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Uptick in GenZ / Millennial apostasy?


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14 hours ago, rongo said:

Is anyone else noticing this?

I have NO knowledge that the Saints needed chastising.  I do not even hold this as an idea.  In 47 years of membership I have never seen the following:  Temples closed down for a time.  So many talks in General Conference about suffering and the suffering of members. General Conference with only the speakers in attendance.  Never been so cut off from other members than during Lock down.  Never seen so many members be weary and acting strangely after Church started up again.  Many who were hard working and self reliant ended up on Church welfare.  There is more but it is enough to make the point. Nothing is now anywhere near normal and it is not over yet.  I am sad that persons and or families are leaving the Gospel,  it is crazy time out there.

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2 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Miraculously -- to me -- the Restored Gospel lives up to its promises: revelations, visions, miracles, clear and verifiable answers to prayers, priesthood power, angelic ministrations, the gift of tongues, divine interventions both big and small, the sweet relief of justification coupled with the near impossibility of sanctification, and so forth. 

Good morning - Don't you think a committed Baptist or Catholic would say the same thing? My only question is what the "near impossibility of sanctification" means? You have stumped me on that phrase. I view sanctification as a necessity and as hard work, but completely possible to the committed believer. Oh, I have never experienced the gift of tongues, so I can't comment on that. I believe in everything else on your list.

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2 hours ago, poptart said:

Easy entry and exit.

Not sure at all what this means? Living as a committed Evangelical is both spiritually and intellectually challenging and stimulating. It carries with it significant responsibilities and challenges to be a vital part of the physical and visible presence of God on earth in this dispensation. Easy? I think not. Obviously, just my lived experience and conviction.

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My guess is that in religious commitment and observation overall, that one of the great challenges in a Rogerian construct is that the ideal self and the phenomenological self don't match up. The larger the gap between the two, the larger the disaffection and challenge. Typically religious belief includes a good bit of blind spotism (I just made up that word). The greater the blind spots about one's own faith, the greater the gap may be between the ideal and phenomenological self as a powerful force in abandonment. We know this happens in individuals and families; I think it does in faiths as well. Franciscan Father Richard Rohr talks about the case for "living on the edge of inside" as being the best place to see into the realities of an organization. One isn't so committed that he or she cannot see; not so disengaged that one does not see. I think he is right in that.

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1 hour ago, Kenngo1969 said:

And to the extent that anyone in the Church of Jesus Christ marginalizes you, that is inconsistent with the teachings of the Church.

I don't know about this. I would love to believe this and agree with you. When you call someone who leaves the church an apostate, isn't that the ultimate marginalization? Do the brethren discourage the use of that term that basically started this whole thread? Or am I applying a more sinister meaning to the term than is meant by LDS folk? Perhaps they are simply seekers or searchers for another way to express their spirituality? Sometimes I think I am in better shape with my LDS friends who in some ways marginalize us for never having joined, than if we had joined and left.

Edited by Navidad
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10 hours ago, Fether said:

I think this has a huge factor in it all. It isn’t the cause, and I think you make a great point about training up your child. But today we have instant access to all the arguments against the church. Dozens of Podcasts release anti and unorthodox info about the church every week. PDFs full of critical info on the church being shared in mass. Faulty whistleblowers and legal disputes being paraded around. Was this normal in the past? I have no idea.

Yep.

So don't read this board ;)

 

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I would agree with your observation that Gen Z and Millennials are leaving the church with increased frequency.  
There are many ideas around why this is occurring. Here are a few of my ideas:

1) The church has little to offer youth and young adults.  In the 70s when I grew up, we had many exciting activities that kept us engaged.  Many of those are gone today like Boy Scouts and roadshows.

2) We used to have an identity as Mormon. The anti-Mormon campaign led by President Nelson has been very disruptive to maintaining an identity for youth and young adults.  Mormon used to mean something important. Now it means a victory for Satan.

3) Social injustice is a huge motivator for Gen Z/Millennials.  They are more observant to this than any other generation. They will not associate with an organization that doesn’t treat gays, minorities, people of color, etc with perceived injustice.

4) I also believe that as the Baby Boomers pass away, a large transition out of the church by Gen X will occur.  For many, the church is considered and old person religion.

5) These groups really don’t need religion. For many past generations, church was one of the few ways that adults in particular could associate; could get their social fix.  I believe the cast majority of people go to church today not because of the truth claims of the church, but because of the ability to physically see and interact with people. To get their social fix.  Today, there are so many virtual social platforms that people don’t need to go out of their way to church to speak and meet with people.

