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Mari Murnigham


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http://www.outsports...finding-herself

I am not posting this because I in anyway support homosexual behavior. In fact, the issue I take with the article is in no way related to the theme of the article. She writes thusly...

I am related to something like 12 prophets of our church including Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. I even have an old polygamy family photo hanging on my wall. Needless to say, when you grow up reading the Book of Mormon and it is filled with your relatives, you figure out quickly that it is important to fit in and do as you should.

Say WHAT?

If she doesn't even know what the basic story of the Book of Mormon is- what else went over her head?

or

If she is lying about the Book of Mormon to gain sympathy or moral authority- what else would she be willing the lie about? What can we trust in this article? She quotes a Temple President making a pretty wild claim and her story about her ecclesiastical endorsement interview for Ricks seems highly irregular/unlikely.

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http://www.outsports...finding-herself

I am not posting this because I in anyway support homosexual behavior. In fact, the issue I take with the article is in no way related to the theme of the article. She writes thusly...

Say WHAT?

If she doesn't even know what the basic story of the Book of Mormon is- what else went over her head?

or

If she is lying about the Book of Mormon to gain sympathy or moral authority- what else would she be willing the lie about? What can we trust in this article? She quotes a Temple President making a pretty wild claim and her story about her ecclesiastical endorsement interview for Ricks seems highly irregular/unlikely.

It seems to me like she's probably mixing up the Book of Mormon with the Doctrine and Covenants. She also seems to be downplaying her experience as an athlete at Ricks, where she was honored as a NJCAA All-American. Ricks' (BYU-Idaho's) Honor Code is actually stricter than BYU's. I have a tough time believing she never went to Church for a year and nothing happened. This is a school that will kick you out for going camping with coeds on weekends (even if you sleep in separate tents), but doesn't seem to have a problem when you take your significant other home for the weekend to see your parents (and you sleep under the same roof).

I think her comments ought to be understood in light of the following:

http://www.sethpayne.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/narratives.pdf

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It seems to me like she's probably mixing up the Book of Mormon with the Doctrine and Covenants. She also seems to be downplaying her experience as an athlete at Ricks, where she was honored as a NJCAA All-American. Ricks' (BYU-Idaho's) Honor Code is actually stricter than BYU's. I have a tough time believing she never went to Church for a year and nothing happened. This is a school that will kick you out for going camping with coeds on weekends (even if you sleep in separate tents), but doesn't seem to have a problem when you take your significant other home for the weekend to see your parents (and you sleep under the same roof).

I think her comments ought to be understood in light of the following:

http://www.sethpayne.../narratives.pdf

Thank you for the article. I am finding more and more that I don't fit into the profile of your typical ex-LDS. But since the typical is what people mostly see, I get treated as such. This article helps me understand better the mindset of the LDS people I have discussions with.

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So, how, exactly did you find this?diablo2.gif

Her story is very strange. First, she says she tried to get out of attending Ricks, implying she was forced to go. (Who forced her and how did they pull that off?) Then a few paragraphs down, she says she fought to stay in.

Second, is what she was asked to do any worse than what Abraham did, or Joseph Smith, or Jesus, himself?

Third, it saddens me that people are creeped out by ritual, aka" poetry in the world of acts" (Ross Nichols) or seem to think that it violates the Bible or the Book of Mormon. If I was disappointed by my first endowment, it was because of how little ritual was there. (I've since cone to understand the purpose of ritual a little better.)

Fourth, what is so hypocritical about adopting a code of conduct based on your beliefs and values and living by it?

I will leave the other problems with her story to those brighter than me to flesh out. It just seems to me that she decided to do what she wanted and is grasping at any straw to justify it.

Yours under the disturbed oaks,

Nathair /|\

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So, how, exactly did you find this?diablo2.gif

Her story is very strange. First, she says she tried to get out of attending Ricks, implying she was forced to go. (Who forced her and how did they pull that off?) Then a few paragraphs down, she says she fought to stay in.

Second, is what she was asked to do any worse than what Abraham did, or Joseph Smith, or Jesus, himself?

Third, it saddens me that people are creeped out by ritual, aka" poetry in the world of acts" (Ross Nichols) or seem to think that it violates the Bible or the Book of Mormon. If I was disappointed by my first endowment, it was because of how little ritual was there. (I've since cone to understand the purpose of ritual a little better.)

Fourth, what is so hypocritical about adopting a code of conduct based on your beliefs and values and living by it?

I will leave the other problems with her story to those brighter than me to flesh out. It just seems to me that she decided to do what she wanted and is grasping at any straw to justify it.

