I am an oldest child. They say that makes me a leader and a perfectionist (and these can be exchanged for other words like "bossy", "over-achiever", and the like). I will claim all of them, as they are probably mostly all true. I have realized that I can accept other people as they are, but I expect myself to be at the top of whatever I am doing. I do not have to be "the best", but I have to be "my best."
However, there is one thing that I just cannot deal with. There is one thing that has been bothering me so very much these days that I can hardly stand it. Hypocrisy. And the Mormon church- as I see it here- is overrun with it. Please try to follow my train of thought here:
1. When this organization has put together a "handbook" that covers so many topics about life in very general terms, it becomes the job of local people to interpret what was meant by some handbook-writer in another state, or heck, maybe in another country. When these men are given control over a group of people, they are given control over their membership in the church, their standing within the church, and how much work they will be asked to do for the church. These men are handed this handbook, and are supposed to use it to decide what to do with these people.
2. So, in one ward, a young couple ends up getting pregnant. The bishop performs the wedding for them. They are never disciplined. In another ward, a young couple ends up getting pregnant. The bishop disfellowships them. This is discipline. Why the disparity? Who knows? Why is one couple helped out and one couple punished? The sin was the same?
3. A man in a ward is cruel to those who are not as "perfect" of a Mormon as he is. He has people who try to avoid him because of his attitude. He looks at those who do not follow the rules to his liking with great disgust (trust me on this, it is a horrible thing to face on Sunday morning). He is made a leader.
4. A man who was excommunicated tells his ex wife that he cannot re-join the church until he catches up on his child support (which would be that article of faith about obeying the laws of the land). And then, a few weeks later, he is baptized. Huh?
Yeah, and this same man cruises around wearing a hat with a naked-lady silhouette on it. You guessed it, that would be him honoring the temple of the woman's body that was made by God.
And my attempt to connect all of these ideas: There is no consistency!!!!! Men do what they want to do, or what they think is best, or what their counselors think is best, or what they hear in the gossip mill, or- who knows why they do what they do? These men are the worst type of hypocrites. They act like they are perfect, they act like they actually know what they are doing, but they don't.
One member of the bishopric goes around cursing all the time- no problem.
One church leader makes other people stop attending church because of his cruelty- no problem.
One bishop supports a woman in her actions until he changes his mind and tells her that she is wrong, once her actions cannot be stopped- but he can't explain why they are wrong-no problem.
One woman acts out of love and in the privacy of her own home- kick her the hell out.
LESSON NUMBER THREE: There is no consistency in the LDS church. It is just a bunch of imperfect men without the capacity to judge going around and judging people as their whim dictates.
MY TESTIMONY: God is love. God does not want us to judge one another. He is the great judge. I know I will stand accountable before Him one day and I will accept whatever consequence He chooses to give me for my actions on this earth. I will humble myself before Him, and He will see my heart. I do not accept the authority of men who do not know me, my actions, or even their own law. What I have done has been done in love, has brought joy to the world, and life to the world. I do not regret my choices. I do not take them back. I will not cower before men and give in to their unholy acts in the name of God- for God does not condone cruelty and the doling out of pain as a punishment for bringing love to the world.
MY RELIGION: I am a Christian. I worship God whenever and wherever I am. I want to be an example of Christ to all that I meet. That's what it all boils down to I guess.