, you get eight roses, etc.
Talbot also compares this to magnets with a north and south pole. If you break the magnet in half, you don’t have a north pole piece and a south pole piece, each piece has both a north and south pole. Both these concepts illuminate the understanding that the whole – the macrocosm – is contained in the part, which is you, just one being – the microcosm.
Once I understood these concepts, I felt some puzzle pieces fitting together in my mind. The way I see it now is: Families ARE Together Forever, not Families CAN Be Together Forever, as the LDS church teaches.
Families Can Be Together Forever is actually a veiled threat if you really consider what is being said here. The LDS doctrine states that you will only be with your family forever if you do these special “rituals” in the temple and even then, those “connections” will only continue if you live righteously.
Living righteously includes going to the temple, preferably on a regular basis. To get a temple recommend, among other things, you must be a full tithe payer, that is 10% of your increase, gross or net depending on your perspective. So in essence, what that nice little phrase “Families Can Be Together Forever” is telling us, is they will take your family, that belongs to you forever already (this is important to remember, your family is already connected to you forever) and we will sell it back to you for 10% of your increase.
What unknowing investigators do not realize is that their family was never up for sale in the first place. The LDS church pretends to be able to sell you a connection that already belongs to you.
The LDS church takes the people that mean the most to you in your life, then ultimately uses your love for them against you. Essentially they are saying:
“Do you want to be with your family forever?”
“Yes, yes, of course I do.”
“Then come join our church, pay us tithing, and we will teach you a ritual that will keep your family together forever. Do not violate any rules connected with this, or you will lose your family forever.”
As a young LDS member, I can tell you that there is nothing more terrifying than thinking you may be separated from your family forever. And once you grow up, marry your best friend and have children of your own, you find an even more desperate fear of falling short in the sight of the Lord and losing your beloved husband and/or children forever. Your love for your family becomes a gun to your head.
This terrifying thought is a very effective tool for obedience and tithe paying. And heaven forbid you screw up in anyway, the guilt and the anguish experienced in the mind of a child or a parent, I would say, can be seen as nothing less than emotional abuse since the whole manipulative concept is based on a lie. It only works if you are uninformed, if you are unaware that you cannot lose your family, and the LDS church is not informing you! They are in fact preying on your ignorance and your love for your family.
Shame on anyone, or any organization that preys upon the love that parents have for their children and the love children have for their parents! This is fear programming – it is the most cruel and manipulative doctrine I’ve ever encountered.
Coming to the understanding that I will not lose my family allowed me to relax, stop judging myself and others and to love everyone. Clearing my mind of that ridiculous doctrine and to view God, should he/she/it exist, as loving and never cruelly manipulative deity, allowed me to love my life instead of being afraid of myself and what I might do!
Perhaps there is nothing after we die, but then I won’t be missing anyone because I will cease to exist. But if there is life after death, we are ALL inextricably linked forever. Now I can just play and accept my children as they are, offer advice, wisdom and support while NOT panicking that their life choices or mine will ever separate us! We’re on a journey here together, and either we all make it, warts and all, or none of us does.
As I searched in places I had never been taught to look, I found a universal truth, that when you are confused as to what is the correct answer to an issue, following the trail of Love, NOT fear, is what leads to personal inner peace. And what you do to the “one”, you do to the “whole” – therefore you are helping everyone when you discover and work to maintain your personal inner peace.
Being free of the fear of losing everyone I love has been the greatest gift I received for being willing to open my eyes and think for myself. I’m so much more calm now, I love my children and my husband more deeply than ever before, and lo and behold, our home has become a heaven on earth! The yelling and screaming has all but disappeared and our children often stay at home and enjoy being with us! I am so happy to be on my own path of spirituality, and if the day arrives that I should meet my Maker, I will not be ashamed of the life I have lived.
My name is Kerri Bodie and I’m an Ex Mormon.
Journal of Discourses