Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Ranting

So now you can see why I told Joseph to fuck off!!!

However, I have read that he may have suffered from schizophrenia or some similar mental illness, so...

The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (part 2)

I read about the following information in this book:

Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery (Doubleday, 1984).

It would appear that Joseph first introduced the subject of plural marriage through a revelation received near Jackson County, Missouri, on July 17, 1831. You can read it here.

Newell and Avery suggest that although Joseph seems to have believed that he was commanded by God to establish plural marriage he was not given specific instructions as to it's implementation. They go on to outline how this made things very difficult for Emma.

Mary Elizabeth Rollins married Joseph Smith in Feb of 1842 at the age of 24. Rollins recounts a conversation between herself and Joseph in 1831 when she was just 12 years old. She said Joseph "told me about his great vision concerning me. He said I was the first woman God commanded him to take as a plural wife." ( Mormon Enigma p.65. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner to Emmeline B. Wells, summer 1905, LDS Archives).

Less than 6 months later Emma and Joseph moved into the John Johnson home. (See this post) Newell and Avery suggest that "Perhaps Joseph was not discreet in his discussions about plural marriage, because rumor and insinuation fed the fury of the mob that tarred and feathered him. When the Johnson boys joined the mob that entered their own home, they clearly suspected an improper association between Joseph and their sixteen-year-old sister, Nancy Marinda." (Mormon Enigma p. 65).

"William E. McLellin, a member of the Twelve wrote in an 1872 letter about an incident related to him by Frederick G. Williams in 1838. McLellin wrote that Joseph "committed an act with a Miss Hill--a hired girl" : near the time of Joseph III's birth. "Emma saw him and spoke to him... he desisted, but Mrs. Smith refused to be satisfied. [Joseph] called in Dr. Williams. O. Cowdery, and S. Rigdon to reconcile Emma. But she told them just as the circumstances took place. He found he was caught. He confessed humbly, and begged forgiveness. Emma and all forgave him. She told me this story was true". " (Mormon Enigma pp. 65-66).

Around the time of the birth of Emma's second son, Frederick, a similar incident occurred. Fanny Alger came to live with Emma and Joseph as a hired girl. She was 19 years old at the time. It is claimed that Joseph married Fanny in 1836. In an 1872 letter McLellin wrote that Emma noticed both Fanny and Joseph missing one night, and went to look for them. She "saw him and Fanny in the barn together alone. She looked through the crack and saw the transaction!!!" (Mormon Enigma p. 66). Newell and Avery further explain that "Joseph's theology may have allowed him to marry Fanny, but Emma was not ready to share her marriage with another woman. When Fanny's pregnancy became obvious, Emma forced her to leave." (Mormon Enigma p. 66).

The incident drove a serious wedge between Oliver Cowdery and Joseph. Oliver wrote to his brother "When [Joseph] was here we had some conversation in which in every instance I did not fail to affirm that what I had said was strictly true. A dirty nasty, filthy affair of his and Fanny Alger's was talked over in which I strictly declared that I had never deviated from the truth in the matter... just before leaving, he wanted to drop every past thing, in which had been a difficulty or a difference--he called witnesses to the fact, he gave me his hand in their presence". (Mormon Enigma p. 66).


So, here is just the tip of the iceberg. I feel sick. Can you imagine Emma hugely pregnant, then going through labour, recovering, looking after a newborn... meanwhile Joseph is off with some teenager!

Did Joseph come up with an ingenious way to satisfy his sexual desires? A theology including plural marriage. No adultery, they were married, how very legal and happy for everyone!

And the mens club!! let's shake hands and be friends again. Never mind the deplorable way we treat our women, us men can rise above the muck!

Tell me your thoughts people. What is your reaction? Do you want to spit chips like me? Do you feel incensed? or can you accept it?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

For Emma

Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery.

After more than a year of research into all things Mormon the above book is the one that sealed the deal for me in relation to leaving the church.

No Man Knows My History: the life of Joseph Smith, Fawn M. Brodie.

I read Brodie's book after I was clear of the religion. It was an enthralling read. However it looks as though Mormon apologists have some concerns over some of her sources so I will be more cautious when I reference her in the future. There is plenty in Mormon Enigma and other books anyway so I still have many things that I want to post here. I feel I owe it to Emma somehow.

