Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Would You be Angry if You Found Out the Truth on Your Deathbed?

a question's been haunting me lately, probably because i'm middle aged and health issues are popping up left and right. ha! the question, though, is this:

if you'd believed in something your whole life--something that affected every choice you made, something that required you to do some things you really didn't want to do, and forbade you to do some things you really did want to do, and this thing you believed in took a LOT of your time and money and often frustrated you, and continued on, trudged forward in belief because you really truly did think it was true (and you really wanted it to be true)...and then, at the end of your long and devoted life, you found out through undeniable evidence that it wasn't true, had never been true, and you had lived a life based on lies, would you be angry?

i would be. i would be angry. beyond angry, even. i don't think anyone likes being lied to and deceived, but to have spent an entire lifetime choosing to be against ideas and groups of people just because someone told you to be, or to have not even had the simple pleasure of a cup of coffee in the morning (which is proven to help depression, by the way) or a glass of wine with dinner, or thought that wearing a tank top on a hot summer day would tempt you down "satan's" path, or that my eternity would have to be spent in forced polygamy, would be more than i could bear. i would want to know NOW.

and so, to my friends and family who still believe the LDS church is true, ask yourself that question. what if it isn't? what if it really doesn't stand up to scrutiny and is actually quite easily proven a fraud? would you want to know? because if you do want to know, if you want to live YOUR life (and guess what...surprise! you'll still be a good person without someone scaring you into it), the information is out there. if you want help finding it, ask. i'll help you. and if you don't want it, that's okay, too. i still love you and i understand how scary it can feel when you consider that it may not be true. it won't have been a wasted life if it was what really made you happy.

if i die tomorrow, i go knowing this was MY life. i owned it. i lived it how i wanted to live it. i'm a volunteer, a contributor to charities (ones that actually help people indiscriminatorily--i made that word up), a loving wife and mother, a thinker and a kind person. no one had to scare me into it or threaten to take away my family. i love my life.

No more mind-numbing, cruel, and insulting beliefs like this one:

Mormon Infographics

Spencer Kimball, General Conference Report, October 1960; Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922–923.

"I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today .... The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter we represent, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather.... These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated."

from Steve Pinker:

"I find a naturalistic understanding of human nature to be indispensable to leading a wise and mature life, and it is often exhilarating. Wisdom consists in appreciating the preciousness and finiteness of our ow
n existence, and therefore not squandering it; of being cognizant of what makes people everywhere tick, and therefore enhancing happiness and minimizing suffering; of being alert to limitations and flaws in our own judgments and decisions and passions, and thereby doing our best to circumvent them. The exhilaration comes from understanding that we are a part of natural world; that deep mysteries can be explained; and that the world -- including our own mental lives -- can be intelligible, rather than a source of superstition and ignorance. Yes, mortality sucks, but given that it exists, I'd rather know that than be kept in a childlike state of delusion."