Yours under the disturbed oaks,

Nathair /|\

I visit www.cultnews.net to read the daily "news" about "cults". I'm kind of an "alternative religions" junky.

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Third, it saddens me that people are creeped out by ritual, aka" poetry in the world of acts" (Ross Nichols) or seem to think that it violates the Bible or the Book of Mormon. If I was disappointed by my first endowment, it was because of how little ritual was there. (I've since cone to understand the purpose of ritual a little better.)

Wow, you're an odd duck! My experience, such as it is, parallels yours in that most people I run into (a very few who have expressed it) who had an issue with the endowment were, as you say, "creeped out by ritual" in that there was more than they were comfortable with. You're the first I've run into who thought there wasn't enough. I guess I thought it was just right.

And now, leaving Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

:rolleyes:

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I thought the strangest part of the article was when, after establishing her credentials as a growing up in the Church- with a nice appeal to authority as a relative of 12 prophets - she claimed that she didn't know that Rick's College was affiliated with the Church.

o I did what any good budding lesbian would do -- I transferred to Ricks College, now BYU-Idaho. When I found out it was a LDS school, I tried desperately to get out of going.
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I thought the strangest part of the article was when, after establishing her credentials as a growing up in the Church- with a nice appeal to authority as a relative of 12 prophets - she claimed that she didn't know that Rick's College was affiliated with the Church.

I'm pretty sure that you had to have ecclesiastical endorsement to even apply to Ricks, didn't you?

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I'm pretty sure that you had to have ecclesiastical endorsement to even apply to Ricks, didn't you?

You did. She claims, in the article, that she flat told the Bishop she would not adhere to the honor code, and the Bishop just said "Going will do you good." and signed off on it anyways. I think the woman has quite an imaginative memory.

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Thanks for posting the article. I enjoyed it for the entertainment value. When she "found out Ricks College [is] a Mormon school, [she] tried desperately to get out of going"? No doubt one of the more glamorous jobs of the black-clad, jack-booted thugs of the "High Risk Mission" (HRM) Squad (similar to a police SWAT team, and part of the Strengthening Church Members Committee) is to recruit students to Ricks/BYU-Idaho at gunpoint. They're like the Mafia: They might make you an offer you can't refuse! :D

The current Prophet, President Thomas Monson, was a family friend and gave me a personal blessing in his office to heal me and give me comfort. I remember thinking that he'd touch me and know what I felt in my heart and he'd be so repulsed that he’d demand me to leave his office. But he had no idea and I must admit it was disappointing.

So ... if President Monson's keen powers of discernment fail to warn him that he's about to touch someone who's "unclean," it's proof he's not a prophet; but if those powers do warn him he has touched someone who's unclean and he reacts accordingly by engaging in the required shunning and ritual purification of himself and of his office, it permanently shatters the loving facade he had worked so hard to erect and maintain. Danged if he does, danged if he don't; that's neat.

(Speaking of conditions allegedly placed upon her to merit her continued admission) I had to read my scriptures daily and follow the Honor Code.

So ... we not only got Jack-Booted, Black-Clad Thugs, we got Spies, too?! Kewel! B:) Where do I sign up for that calling?

Like everything else in my life, I dove in wholeheartedly and sought out the only return missionary [sic] I knew to assist me in my scripture studies, our assistant coach.

She could only find one "return missionary" at Ricks? Is she blind and deaf? For some reason, I've been under the impression that you can't swing a dead cat at a Church-owned school without hitting a "return missionary." (Maybe she was looking for a lesbian "return missionary"? I admit, those are probably much rarer).

(Speaking of the endowment) This is where you perform sacred covenants and receive those special underwear garments.

Uuuy! Hearing some people call them "garmies" gags me bad enough; Hearing them referred to as "special underwear garments" is probably the only thing that's worse, other than having antis call them "magic underwear." She's a gazillion-generation member, and yet the way she talks about the Church and its institutions is so stilted.

The inside of the temple is a very beautiful, inspiring and spiritual place. To me it was like I’d stepped into the deepest, darkest, most foul and evil hole you can imagine.

Nope, no contradictions there! Yeesh, leave whether I agree or disagree with her, or whether I find her story credible, completely alone for a sec; this isn't even good writing: it's as if she's saying she herself has two diametrically opposed feelings about the temple. I doubt that's what she means to say. Here, let me help you out, Ms. Murnigham:

"Some Mormons (or many Mormons) find the inside of the temple to be a very beautiful, inspiring, and spiritual place; but to me, it was like I’d stepped into the deepest, darkest, most foul and evil hole you can imagine." I think that's closer to what you meant to say.

