A former friend and coworker who has long enjoyed shaming me online made a tweet about me today, declaring that he had discovered my “secret anti-Mormon website”. While he may have written said tweet with glee, excited at the possibility of showing me for my “true colors”, what he actually did was instill a grateful sense of pride in me.
Let me explain that better so no one gets the wrong idea.
As I have partly explained in other posts such as this one, leaving the church was freaking hard. It requires intense emotional strength, commitment to truth, and ultimately, a truckload full of courage. It requires humility and a willingness to be wrong that most humans are never forced to develop. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I know others who have gone though a similar experience would say the same.
One way Mormons attempt to poison the well (aka dismiss or minimize negative information about the church and its history) is by using the term “anti-Mormon”. It immediately shuts members off from certain sources or people, and allows for the perpetuation of “the bubble” and false ideas.
Now, the dictionary definition of being “anti” just means “opposed to”. So most of us are “anti” a lot of things. I, for example, am anti-Hillary Clinton. But I don’t live my life wishing all Hillary Clinton supporters, or even Hillary herself, would be miserable. It’s the exact opposite—I just want everyone to be happy. I may not agree with Hillary’s political views, and I don’t think they are what America needs, but I’m not “out to get” any of her supporters. I just don’t think she should be the President of the United States, therefore I don’t believe people should vote for her.
If a Hillary Clinton supporter ever posted, say, an inaccurate idea on social media, I may choose to refute them. This would not be a personal attack. It’s just a matter of having beliefs and believing in them enough to stand up for them. It’s also about expecting the best in people, namely, believing that they are willing and open to always expanding their knowledge and understanding, and not assuming that they’re close-minded and too easily-offended to be disagreed with.
I feel the same way about Mormonism, the obvious difference being that I have actually been a Mormon, while I have never been a Hillary Clinton supporter. (Super pro-her pantsuits, though. Keep killing it, Chills.) One other difference is that I rarely refute people on their social media posts about the church, because I’m aware of how defensive it makes them. So I stick to my own platforms, specifically, this site. (Also, I’m not knowledgable enough about Hillary Clinton to start an anti-Hillary website, nor am I emotionally invested enough in the cause to care to.)
I do not believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at all what it claims, and I am confident that is a very provable belief. Any Mormon has the ability to research any claim I or anyone else ever makes about the church, and determine for him/herself if they think it’s true. (Shoutout to the CES Letter. 10/10. Would recommend.)
Because I am anti-people-believing-lies, I contribute to this, an “anti-Mormon” website. I want people to learn the truth about the LDS church for three main reasons:
As much as it might be super comforting for Mormons to believe that anyone saying negative things about the church is just an anti-Mormon Satan worshipper who hates their mom and can’t stop lying, it’s simply not true. “Anti”, when attached to “-Mormon” has an extremely evil stigma attached to it in the LDS church, and it serves to poison the well effectively. But ask yourself a few questions, Mormons:
I hope you have enough hope in humanity to realize that the answer to both of those questions is “no”.
To my Mormon friends—yes, I am an anti-Mormon. I am “anti” a lot of things in the world, as I’m sure you are too. But please understand that “anti” does not equate to “seeks for everyone who is pro-that to be unhappy”. That is absolutely not the case. It is the complete opposite. I care about honesty, I care about happiness, and I care about kindness, and I do not believe the LDS church, ultimately, is conducive to those things.
I am proud to be anti-Mormon because I am proud to no longer support the moral relativism of a self-proclaimed prophet marrying 14-year-old girls. I am proud that I no longer justify racism, sexism, gender inequality, and judgement of others because they don’t follow the ideas of an extremely niche worldview. I am proud to have used, and continue using the brain I’ve been blessed with to learn—not just in education, but in the areas of life that matter the most. I am proud that I have the courage to stand up for what I believe in, even when it’s hard, and when people judge me and hate me for it. I am proud to be anti-Mormon because my conscience is clear, my heart is open, and I am committed to truth.
Author’s after note: Some people have made the very valid point that saying “anti-Mormon” doesn’t translate similarly to “anti-certain political party”, because people take it more personally. Let me make it perfectly clear that my idea of the term “anti-Mormon” does NOT mean “anti-MormonS”. I used the term “anti-Mormon” in this post because that’s the label Mormons give to people who say negative things about the church and its history.
I think Mormons are great people and I love (most of) them.