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Radio Free Mormon: 277: Disappointing Mormonism

Mormonism has the power to disappoint in many ways, even after I thought I had left it far behind.

One of the most significant disappointments for me is being betrayed by church leaders I trusted implicitly, only to find they were not telling me the truth.

What happens when you find out your ability to discern the truth is compromised?

That is the underlying message of this podcast!


11 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 277: Disappointing Mormonism”

      1. You hit the nail in the head when you said it’s a church you loved so much. That’s why, it’s love. Like a best friend you have when you’re little and have adventures with, cry and laugh with, a friend you love so much. Until that same friend betrays you, and you realize he was never that good of a friend… But wait, the adventures were real, the times with your friend were real, and love, yes love, that was real. Your love for him, even though he never loved you back . But you still love him, and the time with him made you so happy… How can you forget that? How can you forget how carefree and happy you were when you thought you had a friend forever? Yes, he disappointed you, and he moved away and you haven’t seen him in years! Until you hear something so despicable that he did, not to you this time, but to someone else… And you get disappointed, and mostly sad, because of LOVE. And because in your mind you knew the friendship was real…. Or was it? The moments you cried and laughed and played together make no sense at all… Was it all a lie? Maybe. But it was true for you. And you wish that it had been true for him too. You wish for a world you loved for years, but that in reality doesn’t exist. Are we stupid for feeling like this? I don’t think so. For as long as I still consider the church a friend I used to have, I’ll be disappointed when stuff like this happens. And that doesn’t make me stupid, just human. A human being with a great capacity for love.

        Thank you for this! I needed it. Take care my friend.

        1. So well said!

          I want to be a defender of the faith. Not an apologist. I want to be able to go before friends and critics and tell them the LDS church is a good place. That whether one agrees with the theology or not, one will be made better by associating with the church and its people.

          Yet I cannot with confidence do that. This is a church that has dehumanized Christianity. It has so prioritized programs and policies that one gets the impression that being a thinking member with feelings and opinions is a huge inconvenience to the operation.

          I have never minded the telling of church fables. I do mind that my religion respect my intelligence and the leaders act consistent with the gospel they claim to preach. Yet the leaders seem to find the gospel too difficult to teach, live and implement. So they diminish it and tell the members to be happy with the bread crumbs the church offers. I expect more, we all should expect more. It is our church also, not just the church of the First Brethren.

  1. Dear RFM, a very captivating movie with a similar gripping plot as “A Death,” is “10 Cloverfield Lane.” I highly recommend you view it if you haven’t already.

    One more teensy item: When a person dies by the gallows, he/she is ‘hanged,’ not “hung.” Correct English at all times, please. 😉 Love your podcasts!

  2. I am confident I have not disappointed the church because it has been made apparent to me the church doesn’t care about me, but only my money. And now it is clear and obvious the church doesn’t need my money.

    I am disappointed in the church and for these reasons.

    (1) The church was very important to me in my youth. But that church of Road Shows, Pageants, basketball, softball and joyful activity is long gone. It has been replaced by a sterile, centrally managed organization, run by “yes men and yes women” who only care about pleasing the hierarchy.

    (2) The church of my youth had leaders who had opinions and were unafraid to state them, even when those opinions were critical of government and corporate leaders and addressed current social issues. Whether I agreed or not with what was said, I knew what the leaders thought. The church leaders of today are so afraid to offend they have become expert in saying nothing. They are deliberately vague and obtuse, except as it concerns defending the church. Which leads to #3.

    (3) The church leaders of today are incredibly brittle. They too easily take offense. They are quick to scold and they are especially upset with members who expect them to deal with complex issues. How dare members raise substantive questions and ask leaders to respond with courage, wisdom and intelligence! The church leadership of today sees obedience and loyalty to their viewpoint as the solution to everything. This attitude denies the importance of personal agency and reduces the church experience to trivialities. It dehumanizes the church and diminishes the members as infants which destroys what the church is supposed to be and what it needs to offer.

  3. RFM, I am amazed at how in sync our minds are. I would have come up with four different stories, but the feelings I have about my church membership and subsequent disaffection mirror yours to an astonishing degree. Maybe many (perhaps even most) Post Mormons share similar feelings of disappointment?

    You say that you lack introspection. You were able, though, to pull together many thoughts and feelings in an incredibly articulate and open manner. Thank you. You helped me to see myself more clearly and blessed my life.

  4. I have a similar story. I was in junior high school at the time. My Sunday School teacher told a story of a church member who fought in the Vietnam Conflict. This soldier was so badly wounded in battle, that he could not move or speak. He would have been left for dead except for the fact that he had the ability to cry. Another soldier saw the tears on his face and realized he was alive. His tears saved his life.

    Several years later, I saw a similar story on an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In this story, a man was involved in a car accident and was saved because the first responders saw tears on his face. Like you, Mr. RFM, I was very disillusioned!

    I’m a fifth generation Mo’ who left the church in 2019. The letter I received from Confidential Records, acknowledging my request to remove my name from the church records, is proudly displayed on my bedroom wall with the following quotes: “Greatest Decision of My Life” and “No More Cult.”

    Keep up the good work RFM!!!

    p.s. I watched an episode of “Dateline” titled “The Dog Whisperer.” RFM was one of the attorneys hired by the defendant. You earned your 15 minutes of fame before before taking on the persona of RFM.

  5. I don’t know if your mission president borrowed the story from someone else or if that experience with blaming the ocean was real to him. I do know Floyd Westin was a con artist. I lived in the Sandy Glacial Park ward with him for many years. The guy never told the truth. Even as a bowling Mormon me and many in the ward could clearly see he was a pathological liar. Very possible he stole that story from your mission president.

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