Uuuy. "Wasn't what I expected"? "More ritualistic than most other things we do in the Church"? Those I can buy, but "deepest, darkest, most foul and evil hole" one can imagine? To say you weren't very well prepared to go, if that was your experience, would be a gross understatement.

Though everything looked as it should on the outside, what I felt while in the temple in the inside was indescribably bad. I was having a near panic attack the entire time. I wanted to scream, tear the temple clothes from my body and never enter a temple again in my life.

The social pressure inherent in the ordinances to follow through is very high, and perhaps their administration needs to be changed to reflect that, but it's not as if one isn't given the opportunity to withdraw if one desires to do so. (But seeing her rip her clothes off and run, naked and screaming, from the temple, would make a much better spectacle, and I'm sure that's exactly what she's aiming for).

Off I went to BYU with my husband. I was given a basketball scholarship and played volleyball and basketball in college once again. I kept myself very busy when I was a student-athlete at BYU. I not only played two sports but I also volunteered for every sort of committee through the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. I also spoke at countless firesides for the youth of the church. I was awarded the prestigious Floyd Johnson Service Award. Everything in my life was a constant reminder of the lie I was telling myself.

Oh, I'm sure she was telling herself a lie, but it had nothing to do with her sexuality: it had more to do with her belief in, and commitment to, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It became even harder when I started to notice that there were other student-athletes like me. Most were in denial as well and struggling to live the life we were taught we should live. I became aware of a handful of student-athletes who were secretly participating in homosexual relationships. Though I tried to help them according to our religious beliefs, I was secretly very envious of them and wanted desperately to do as they were doing. It was a constant reminder of that which I longed for with every fiber of my being but denied myself so I could live up to the expectations of the church, society and the marriage I was in.

Well, given those who've put forward the allegation that sexual Honor Code violations have been rampant at BYU at various times, it's a relief to know that not only heterosexuals have been having all the "fun"! ;)

After graduating from BYU with a degree in Sociology in 2000 I dove into coaching. I coached as many teams as I could, I attended many local coaching clinics and spent a lot of time at coaching seminars and clinics with USA Volleyball. I found coaching still gave me that athletic avenue where I could still be a part of sports and live in the sanctuary that sports had always been to me. It was through my participation in sports that I had defined myself and used as my identity and in coaching I could maintain that. I excelled and I truly loved coaching.

If coaching had been as big a part of her identity as she says it was, I wonder if she would be nearly so consumed about her sexuality as a part of her identity?

More to come, I'm sure; stay tuned.

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Nope, no contradictions there! Yeesh, leave whether I agree or disagree with her, or whether I find her story credible, completely alone for a sec; this isn't even good writing: it's as if she's saying she herself has two diametrically opposed feelings about the temple. I doubt that's what she means to say. Here, let me help you out, Ms. Murnigham:

"Some Mormons (or many Mormons) find the inside of the temple to be a very beautiful, inspiring, and spiritual place; but to me, it was like I’d stepped into the deepest, darkest, most foul and evil hole you can imagine." I think that's closer to what you meant to say.

Uuuy. "Wasn't what I expected"? "More ritualistic than most other things we do in the Church"? Those I can buy, but "deepest, darkest, most foul and evil hole" one can imagine? To say you weren't very well prepared to go, if that was your experience, would be a gross understatement.

Maybe we should just take her word for it-maybe she's the kind of person who honestly finds beautiful, inspiring, and spiritual places foul and evil.

Or, maybe she's providing an absolutely textbook perfect example of how to put darkness for light and light for darkness.

:pardon:;)

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Wow, you're an odd duck! My experience, such as it is, parallels yours in that most people I run into (a very few who have expressed it) who had an issue with the endowment were, as you say, "creeped out by ritual" in that there was more than they were comfortable with. You're the first I've run into who thought there wasn't enough. I guess I thought it was just right.

And now, leaving Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

:rolleyes:

I never did claim to be anything other than strange, but I was at least hoping for some incense or something. Of course, I was wrong to feel that way. I have since learned (in a small way) the power of even the simplest rituals when performed with repetition and mindfulness.

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Wow, you're an odd duck! My experience, such as it is, parallels yours in that most people I run into (a very few who have expressed it) who had an issue with the endowment were, as you say, "creeped out by ritual" in that there was more than they were comfortable with. You're the first I've run into who thought there wasn't enough. I guess I thought it was just right.

And now, leaving Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

:rolleyes:

I love ritual, I wanted more as well, but the more often I go, the more it satisfies me as it is.