6) These younger generations see the oldness of the church leaders and find they are so different in interests that they find them irrelevant.  They see how the church leaders create social injustices and do not want to associate with them.

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

1. What does the term mean for you? When is someone an apostate? Are there eternal consequences?

Someone who voluntarily leaves the Church, or openly attacks the Church while remaining a member (my definition). Eternal consequences for those who remain in a state of apostasy up to judgment. :) 

2 hours ago, Navidad said:

2. If someone converts from a Baptist church to the LDS church, are they an apostate?

From the Baptist perspective, I would definitely say yes. From the LDS perspective, they have seen the light. :) 

2 hours ago, Navidad said:

3. If someone converts from the LDS church to a Baptist church, are they an apostate?

From the LDS perspective, I would definitely say yes. From the Baptist perspective, they have seen the light. :) 

2 hours ago, Navidad said:

4. If someone converts from a Baptist church to a Methodist church, are they an apostate?

This is trickier. I know Baptists who would say yes, but it depends on how ecumenical within Protestantism they are. For many Protestants, most Protestant branches are fine, but JW, LDS, 7DA, and Roman Catholic are not. 

2 hours ago, Navidad said:

4. If someone loses all faith in religion and espouses no religion at all after leaving the LDS church, are they then an apostate?

Sure. They left, and became agnostic/atheistic after leaving. 

2 hours ago, Navidad said:

5. Are there certain cases where all Christians would agree that this or that person is an apostate from the Christian faith? Is there such a thing as this concept in the LDS mindset?

I don't think getting all Christians to agree on anything is realistic. 

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I don't know about this. I would love to believe this and agree with you. When you call someone who leaves the church an apostate, isn't that the ultimate marginalization?

I agree with you that we should be circumspect and use great care in the language we choose to use, and the way I see it, whether we realize it or not, all of us (or at least most all of us; there are rare exceptions, perhaps) are simply "strangers in a strange land," doing our best, as fundamentally spiritual beings who, therefore, are out of our element, to navigate this confusing morass called mortality.  In many (perhaps most) cases there's more bad even in the best of us and more good even in the worst of us than we might suspect.  All of us are "apostate" in the sense that we "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And none of us possibly can make it halfway through this life or into the next without the Savior.

That said, I think there is a difference between one who simply takes one's leave or ceases one's participation, on the one hand, and one who attempts actively to bring others with him and, from the perspective of the Church of Jesus Christ, thereby, to lead others astray.  Thus, leaving or ceasing participation is one thing; one attempting to bring others with him as he leaves is another.  Even Christ, with His message of love and concern for all, said that there would be wolves among the sheep and cautioned His Apostles, therefore, to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Do the brethren discourage the use of that term that basically started this whole thread?

While I do think that the term should be used with great care, and, certainly, should not be not overused, there are cases in which it might apply.  See also the first two paragraphs of my reply to you, above.

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Or am I applying a more sinister meaning to the term than is meant by LDS folk?

Recall Christ's stern admonition about what should happen if one should offend one of "these little ones," i.e., members of His Church.  While, generally, the Church of Jesus Christ encourages use of the KJV, in looking up that scripture, I found that the English Standard Version doesn't mince words in translation about what, precisely, Christ was saying.  It says: 

Quote

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. [Luke 17:1-2, ESV]

 

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Perhaps they are simply seekers or searchers for another way to express their spirituality? Sometimes I think I am in better shape with my LDS friends who in some ways marginalize us for never having joined, than if we had joined and left.

As I said above, "seeking" and "searching" for "another way to express [one's] spirituality" is one thing.  Seeking to lead others astray is quite another.  

As always, I wish you well, My Friend.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to think about the issues you raise and to examine my faith and my relationships with others, both within and outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in light of them.

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53 minutes ago, Calm said:

For me, an apostate is someone who was once a member and now seeks to destroy the Church, in large or small ways.  Many members appear to limit it like I do, others go more with the dictionary definition of someone who renounces the Faith. ... 

 I do not believe simple loss or change of faith merits the use of the term due to its baggage or connotations.

 

These. 

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7 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

 And to the extent that anyone in the Church of Jesus Christ marginalizes you, that is inconsistent with the teachings of the Church.

actually the church does teach it. Where is it written in any church material or spoken by any of our living prophets there is any acceptable alternative to serving a mission for a male? No where unless they are mentally or severely disabled. There is a caste system in the church whether we admit it or not. This is supported by our leaders. Get a bishop or SP to vocalize over the pulpit that missions are purely optional and go do whatever and I’ll show you a leader who will have an appointment to attend a disciplinary council shortly after doing so. 