The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith married Emma Hale on January 18, 1827.

On the night of March 24, 1832 Joseph was dragged from bed by an angry mob. They stripped, scratched and beat him and then smeared his bleeding body with tar. They then ripped open a pillow and plastered him with feathers. They attempted to choke him and to pour poison down his throat.

Many Mormons will have heard this much of the story and ascribed the mobs anger to religious differences (as well as economic factors) . There may be more to the story.

It is written that Eli Johnson demanded that Joseph be castrated. (The evidence for the existence of an Eli Johnson is tentative. Brodie referenced a late source for this. However there are other sources that describe the motivation of the mob, I have posted about them here.) "Dr Dennison had been employed to perform a surgical operation, but he declined when the time came to operate" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. XI pp.3-4).

Eli Johnston (it would be more correct here to say the Johnson boys, John Johnson's sons) suspected Joseph of improper relations with his sister Nancy Marinda Johnson (or Marinda Nancy Johnson) who was 17 years old at the time.

Nancy became Joseph's plural wife in April 1942.

Nancy bore two sons whilst in Nauvoo. It is possible that Joseph Smith was their father.

(I read about these things in Fawn M. Brodie's 'No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith'. See pp. 119, 462-464. You can find her sources therein.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Step at a Time

I think it was when I became a mother that I realised the importance of making changes one at a time. Motherhood can seem so overwhelming. There is so much information out there, so many people who want to give you advice. Sometimes I felt completely snowed under and I didn't know how to dig myself out nor did I even feel like trying.

Some days I was thrilled to have been able to have a shower!

I eventually figured out that all of the things I was worried about - nutrition, sleep, education etc for my baby (and myself) couldn't be addressed all at once. I started being kinder to myself and congratulating myself with each new achievement no matter how small.

I feel that this is a life long necessity. I cannot make all of the changes that I want to today but I can make one, maybe even two. Or maybe today I won't change anything but I will enjoy my time with my family and then feel motivated again tomorrow to give some of that love back to the earth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Say No to Plastic

Remember the 3 R's... Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Well here is an excellent website and blog that will get you thinking about those R's again. 5 Gyres website 5 Gyres blog

I didn't know anything about Gyres. What are they? Well from Wiki -
A gyrein oceanography is any large system of rotating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis Effect; planetaryvorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, which determine the circulation patterns from the wind curl (torque).[1] The term gyre can be used to refer to any type ofvortex in the air or the sea, even one that is man-made, but it is most commonly used in oceanography, to refer to the major ocean systems.


The world's 5 Major Gyres are shown above.

The problem...Our problem:

The North Pacific sub-tropical gyre covers an area of the Pacific in which the water circulates clockwise in a slow spiral. Winds are light. The currents tend to force any floating material into the low energy central area of the gyre. There are few islands on which the floating material can beach. So it stays there in the gyre, in astounding quantities estimated at six kilos of plastic for every kilo of naturally occurring plankton. The equivalent of an area the size of Texas swirling slowly around like a clock. This gyre has also been dubbed “the Asian Trash Trail” the “Trash Vortex” or the “Eastern Garbage Patch”.Greenpeace

Check out this video

(Use less plastic):

Use fabric shopping bags.
Remember to put those shopping bags in your car (took me some getting used to!).
Look for sauces, drinks etc, in glass bottles rather than plastic when at the supermarket.
Buy/make toys made from natural fibres, your children will love them! (I love searching the stores for eco-friendly toys, a bit of a challenge!)



What ideas do you have to reduce our reliance on plastic?

Friday, March 12, 2010

SKIN - show some

When I was a teenager I remember dressing quite frumpy. I was self conscious of my figure and didn't want to reveal too much skin or have clinging clothes. I think part of this was that I felt overweight (looking back in photos I was nowhere near fat! I want that figure now). Another part of it I believe was the constant messages at church about dressing modestly. We were taught that if we dressed immodestly then boys would not be able to control themselves!

"We are responsible for the effect our dress standards have on others. Anything that causes improper thoughts or sets a bad example before others is not modest. It is especially important that we teach young girls not to wear clothes that would encourage young men to have improper thoughts."