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I haven't read the article, not particularly interested in it, but just wanted to say that perhaps the 'forcing' of going to Ricks was because of financial issues, if her parents were helping her out they refused to pay for a different school or something else. The article may make this possibility not a possibility, but I thought I'd bring it up. In many ways I felt I was 'forced' to go to BYU as it was the only school of its caliber that my parents could afford (I wanted to go to Stanford but was too shy to even attempt to get a scholarship to make up the difference). OTOH, I could have chosen to go the local community college for much less or try to get a scholarship or work longer to get enough money to support myself but if I wanted an excellent education 'now' this was the best school available for me at the time, intellectually I understood it was purely my choice, emotionally I felt somewhat forced.

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Say WHAT?

If she doesn't even know what the basic story of the Book of Mormon is- what else went over her head?

or

If she is lying about the Book of Mormon to gain sympathy or moral authority- what else would she be willing the lie about? What can we trust in this article? She quotes a Temple President making a pretty wild claim and her story about her ecclesiastical endorsement interview for Ricks seems highly irregular/unlikely.

First of all, her last name is Burningham, not Murningham.

Secondly, I think it's important to keep in mind that this is the story of a woman who had some major misgivings about the church from a fairly young age, and probably didn't have complete exposure to the usual church education process some of us received.

Most of the athlete-types who were in my YW group were not as active in the church as the rest of us-- even if their families were. They were frequently at games, tournaments, camps, practices, etc. Even if they identified as Mormons personally, they frequently didn't know as much as the rest of us because most of their time and effort was focused on sports. These girls missed out on camp, EFY, youth conferences, seminary, etc.

As an example, one of my childhood friends, "E", hasn't been to church since graduating from college. Technically, she was active until then-- she met a minimal attendance standard. She has always proudly identified as a Mormon, since her family is and she was raised in the church. But, she really has no idea what many of the central tenets of Mormonism are. She probably never did have a rigorous understanding, but ten years of not paying attention to Mormonism beyond family culture will make a person forget lots of stuff that seems obvious.

To illustrate, her sister told me that E recently had the missionaries over and was really surprised to find out about the Doctrine & Covenants (like, totally didn't know it existed), and couldn't remember anything that was in the Book of Mormon. The sister (also a friend of mine) was completely puzzled that they could be raised in the same family and yet have such a radically-differing level of exposure to church doctrine and history. They are children of a bishop and a CES instructor and all of her siblings remain completely active and committed to the church.

One the other hand, I have a friend in Utah who was raised in the church, was married in the temple, and is raising her family in the gospel. She professes a profound and complete belief in the gospel and is totally active (attends all meetings, performs callings, etc.). But, if you're talking to her, she seems to have a very shallow, spotty, and in many cases inaccurate, grasp of church history and doctrine-- and I mean fundamentally. I'm not sure why that is, but it is, and she has been that way since we became friends as teenagers. It used to confuse me, but now I just accept her belief as sincere and leave it at that.

So it really is possible that a person could be raised in the church, identify as a Mormon, know a thing or two about it, and yet make honest mistakes in speaking about Mormonism, the content of the Book of Mormon, etc.-- and even not realize that Ricks was a church school before applying. Burningham probably didn't read the scriptures obsessively as a teenager, may not have attended seminary, didn't serve a mission, etc. Plus, if she was a nationally-ranked player as a youth, who was recruited to play at UCLA, it's perfectly believable that Ricks wasn't exactly on her radar.

Also, within the introductory portion of the the Book of Mormon, there is mention of important figures in early church history (testimony of the three and eight witnesses, for example). So a charitable interpretation might assume that she was referring to that, or that she had mistaken the content of the D&C for the Book of Mormon.

Further, I think the point she was trying to make still works, factual errors notwithstanding-- she was describing how commitment to the gospel fit into her family and how important it is to them, and how she felt pressure to conform from a young age.

I also do not find the story about ecclesiastical endorsement incredible-- I have a friend who attended BYU despite some "worthiness issues". Her bishop looked at his endorsement as a vote of confidence-- that given a good environment, she'd be able to turn her life around and recommit herself to church principles. She did.

Nor do I find her account of the discussion with the temple president to be unbelievable. Anecdotally, I know many people who found the temple experience to be alarming initially. Some of them came to appreciate it with repeated attendance. Some never got comfortable. I never got comfortable, and I was nothing if not sincere and dedicated. At first I thought I was alone and that there was something seriously wrong with me-- after all, I had prepared my whole life for that experience. I finally opened up to my mother, who told me that my reaction wasn't uncommon. I assume she wasn't pulling that out of thin air, she has worked in temple (and she's my mother, so I trust her word). On her advice, I attended the temple weekly for years until just before I left the church. I eventually just got more comfortable being very uncomfortable but temple attendance (in my case) was never anything more than me hoping things would get better if I kept at it.

