Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Morm Porn

I unexpectedly received a brown paper package in the mail on Friday. What's this? Hmmm. Mom sent it. Feels like a book. No, two books. Thin books. This isn't going to be pretty. I thumbed open the envelope and slid them out. The top book says, "Classic Best Seller" at the top. Oh, good. Some light reading for my Memorial Day vacation. My eyes slide down to the title: "The Worth of a Soul, A personal account of excommunication and conversion" by Steven A. Kramer. The second book is by the same author and is titled "Conquering Your Own Goliaths Through the Atonement of Christ".

My wife asks, "What's that?"

I reply, "Why does my mom keep sending me crap like this?"

Seriously. Why? She didn't enclose a note, so apparently she saw a book about excommunication and thought of me and felt that it was just what I needed to turn my life around and come back into God's one and only true church.

Despite what most people think of me, I try to have an open mind. I have strong opinions, but if you disagree and can articulate the reasons for your opinion and back it up with evidence and sound reasoning then I'm willing to change my mind or at least sympathize with yours. So, I've been taking little bites of "The Worth of a Soul".

My initial impression is that if the church published the moral equivalent of Penthouse, then this would be an extended "Dear Penthouse" letter. Wait. They do. It's called the Ensign.
Anyway, I think that Spencer Kimball and Boyd KKK Packer would get major wood reading this book. It just touches all of the major mormon sex, guilt, punishment, and forgiveness after extended humiliation buttons. The book as plenty of flaws in the details that reveal that it is either a faith-promoting fabrication or else a story that has been richly embellished to make a point.

So, far I'm trying to get through the story that leads to his excommunication where he comes clean on his grave sin. So far, it seems that he was guilty of the grave sin of masturbation enhanced with pornography. I don't know if he does anything else, but so far that is it. A struggle with "self-love" (at least he doesn't call it self-abuse like my bishop did when I was 14) since he was a child. He tells that he was introduced to this degrading, filthy, evil practice by an uncle who was later convicted of abusing young men in his ward. He recounts all the guilt and struggles as he became an adult and got married.

Anyway, his descriptions of guilt and resorting to religious fanaticism to soothe the guilt ring true. It is sad is that the church makes such an innocuous thing into such a problem for its members to the point where it becomes very destructive to them.

The book is short so I'll try to finish it. The only question now is how I respond to my mother. I've told her in the past not to send church material to me or else I'd respond with anti-Mormon material. I seriously don't know how to respond to this.

7 comments:

La said...

Send her anti-mormon material!!! That would be priceless.

You're sure it's from her?

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

LOL... Yea, my mother sends me mormon books every two to three months. I finally just stopped telling her to stop... it doesn't help. So does anyone need a copy of "Fire of the Covenant?" I have two.

Rebecca said...

My unsolicited advice -- send her pamphlets on how masturbation can be healthy, along with some soft-core porn for women. Okay, I guess that's not really something you'd send your mother. So go with the anti-mormon literature. Or maybe just send them back to her. Unopened (well, next time, anyway). With your satanic worship books.

Joseph's Left One said...

I'd send her Martha Beck's book, or a collection of exit stories from RfM.

Bull said...

I've sent plenty of non-Mormon material in the past. I don't think she's touched it although it was on her book shelf at Christmas so at least she didn't throw it away.

I think I'm just going to send her a short email reminding her that I don't appreciate receiving these things and the unrighteous judgment that they imply.

Anonymous said...

I would graciosly accept the "gifts" from your Mom. You will never change her mind about her beliefs.

Mom's do not live forever so why cause contention between the two of you. If she asks tell her that you have not read the books and leave it at that.
This is the way I deal with my "zealot mormon mother"
Love her anyway.
JW

Bull said...

I wound up just letting it slide, like you suggest. I noticed while I was at their apartment that some of the last batch of books I sent them still have the plastic on them.