The church has taught this is the only acceptable conduct absent an honorable release from the first presidency.  That is fine but it isn’t a sin to not go on one. 
 

A perfect example of this is that family abandoning their kid at Zion natl park or some such place because he didn’t want to go on a mission. Perfect chance for the church to speak out and say “hey let’s be more Christ like,” but no we got crickets. That’s the kind of thing they like. A bit of hazing and abuse to keep the general population scared to cross that line of “disobeying” someone and not going on a mission. 

7 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Well, as Joseph Smith told his associates, and as each of his successors very likely would admit, as well, "I never told you I was perfect."

everyone knows our prophets are not perfect. I just don’t believe God speaks to them. People are free to believe whatever but I don’t buy it.

7 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

 

I hope you'll forgive me if I'm not willing to accept, uncritically, your judgment of your family members, since they're not here to provide a different perspective or to defend themselves.  Also, with due respect, you seem to sacrifice consistency for the sake of seizing the opportunity to pass judgment: On the one hand, you say that the Church of Jesus Christ is the most important thing in the lives of your family members, yet, on the other hand, you say that you believe they would be unwilling to die for it.  If one lacks a cause for which one would be willing to die, then perhaps it is worth asking for what one is living.

everyone has something that is “the most important thing or belief” to them. Problem is when push comes to shove most fold and just take a beating either literally or metaphorically. Having spent lots of time in combat and in hundreds of violent incidents I can confidently say many people are freakin wimps and will barely defend themselves much less a third party. 
 

as for family members willing to die for it? I guess if queuing up and taking a bullet to the noggin there’s some who would willingly do so. I don’t count that as dying for a cause. It is more like giving up and letting someone have their way with you. There is only one person who should be a martyr and he died on the cross for us.
 

Taking the fight to the offender and getting killed doing so... not so much. don’t see many willing to do so cuz that is scary as hell. 

Edited by secondclasscitizen
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4 hours ago, 2BizE said:

The anti-Mormon campaign led by President Nelson has been very disruptive....

Wow!

Worth saving as an example of words totally saying the opposite of what's meant

You could get a job at CNN!

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4 hours ago, secondclasscitizen said:

actually the church does teach it. Where is it written in any church material or spoken by any of our living prophets there is any acceptable alternative to serving a mission for a male? No where unless they are mentally or severely disabled. There is a caste system in the church whether we admit it or not. This is supported by our leaders. Get a bishop or SP to vocalize over the pulpit that missions are purely optional and go do whatever and I’ll show you a leader who will have an appointment to attend a disciplinary council shortly after doing so. 

The church has taught this is the only acceptable conduct absent an honorable release from the first presidency.  That is fine but it isn’t a sin to not go on one. 
 

A perfect example of this is that family abandoning their kid at Zion natl park or some such place because he didn’t want to go on a mission. Perfect chance for the church to speak out and say “hey let’s be more Christ like,” but no we got crickets. That’s the kind of thing they like. A bit of hazing and abuse to keep the general population scared to cross that line of “disobeying” someone and not going on a mission. 

everyone knows our prophets are not perfect. I just don’t believe God speaks to them. People are free to believe whatever but I don’t buy it.

everyone has something that is “the most important thing or belief” to them. Problem is when push comes to shove most fold and just take a beating either literally or metaphorically. Having spent lots of time in combat and in hundreds of violent incidents I can confidently say many people are freakin wimps and will barely defend themselves much less a third party. 
 

as for family members willing to die for it? I guess if queuing up and taking a bullet to the noggin there’s some who would willingly do so. I don’t count that as dying for a cause. It is more like giving up and letting someone have their way with you. There is only one person who should be a martyr and he died on the cross for us.
 

Taking the fight to the offender and getting killed doing so... not so much. don’t see many willing to do so cuz that is scary as hell. 

Man, dealing with you is like trying to hug a porcupine, I swear!  And you know what?  If your family members are a bunch of self-righteous, judgmental pricks, I'm sorry.  Some people are.  Maybe a lot of people are.  But it's no better attempting to use offense, or hurt, or disagreement, or fill-in-the-blank here as fuel, constantly, as it seems that you are attempting to do.  That's simply exhausting, and, in my book, doesn't get you anywhere, and just adds more fuel to the fire because you come across as unlikeable whether you really are or not. 