Anyway, all that to say, I think it's uncharitable to question the credibility of her story because she doesn't have all her facts on Mormonism straight-- she clearly had a different experience as a member that most of us, but that doesn't make her a liar.

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Secondly, I think it's important to keep in mind that this is the story of a woman who had some major misgivings about the church from a fairly young age, and probably didn't have complete exposure to the usual church education process some of us received.

Then she shouldn't present herself as some sort of authority based on lineage. Which is exactly what she did.

Most of the athlete-types who were in my YW group were not as active in the church as the rest of us-- even if their families were. They were frequently at games, tournaments, camps, practices, etc. Even if they identified as Mormons personally, they frequently didn't know as much as the rest of us because most of their time and effort was focused on sports. These girls missed out on camp, EFY, youth conferences, seminary, etc.

Funny, all the athletes in our ward are active. And those young men would know more than the author did, and they are just kids in their teens. One would think the woman would at least do some research before tossing out her story with the morning wash. The girls especially did not miss out of EFY, youth conference, seminary and so on, in fact the school is very accomodating to such things and no, we aren't in Utah, we live in California.

One the other hand, I have a friend in Utah who was raised in the church, was married in the temple, and is raising her family in the gospel. She professes a profound and complete belief in the gospel and is totally active (attends all meetings, performs callings, etc.). But, if you're talking to her, she seems to have a very shallow, spotty, and in many cases inaccurate, grasp of church history and doctrine-- and I mean fundamentally. I'm not sure why that is, but it is, and she has been that way since we became friends as teenagers. It used to confuse me, but now I just accept her belief as sincere and leave it at that.

I am not sure at the accuracy of your statement. Given the number of Sunday School classes, Relief Society and so on, I find it hard to believe that active members have a spotty knowledge of the gospel. Research by non members of our church have shown the exact opposite of your anecdotal position. In fact except for Jews, Latter-Day Saints are the most informed of their position. It appears your point does not stand up to the statistical facts at hand.

If you want an interesting view that goes counter to yours of how Mormons are taught and what they believe you may wish to check out Youth Ministry . Mormons are some of the most well informed people of their religion. You have to try really hard NOT to be informed if you go to church at all. Nothing to do with athleticism just personal choice.

Again, if that is your choice, don't try telling us you are some kind of authority on being a Latter-Day Saint, when in fact the author appears to know little to nothing about it.

I also do not find the story about ecclesiastical endorsement incredible-- I have a friend who attended BYU despite some "worthiness issues". Her bishop looked at his endorsement as a vote of confidence-- that given a good environment, she'd be able to turn her life around and recommit herself to church principles. She did.

No, not just the bishop, but also the seminary teacher. As a seminary teacher I also had to sign off on documents for students going to BYU.

Further, I think the point she was trying to make still works, factual errors notwithstanding-- she was describing how commitment to the gospel fit into her family and how important it is to them, and how she felt pressure to conform from a young age.

And yet that so called commitment did not include seminary, or church on Sunday? Sunday School perhaps? YMYW? None of this was part of that "commitment"? Is anyone else suprised at that inconsistency?

In the end, given the many inconsistencies, it is logical to question the veracity of the author. Her lack of knowledge regarding the most basic tenets of our faith, her inability of knowing that Ricks was a church college is almost dumbfounded given that even I as a convert in the far reaches and back hills of Virginia knew that (perhaps she is Nepalese). No, her article is rife with the typical call to authority based on lineage but with no real knowledge of the religion she professes to judge. She has no credibility along those lines and is simply looking for an outside source to justify her own decisions.

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I am rather sad how she views President Monson... I suspect that even if she had a bad heart, he would treat her nicely... he's the sorta guy to treat everyone nicely. I am sad she views him this way =/.

And she doesn't realize... that it takes a will to make things work. She doesn't have that will... it makes me sad =(. If she doesn't have the will to follow Father, it cannot happen. =/.

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I am not sure at the accuracy of your statement. Given the number of Sunday School classes, Relief Society and so on, I find it hard to believe that active members have a spotty knowledge of the gospel.

My sister attended church and seminary as much as I did and while I was considered an expert of the scriptures by the time I was 17 (at least in the stories having even read the OT on my own), she didn't even know who David and Goliath was. I think it might have something to do with brain chemistry and how we differently process our experiences. But after hearing it from her, knowing just how much church she really did attend and how much such things were discussed in our home, I don't discount anyone who says they don't know such and such. OTOH, since I also know she was taught specifically that story, if she were to say "I was never taught it" I would correct her. So I am much more skeptical when it comes to claims of never being taught something if I can find it in manuals.