(Read more here and here Dress Code )

That is just the start of it though. I expect that some mormons would say that the above statement is quite tame and that they believe that it is a true statement. Well I have a lot of problems with the above statement and I will get to that. Before I do though, I think it is important to say that at lot more gets said in a classroom situation. I have been present in Young Women's lessons (12-18 year olds taught by older women) as a teenager and later as a teacher where much worse has been said. I have been told that my boyfriend would be unable to control himself sexually if I dressed inappropriately. Now this is a lot further than just 'causing' him to think 'bad' thoughts.

Later, when I was the teacher, I still had to update the lessons (with the help of a fantastic blog for responsible leaders who want to encourage respect between the sexes!) and then tackle the inappropriate comments from other teachers. I could not believe that the young women were still being taught that it was their responsibility to dress modestly to help the young men behave properly!!

As if that weren't enough one youth leader (in an adult mtg with no teenagers around thank God!!) said that Rhianna deserved what she got because she dressed and behaved like such a slut. OMG! and this is the kind of person that the church wants teaching its youth, aaaaaaah!

Mormons take note! Everyone is responsible for their own thoughts and actions. The church is behaving very irresponsibly by confusing young people about who is to blame for sexual and physical abuse. The church needs to look at this issue very seriously.

Even today I still feel uncomfortable about male attention. Even though I do not follow the church's restrictions on dress anymore I have found that I feel quite bare in a singlet (not to mention that blackbikini that I'm negotiating with!). I still cover up quite a bit and feel vulnerable when in male company. These are personal issues of course but I do know that the multitude of negative messages that I received about my sexuality throughout my childhood has played havoc with my mind.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Changes. They may be small but over time...

I want to live the best life that I can and I want to encourage harmony between humans and the earth that sustains us. I want to do all that I can to improve the health of the earth for the enjoyment of my children and their children...

Baby steps...


I will by fresh tomatoes instead of tinned.
I will buy organic potatoes.
Source a better brand of milk for my family.
Buy organic apples, or wash/peel them if organic is super expensive.

In my eco-friendly future:

Grow my own tomatoes.
Grow my own potatoes.
Have a cow man!
Ooh, an orchard.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By their fruit ye shall know them

Recently I have been thinking about why it is that I feel compelled to write about the mormon church. Well, at first I think I just needed to vent. Now that the dust is settling though I am beginning to see some glaring problems. In my opinion the church has harmed a lot of people since its inception in the 1830s.

I think about the women (and men) hurt by the pointless practice of polygamy. I think about the black men who were told that they were from a cursed blood line and hence could not hold the priesthood. I think about the GLBT community in California who had their rights stripped from them, thanks in part to the efforts of the mormon church. I think about all of these people and I see some real BIG problems with a church that claims to have the monopoly on truth and uses that belief to interfere in peoples lives.

I read this post by crazywomancreek at fMh recently. It is well worth a read, especially by anyone who still thinks that the mormon church is sweet and innocent.

During the time that I was struggling with my membership in the church I received a few interesting emails. Emails that encouraged me very strongly to follow a link and then vote to protect the laws that say marriage is between a man and woman only. The senders would have assumed that I would vote with them. I took great pleasure in following the links and voting the exact opposite!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A New Way

After leaving the Mormon church I must say that I felt more than a little bit lost as to all those big questions, you know... the existential crisis and all that. All of a sudden everything was called into question (including my own sanity). What does my marriage mean do me? Was it a mistake to stay out of the workforce while raising my children? Do people think that I am ridiculous? Was I in a bloody cult all this time? Am I really in a giant rat-race? Are environmentalists doomsayers? When I die am I just dead and that 's it?? Am I scared of death now? ..... and the questions go on.

Mentor said somewhere here on blackbikini that "...dealing with our mortality is one of the jobs of adulthood, and Christianity prevents people from ever mastering that task."

So the questions are a good thing then. I know that when I was teaching high school I was so happy when the students would ask questions because then I knew that they were learning (or at least open to learning). It made the day so much more interesting and I usually learned something myself from their inquisitiveness.

So where am I going with all of this?