So we have a self-fulfilling prophecy: Church members are judgmental (maybe they are, and yes, that's wrong).  But you, rather than letting bygones be bygones, seem determined to continue to behave in ways and to say things that you know are going to get people of a certain mindset to pass judgment on you ...  And around, and around, and around, and around it goes!  It seems that your disaffection and offense-taking is what gets you out of bed in the morning!  Sheesh!  I wish you well, but I don't see any point in trying to dialogue with you further.

Porcupine, With Quills Out:  Hug me!  Hug me! Hug meeeeeeee!!

The Rest of the World: Well, if your quills weren't out ...

Porcupine: Awwww!  How could you be so mean to me??!!!

All the best,

-Ken

 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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8 hours ago, 2BizE said:

... We used to have an identity as Mormon. The anti-Mormon campaign led by President Nelson has been very disruptive to maintaining an identity for youth and young adults.  Mormon used to mean something important. Now it means a victory for Satan. ...

 

3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Wow!

Worth saving as an example of words totally saying the opposite of what's meant

You could get a job at CNN!

For what it's worth, I think what 2BizE is referring to is President Nelson's efforts to attempt to get people to use the full name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to avoid omitting the name of Jesus Christ from the short form, Church of Jesus Christ.

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8 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I agree with you that we should be circumspect and use great care in the language we choose to use, and the way I see it, whether we realize it or not, all of us (or at least most all of us; there are rare exceptions, perhaps) are simply "strangers in a strange land," doing our best, as fundamentally spiritual beings who, therefore, are out of our element, to navigate this confusing morass called mortality.  In many (perhaps most) cases there's more bad even in the best of us and more good even in the worst of us than we might suspect.  All of us are "apostate" in the sense that we "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And none of us possibly can make it halfway through this life or into the next without the Savior.

That said, I think there is a difference between one who simply takes one's leave or ceases one's participation, on the one hand, and one who attempts actively to bring others with him and, from the perspective of the Church of Jesus Christ, thereby, to lead others astray.  Thus, leaving or ceasing participation is one thing; one attempting to bring others with him as he leaves is another.  Even Christ, with His message of love and concern for all, said that there would be wolves among the sheep and cautioned His Apostles, therefore, to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).

While I do think that the term should be used with great care, and, certainly, should not be not overused, there are cases in which it might apply.  See also the first two paragraphs of my reply to you, above.

Recall Christ's stern admonition about what should happen if one should offend one of "these little ones," i.e., members of His Church.  While, generally, the Church of Jesus Christ encourages use of the KJV, in looking up that scripture, I found that the English Standard Version doesn't mince words in translation about what, precisely, Christ was saying.  It says: 

 

As I said above, "seeking" and "searching" for "another way to express [one's] spirituality" is one thing.  Seeking to lead others astray is quite another.  

As always, I wish you well, My Friend.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to think about the issues you raise and to examine my faith and my relationships with others, both within and outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in light of them.

You are a good person. I appreciate your good spirit as well.

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5 hours ago, secondclasscitizen said:

The church has taught this is the only acceptable conduct absent an honorable release from the first presidency.  

Our stake must be doing it wrong then. Multiple very active males who chose not to serve missions. Not treated any differently to anyone else that I can see.

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

You are a good person. I appreciate your good spirit as well.

Luke 18:19. ;) :D :rofl:

But thank you.  I appreciate the sentiment. :)

Edited by Kenngo1969
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12 hours ago, Navidad said:

Don't you think a committed Baptist or Catholic would say the same thing?

I don't know for certain. I've never been a committed Baptist or Catholic. I personally know several hundred committed Catholics and a handful of committed Baptists who became committed Latter-day Saints, and they tell a quite different story, as you can imagine. I also currently have a good mate who is a deeply committed Catholic who once told me that his parish is spiritually dead and that we should come teach everyone there to be as spiritually alive as we are. I told him we could do that, but then they might not be Catholics anymore ...

But speaking personally, I freakin' love it when I meet fellow Christians who are enjoying some of the same things that I have come to experience as a Latter-day Saint. Having something in common to talk about brings us closer together and introduces an element of shared joy into our friendship that is otherwise missing. I wish this happened more often than it does, but I rejoice every time it happens!

Quote

My only question is what the "near impossibility of sanctification" means?