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Then she shouldn't present herself as some sort of authority based on lineage. Which is exactly what she did.

I didn't read that into it at all. She didn't claim any authoritative knowledge, she was using her family's history in the church to explain why the church was so important in her life and to describe how it motivated her struggle. Her words:

"Needless to say, when you grow up reading the Book of Mormon and it is filled with your relatives, you figure out quickly that it is important to fit in and do as you should."

I'm not sure how you get "I'm an authority on Mormonism" out of this. Is she correct? Not strictly speaking, but the inaccuracy of this point doesn't undermine her claim that the church was important to HER FAMILY. I think you are reading more into her essay than is warranted. Additionally, I grew up reading books that I can't currently recall the content of (with any real accuracy anyway), so I'm willing to offer the benefit of the doubt. Also, if her goal was to intentionally deceive-- don't you think she would have done some homework first? Whatever error is in her statement, I'm willing to believe it was an honest mistake.

Funny, all the athletes in our ward are active. And those young men would know more than the author did, and they are just kids in their teens. One would think the woman would at least do some research before tossing out her story with the morning wash. The girls especially did not miss out of EFY, youth conference, seminary and so on, in fact the school is very accomodating to such things and no, we aren't in Utah, we live in California.

That's nice and I have no problem believing it. However, I am personally acquainted with three women I grew up with who were raised in active LDS families. They played sports at a high level (two went on to successful NCAA division I women's basketball careers, the other is my cousin who is a former nationally-ranked gymnast who is now a coach) and they did miss out on a lot of church activities. Conflicts between church activities and sports activities were a constant source of concern for their parents and youth leaders. In my cousin's case, meets were almost always on Sundays. When I was Laurel class president, it was something we discussed regularly-- we wanted to figure out ways to include them more. I personally was bumped down to my JV high school softball team because I could not make it to Sunday practices or games. So I know that it is certainly not unprecedented that sports activities and church activities conflict and that dedicated athletes sometimes choose sports over church activities.

Are you telling me that based on your experience it is implausible that an athlete who is raised in the church might have significant time-conflicts that led him or her to be less-involved with church education opportunities? Because that's the substance of my claim, and claiming that all the athletes in your ward are active does nothing to counter that.

Either way, this is a distraction from the point-- which is that HER FAMILYwas firmly entrenched in church belief and activity. Her knowledge of the gospel doesn't bear on that.

I am not sure at the accuracy of your statement. Given the number of Sunday School classes, Relief Society and so on, I find it hard to believe that active members have a spotty knowledge of the gospel. Research by non members of our church have shown the exact opposite of your anecdotal position. In fact except for Jews, Latter-Day Saints are the most informed of their position. It appears your point does not stand up to the statistical facts at hand.

If you want an interesting view that goes counter to yours of how Mormons are taught and what they believe you may wish to check out Youth Ministry . Mormons are some of the most well informed people of their religion. You have to try really hard NOT to be informed if you go to church at all. Nothing to do with athleticism just personal choice.

So you are claiming that because Mormons in general are well-informed about their faith, that each and every Mormon must also be well-informed? If so, that is called the fallacy of division. I'll leave you to look it up on your own. I've met many Mormons in my lifetime and they do not all have completely uniform beliefs or levels of commitment to the church, or even the same ideas about what complete commitment entails. My second friend (the active Mormon) is puzzling to me-- I don't understand how a person can be so active and understand so little, or how someone can profess such a strong belief in something they seemingly know so little about, but she is what she is.

Do you really not know any active, believing members who don't seem to know much about the church? Because I've met people like that in just about every Sunday School class I've ever attended. Maybe I've just been to all the wrong wards?

Again, if that is your choice, don't try telling us you are some kind of authority on being a Latter-Day Saint, when in fact the author appears to know little to nothing about it.

Again, I saw no appeal to her authority evident in the essay. She was describing her family's historical commitment to the church in order to explain her struggle coming to terms with her sexuality in that context.

No, not just the bishop, but also the seminary teacher. As a seminary teacher I also had to sign off on documents for students going to BYU.

Well, Mari Burningham definitely went to Ricks, so whatever needed to happen in order for her to get there happened. My friend definitely went to BYU, so same deal.

And yet that so called commitment did not include seminary, or church on Sunday? Sunday School perhaps? YMYW? None of this was part of that "commitment"? Is anyone else suprised at that inconsistency?

I said nothing about HER level of commitment. I said:

Further, I think the point she was trying to make still works, factual errors notwithstanding-- she was describing how commitment to the gospel fit into her family and how important it is to them, and how she felt pressure to conform from a young age.

