One time, I felt the same energy in the presence of Bill Clinton (in a public arena). Another time it came at me like a dam burst, emanating from a man who had molested a girl years ago, but was still a treat to children. He was in the middle of long dialog about his current health problems. It was bizarre beyond description.
FYI, I’ve found no evidence that this energy comes from the adversary, or is even malevolent. I really have no clue what it is. A few people can release it like a flood. But it originates from people, not God. That rules out the Holy Ghost. It is nothing like a witness or prompting from the Spirit.
Pentecostal flavored worship services are a natural environment for this energy. Being in a room full of people who can only leak a bit of it, one is still awash in it. And once immersed, you become the message; whatever that message may be.
Paid clergy target Latter Day Saints because we are a threat to them, on several different levels. One issue is that the fullness of the Gospel makes us more mature, spiritually, while the rest of the Protestant world is trapped in perpetual adolescence. Anyone who has raised an adolescent knows how confrontational, rebellious and all knowing they can be.
We are also free of the doctrinal shackles, necessary to hold one to the belief in the triune God. The truth of the separateness of Father and Son pecks at them, just below their awareness. Since the triune belief is a core one, they experience it at every spiritual level.
The result is a spiritual “Fight or Flight” response that manifests itself as a profound animosity to the true Gospel and those who hold to it. The anti-LDS machine and it’s twisted, inconsistent teachings are the logical end to men in deep denial of their spiritual crises.
This crises driven tension demands an outlet and a building full of people high on charismatic energy and ready to receive any message as God’s, is the fully perfect receptacle. Thus the machine grows, a legion at a time.
The early end of this relationship is classic cult-like (Think Jonestown) in it’s structure. However, the back end is not. People who are healthy enough to be at odds with an adversarial doctrine eventually leave on their own for other churches. Those who stay, though, become more entrenched. They are trapped in amber by their need for the charisma energy and their investment in this doctrine.
Recovering Klansmen can tell you that hatred is a drug, as powerful as pornography or gambling. Here, hatred is tempered to disdain and animosity, where it becomes more socially acceptable. Without the stigma of overt destructive behavior, the hook is embedded even deeper. It’s similar to why we have more drunks than heroin addicts.
Remember that the people who attack us are caught in a trap that is nearly custom fit for them. They were lured by a sirens song and are now unwitting pawns, set about the business of someone else’s revenge. Many of them are experiencing the same hell that their clergy are going through as truth battles with belief, all just beyond their understanding.
I hope this helps.
Do these “Evangelical Types” who engage the incidents that have been discussed have any clue how they come across to any honest and fair person? I’m honestly curious.]]>
I think the ladder comment was extremely witty. I have found that it is very disorienting for an anti-Mormon to be confronted with the fact they they are being extremely judgemental. Your friend was probably more embarrassed than angry once you pointed out that HE had decided where you stand in heaven.]]>
Liberalville is a small town where, if you stand in the right spot, you can spit into three different states. We’re a crossroads kind of place that brings outsiders in, and allows the occasional born-and-raised redneck to escape. These are the factions that classify us all; the Liberalville lower income that have been here for at least 2 generations, and the rich yuppies that come here in swarms to escape the larger cities that are less than 3 hours away in every direction.
The locals are Catholics, and Christians of every variety. A 10 minute drive across the Liberalville town limites will take you past 6 churches total; Methodist, Episcopalian, Catholic, 2 Baptist, and Presbyterian. We’re a God fearin’ place, and we treat our people right, so long as we see you in our pews on Sunday morning. And all I can say is, “Lord be with you if you’re Mormon too.” If you look for the the Liberalvill ward, you won’t find it. Anyone LDS in Liberalville must either cross the state line or go two towns over to the nearest branch. That, if nothing else, should illustrate to you what being LDS in Liberalville is like.
I’ve heard “the magic underwear” comment from public school teachers, peers, and even my friends. The Christians are convinced you’re going to Hell in a minivan, the Catholics are looking for your horns, and the intellectuals are convinced you’re a polygamist. In a high school of about 1000 students, 6 of which are LDS, you hear and see things every day that are not Christian by any stretch of the imagination; and from the kids that tell you you’re going to Hell. These are the self-righteous brats that are the oracles of a self-fulfilling prophecy. They make your life the Hell they think you deserve. The jokes, the derogatory questions, the isolation, the filthy language, and any other iniquity they can think to create in front of you. And do they care? Nope.
But watch your step. If you’re involved in a fight (even if you didn’t start it) you are thrown out of public school, no questions asked. Your only option then are the private schools. There are only 3 in the area; the Baptist private school, the Catholic school, and *gulps* Tome. The Baptist school and the Catholic schools are bad enough; your teachers and fellow students follow you around trying to convert you. You either learn how to shut them up or ignore them. But Tome is the punishment of which we do not speak. It has only happened to 2 or 3 of the Young Women in my branch, but 2 or 3 was enough.
Apathy is the only thing that saves you. Most days, people are too unconcerned to remind you that Dante’s Inferno doesn’t have a punishment cruel enough for you. But I guess the full moon kindles something deep and menacing in these people, even in the people that don’t belong to a specific religion. They get it into their minds that they NEED to convert you to their way of thinking, and they become relentless. I guess to them, it’s either convert you or *gasp* be converted. And with a zeal that only religion can create, they try to “instill” some sense into you. It only lasts for a day or two, but its enough to chase anyone into BYU.
I’ve been told that Utah Mormon is a whole new level of weird. But I’d like to hear of any place in Utah that tops Liberalville.]]>
I had an evangelical boss and good friend who told me the devil had gotten hold of me when I converted to LDS. He told me about this speaker who had come to their church to teach about the evils of Mormonism, and gave me twisted versions of our doctrines that he had learned. He later told me I should be looking for another job, so I just put in my notice right then. His bosses got really upset about it and asked me to stay but I quickly found another job and decided it was best to leave anyway for a number of reasons.
A couple of colleagues were laughing between themselves about how scary those Mormons are in the cubicle next door, in my current job. I popped my head in and said in a friendly way that I was LDS and not to worry, I would try not to scare them. I just wanted them to know so they wouldn’t further embarrass themselves before they found out. Our company has zero tolerance for religious or any other prejudice and real respect for diversity.
My parents freaked when I joined the church and told me they decided between them that I had just turned off my brain. They treated me like I was clinically insane for a while. They’re reconciled now. Mom even gave money to the LDS humanitarian fund after the tsunami.
An evangelical lady who was feeding my cats while I was out of town warned me that she had seen the LDS missionaries coming to visit my house and that I should be careful not to listen to them. When I told her I was LDS, she quit working for me, and brought me a bunch of anti-Mormon tracts to try to save me. She meant well, and was following her church leaders.
One former LDS coworker was trying to show me the light about his post-Mormon beliefs. He was quite nice about it, though. No longer Mormon but still a proselytizer. :)
So I’ve seen prejudice but even here where evangelicals are taught in their churches that Mormons are evil, prejudice is surprisingly rare.
I don’t try to keep quiet about my faith at all. If it comes up I tell people all about it. Mostly people are polite or even curious.]]>