In my opinion, the most miraculous thing that God does is to change my stubborn, rebellious heart/nature. Without Him, it's impossible. Even with Him, it feels borderline impossible, and yet He still pulls it off. We live in a world that increasingly preaches that people can't change who they are (and even tries to legislate against the opposite), and yet Christ has changed me in essential ways. I no longer want things I used to want desperately. I now love things that previously felt like terrible burdens. Who I am has fundamentally changed. And this hasn't been a one-off, either; He keeps sanctifying me.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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12 hours ago, Navidad said:

I have a couple of questions about the meaning and use of the word "apostasy" for my LDS friends:


1. What does the term mean for you? When is someone an apostate? Are there eternal consequences?
2. If someone converts from a Baptist church to the LDS church, are they an apostate?
3. If someone converts from the LDS church to a Baptist church, are they an apostate?

4. If someone converts from a Baptist church to a Methodist church, are they an apostate?

4. If someone loses all faith in religion and espouses no religion at all after leaving the LDS church, are they then an apostate?

5. Are there certain cases where all Christians would agree that this or that person is an apostate from the Christian faith? Is there such a thing as this concept in the LDS mindset?

Thanks, I am simply trying to figure out the LDS thinking behind the use of such an inflammatory (maybe not the best word) adjective or noun.

 

These are some excellent questions Navidad. I think mormons generally use the word apostate to mean anyone who does not agree with all aspects of Mormonism or “The Brethren”.

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12 hours ago, Navidad said:

I don't know about this. I would love to believe this and agree with you. When you call someone who leaves the church an apostate, isn't that the ultimate marginalization? Do the brethren discourage the use of that term that basically started this whole thread? Or am I applying a more sinister meaning to the term than is meant by LDS folk? Perhaps they are simply seekers or searchers for another way to express their spirituality? Sometimes I think I am in better shape with my LDS friends who in some ways marginalize us for never having joined, than if we had joined and left.

No, the brethren don’t discourage the use of the word apostate. They actually encourage it and have different  meanings for it. When someone is excommunicated for being an apostate, it is being in direct disagreement with “The Brethren”.

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

 

For what it's worth, I think what 2BizE is referring to is President Nelson's efforts to attempt to get people to use the full name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to avoid omitting the name of Jesus Christ from the short form, Church of Jesus Christ.

You are correct Kenngo. I am referring to President Nelson’s campaign against the use of the word Mormon to refer to the church.  Keep in mind the previous campaign a few years prior to promote the use of the word Mormon to refer to the members of the church in the I’m a Mormon campaign.

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2 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

Our stake must be doing it wrong then. Multiple very active males who chose not to serve missions. Not treated any differently to anyone else that I can see.

They are doing it wrong. 
 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2012/01/to-the-point/why-is-there-so-much-pressure-on-young-men-to-go-on-a-mission-isnt-it-a-personal-decision?lang=eng

“If young men are not able to serve because of poor health or a disability, they are honorably excused.”

 

I guess if they are not disabled or in poor health they are “dishonorably excused?” Sounds like it. 

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3 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Man, dealing with you is like trying to hug a porcupine, I swear!  And you know what?  If your family members are a bunch of self-righteous, judgmental pricks, I'm sorry.  Some people are.  Maybe a lot of people are.  But it's no better attempting to use offense, or hurt, or disagreement, or fill-in-the-blank here as fuel, constantly, as it seems that you are attempting to do.  That's simply exhausting, and, in my book, doesn't get you anywhere, and just adds more fuel to the fire because you come across as unlikeable whether you really are or not. 

So we have a self-fulfilling prophecy: Church members are judgmental (maybe they are, and yes, that's wrong).  But you, rather than letting bygones be bygones, seem determined to continue to behave in ways and to say things that you know are going to get people of a certain mindset to pass judgment on you ...  And around, and around, and around, and around it goes!  It seems that your disaffection and offense-taking is what gets you out of bed in the morning!  Sheesh!  I wish you well, but I don't see any point in trying to dialogue with you further.

Porcupine, With Quills Out:  Hug me!  Hug me! Hug meeeeeeee!!

The Rest of the World: Well, if your quills weren't out ...

Porcupine: Awwww!  How could you be so mean to me??!!!

All the best,

-Ken

 

You didn’t even address my response prob cuz I’m right. 
 

if you are going to call my family “a bunch of self righteous, judgemental pricks” you need to make sure to include my bishop, seminary teacher and priesthood leaders. They were just as bad. 
 

tough to let bygones be bygones when it is still brought up by family. 
 

nice post by the way. If you don’t like my answers you are free to quit responding. 

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