I have heard somewhere that in order to remove something undesirable from your life that you need (or at least it helps) to replace it with something positive. Rockstar and I recently watched some Zeitgeist movies. Now, whilst I am wary of pretty much any movement or group in my fragile post cult condition; I was also very affected by what I saw. The Venus Project (check out this interesting blog for a more objective view) was talked about as a possible solution for harmonising human interests with the earths own health. There is certainly a lot to consider when looking at ideas such as these but I was motivated to make some changes of my own. I am going to use my other blog greenbikini to explore this new journey. So visit me there if you like...I would love to hear all of your suggestions, comments, ideas about the kinds of things you are doing or would like to do for our planet and our children.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do you like your witches char-grilled or soft-boiled?

I think one of the hardest parts about this process has been the unexpected personal attacks. If I had just left the church quietly ….. well, things would have been ‘easier’ for everyone… but what good is easy!. I could not do that. I had discovered something awful and I needed to speak up about it. So I have traversed this very vocal path and I have created a bit of a monster.

I have some friends who are still attending church but who remain steadfast in their friendship with me. They have told me that there is a fair amount of chatter going on at church about my blog and even about my character. One friend went as far as to say that they have been slandering me and that she is glad that we don’t live in the time of witch-trials.

This is all such a joke to me since, in my opinion, the widespread panic that has erupted came from within. I only passed on links to this blog to people who I thought would appreciate it, mostly non-Mormon friends. The Mormon friends who I sent it to were people who I thought would be interested in reading about how I was feeling and who would be able to read it objectively. Unfortunately I was wrong about a couple of my friends and they spread it like wildfire throughout our local church.

People have accused me of trying to make members hate the church. They have said that I am bitter and that I should leave the church alone. I never spread it throughout the congregation, the members managed to do that all on their own.

May I repeat an earlier statement of mine “Oh no, Maureen is being so mean to the Mormon church. Wah, wah!”

If the church were true what on earth (or the heavens) is there to fear from me! I am exercising my right to express my opinions. I feel cheated and deceived by the church. I feel that it perpetuates many harmful practices and I will continue to write about them.

I have not attacked any members. I wish that they would stop attacking me but I will continue to nurse my thick skin in anticipation of failure to treat me in a Christ-like manner. Disagree with my statements, argue with me about my opinions but please do not slander and demonize me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I think I'm numb

Or maybe I just grew an exoskeleton. The loss of friends, the mean words, the ostracism, the sneakiness, the hypocrisy... all of it, it just doesn't hurt that much any more. It's like as 'they' get madder and meaner I care less about trying to salvage friendships and realise that they were false all along. We were friends because we had to be. It was part of the 'code'.

It still hurts but I think I'm getting the hang of being that duck, you know the one with water skimming off its back.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Time to get off the grid

So Rockstar and I watched a couple of Zeitgeist movies throughout the week and we want in! Or out I suppose. We want to get out of the rat race, stop using dirty energy, stop slaving ourselves to the taxman...

We want to live like the Na'vi in Pandora. We want to support the Venus Project and do all that we can to heal out earth and pass on a greater heritage for our children. A safe and healthy earth full of promise and vitality.

I am going to use greenbikini to post about my journey towards oneness with this earth and its inhabitants.

Perth Zeitgeist Movement

Monday, March 1, 2010

I believe it is a lie

Just a quick one from me today. A few people have said to me that they thought I had left the church for reasons such as being lazy or wanting to sin e.g. drink alcohol, dress sexy and swear like a trooper. Some people have also said things that lead me to believe that I have been unclear about why I left the church.

I left because...

I believe that Joseph Smith lied about the golden plates and angels visiting him. I believe that he wrote the Book of Mormon himself (how? who knows, I am not trying to explain my reasons here I am just stating them, I will explain in the future). I believe that Joseph made up all of his 'revelations'.

He married other women without his wife's knowledge. He married women who already had husbands, he sent the husbands off on missions and then had them approve of his own marriage to their spouse (already a done deal) when they returned home. He married young girls, yes even young for the 1830s. He promised Emma (his first wife) that he would stop practicing plural marriage and then he carried on with it behind her back.

Is that enough? well there is more but I would like to get to that in due time.

I did not leave the church to be 'naughty', I left because I believe "with every fibre of my being" (a common phrase in Mormon testimony bearing) that it is all a damned lie!