In the end, given the many inconsistencies, it is logical to question the veracity of the author. Her lack of knowledge regarding the most basic tenets of our faith, her inability of knowing that Ricks was a church college is almost dumbfounded given that even I as a convert in the far reaches and back hills of Virginia knew that (perhaps she is Nepalese). No, her article is rife with the typical call to authority based on lineage but with no real knowledge of the religion she professes to judge. She has no credibility along those lines and is simply looking for an outside source to justify her own decisions.

1.) I think I've made a pretty good case that it's completely plausible that a person could be raised in the church but not have a very comprehensive grasp of what it teaches.

2.) I think I've made a pretty good case that the accuracy of her scriptural/doctrinal understanding doesn't mean her credibility is shot-- especially since the only use she made of those concepts was to point out her family's historical commitment to the church.

3.) Can you point out a quote where she makes an appeal to authority about anything other than her own personal experience (and really she is the world's foremost authority on that)? This seems to really bother you, but I've reread the essay and I can't find anywhere where she seems to be claiming that she is an authority on Mormonism. The focus of the essay is her experience of dealing with her sexuality within the context of a family of believing Mormons. She's very clear that she wasn't always exemplifying everything that the church teaches.

4.) Are you so sure that your experience as a Mormon is so paradigmatic, and your understanding of the gospel so standard that you can dismiss the claims of anyone whose experience and understanding seems to differ from yours? I would never claim that about myself or assume that about anyone. There's a lot of diversity of thought, experience, and belief even among faithful members of the church. The youth in your ward are not necessarily just like the youth everywhere. Your friends are not just like my friends.

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My sister attended church and seminary as much as I did and while I was considered an expert of the scriptures by the time I was 17 (at least in the stories having even read the OT on my own), she didn't even know who David and Goliath was. I think it might have something to do with brain chemistry and how we differently process our experiences. But after hearing it from her, knowing just how much church she really did attend and how much such things were discussed in our home, I don't discount anyone who says they don't know such and such. OTOH, since I also know she was taught specifically that story, if she were to say "I was never taught it" I would correct her. So I am much more skeptical when it comes to claims of never being taught something if I can find it in manuals.

I don't buy into the brain chemistry question since is implies an inferiority to the gospel. Was she perhaps deficient in other ways? I do discount it since my travels show the issue of "brain chemistry" to be more of a question of mental ability than it does some strange method by which the gospel cannot penetrate and other things can. Mentally handicapped I can accept, otherwise no.

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Jeff K., on 11 April 2011 - 01:02 PM, said:

Then she shouldn't present herself as some sort of authority based on lineage. Which is exactly what she did.

I didn't read that into it at all. She didn't claim any authoritative knowledge, she was using her family's history in the church to explain why the church was so important in her life and to describe how it motivated her struggle. Her words:

Quote

"Needless to say, when you grow up reading the Book of Mormon and it is filled with your relatives, you figure out quickly that it is important to fit in and do as you should."

I'm not sure how you get "I'm an authority on Mormonism" out of this. Is she correct? Not strictly speaking, but the inaccuracy of this point doesn't undermine her claim that the church was important to HER FAMILY. I think you are reading more into her essay than is warranted. Additionally, I grew up reading books that I can't currently recall the content of (with any real accuracy anyway), so I'm willing to offer the benefit of the doubt. Also, if her goal was to intentionally deceive-- don't you think she would have done some homework first? Whatever error is in her statement, I'm willing to believe it was an honest mistake.

I suggest you read the entire article.

I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints or Mormon to most people. I am related to something like 12 prophets of our church including Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. I even have an old polygamy family photo hanging on my wall. Needless to say, when you grow up reading the Book of Mormon and it is filled with your relatives, you figure out quickly that it is important to fit in and do as you should.

Nope, no appeal to authority there. :rolleyes:

Jeff K., on 11 April 2011 - 01:02 PM, said:

Funny, all the athletes in our ward are active. And those young men would know more than the author did, and they are just kids in their teens. One would think the woman would at least do some research before tossing out her story with the morning wash. The girls especially did not miss out of EFY, youth conference, seminary and so on, in fact the school is very accomodating to such things and no, we aren't in Utah, we live in California.

That's nice and I have no problem believing it. However, I am personally acquainted with three women I grew up with who were raised in active LDS families. They played sports at a high level (two went on to successful NCAA division I women's basketball careers, the other is my cousin who is a former nationally-ranked gymnast who is now a coach) and they did miss out on a lot of church activities. Conflicts between church activities and sports activities were a constant source of concern for their parents and youth leaders. In my cousin's case, meets were almost always on Sundays. When I was Laurel class president, it was something we discussed regularly-- we wanted to figure out ways to include them more. I personally was bumped down to my JV high school softball team because I could not make it to Sunday practices or games. So I know that it is certainly not unprecedented that sports activities and church activities conflict and that dedicated athletes sometimes choose sports over church activities.

Are you telling me that based on your experience it is implausible that an athlete who is raised in the church might have significant time-conflicts that led him or her to be less-involved with church education opportunities? Because that's the substance of my claim, and claiming that all the athletes in your ward are active does nothing to counter that.

Either way, this is a distraction from the point-- which is that HER FAMILYwas firmly entrenched in church belief and activity. Her knowledge of the gospel doesn't bear on that.

Your personal anecdotes are hardly enough to make her inaccuracies (multiple inaccuracies) more credible. If her family were so committed then the time would have been made or found. Those who are active in sports including my own children also have time for seminary, YMYW and all the other activities. The schedule can be tight, but not to miss out in entire years of church activity. Yes, it is very implausible that such would happen.

And no, it isn't a distraction, it goes to credibility of the author. To state her family was "firmly entrenched in church belief" but then not firmly entrenched enough for her to attend the basic seminary, YMYW, sunday school, smells pretty fishy to me. It is a contradiction of environment versus her claims.

Jeff K., on 11 April 2011 - 01:02 PM, said:

And yet that so called commitment did not include seminary, or church on Sunday? Sunday School perhaps? YMYW? None of this was part of that "commitment"? Is anyone else suprised at that inconsistency?

I said nothing about HER level of commitment. I said:

Quote

Further, I think the point she was trying to make still works, factual errors notwithstanding-- she was describing how commitment to the gospel fit into her family and how important it is to them, and how she felt pressure to conform from a young age.

I was speaking of the commitment of her family. She makes the base claim her family was committted. Apparently not nearly so much, which is probably the reason she wasn't.

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Jeff K., on 11 April 2011 - 01:02 PM, said:

In the end, given the many inconsistencies, it is logical to question the veracity of the author. Her lack of knowledge regarding the most basic tenets of our faith, her inability of knowing that Ricks was a church college is almost dumbfounded given that even I as a convert in the far reaches and back hills of Virginia knew that (perhaps she is Nepalese). No, her article is rife with the typical call to authority based on lineage but with no real knowledge of the religion she professes to judge. She has no credibility along those lines and is simply looking for an outside source to justify her own decisions.

1.) I think I've made a pretty good case that it's completely plausible that a person could be raised in the church but not have a very comprehensive grasp of what it teaches.

2.) I think I've made a pretty good case that the accuracy of her scriptural/doctrinal understanding doesn't mean her credibility is shot-- especially since the only use she made of those concepts was to point out her family's historical commitment to the church.

3.) Can you point out a quote where she makes an appeal to authority about anything other than her own personal experience (and really she is the world's foremost authority on that)? This seems to really bother you, but I've reread the essay and I can't find anywhere where she seems to be claiming that she is an authority on Mormonism. The focus of the essay is her experience of dealing with her sexuality within the context of a family of believing Mormons. She's very clear that she wasn't always exemplifying everything that the church teaches.

4.) Are you so sure that your experience as a Mormon is so paradigmatic, and your understanding of the gospel so standard that you can dismiss the claims of anyone whose experience and understanding seems to differ from yours? I would never claim that about myself or assume that about anyone. There's a lot of diversity of thought, experience, and belief even among faithful members of the church. The youth in your ward are not necessarily just like the youth everywhere. Your friends are not just like my friends.

Not really. You overlooked the basic appeal to authority. The fact she claimed at one time to be active (ie fit in) and then doesn't know the basics reflects a question of her credibilitiy. One is forced to wonder if she ever really knew the gospel, knew what it was to be a Mormon, and if her family were so committed, how is it she never really had the ability to know learn the basics. Seems the family was less committed than she appears to claim she is, and her committment certainly never existed.

And yes, I am very sure of my experience as a Mormon and a convert that when I see a number of claims made, under false appeal to authority, with a casual dismissal of doctrine that is in effect incorrect and inaccurate. My druthers tell me she was never really active, never really tried to fit in, and is really just another crass ex Mormon who wants some publicity and puts herself on the cross for some lesbian cause or another. That is why I dismiss the author.

Frankly someone who decides to go on a lesbian foray while still in high school makes me wonder what kind of "fitting in" she was trying to do? The other woman was older, one wonders how much older and if some coach had abused a level of trust... But that is a matter she assiduously avoided bringing up.

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