Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Been gone too long
In one of the correspondences with my mother, before we stopped talking with each other, she mentioned that I had 'been gone too long'.
Lately those words have really been resonating with me.
Knowledge I used to have ready at a moment's notice is getting more and more difficult to recall. All the Bible and BOM scriptures that I used to be able to quote verbatim, now are faint and I would need to look them up. I won the Scripture Chase my Senior year of High School, I knew those verses like my social security number. And now I can only remember a handful, and not very well. I used to know the names of Joseph Smith's siblings, and now I can only remember Hiram. I can no longer recall exactly how BOM stories went down. Hymns I could once play on the piano, are no longer second nature.
Is this what happens when you are gone too long? I know how she meant it. She was saying that I had left the gospel, I had left the truth so long and now Satan had been invited into my life. And the Holy Ghost cannot dwell where Satan resides.
But that's not how I take it. I am not sad that I cannot recall stories from the BOM, or that I can't tell you any of the Scripture Chase Scriptures that I had used to kick every other Mormon kid's ass in the competition. I am mostly relieved. Being able to tell what is truth and what was bologna has been getting easier.
Keep in mind that it's not like the moment I became an atheist, all the bad information I had been given just left my memory. I had a big task at hand; to pick through all the lies and half truths I had been taught, to find the truth. Which can be tough. At times I wish I had a factory reset option.
My mom's words felt weird to hear at the time. I hadn't been gone all that long. And she may have spoke prematurely. I can still remember Joseph Smith's birthday, I can still recite the words to the Sacrament prayers, I can still remember the words to my favorite Hymns, though the notes on the piano escape me. I think her words are starting to apply to me more and more each day. The longer I am gone from Mormonism, the easier it is to forget the scriptures, hymns and principles I had memorized, the easier it is to forget the 7 steps to heaven and the easier it is to forget the stories in the BOM.
But I have found that certain things have become easier to remember. It's easier for me to remember how many wives Joseph Smith had, the horrific details of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the crimes Joseph Smith was arrested for as a confidence man, and exactly what Joseph Smith stole from the Freemason's rituals that he wrote into Mormon Temple rituals. It's become easier for me to remember why I left the church.
I know my mother would say that I have let go from the iron rod. I have strayed from the straight and narrow path. That I have let Satan influence me. But none of that makes sense, mostly because those statements are all based on made up tales of a confidence man. Yes, I have partaken of fruit from the tree of knowledge. Which is the worst crime in world history; that a woman partook of knowledge is the whole reason why we have original sin. And I knowingly did so. I still don't understand how can any god worth it's reputation can deem knowledge to be a sin.
I have been gone awhile now, eating up as much knowledge as I can every moment I am free and alive. Teaching my children every piece of knowledge I can get in my memory. And every day I am gone, I feel my joy grow.
I have felt the Holy Ghost, I had been moved by Him while I was religious. And I can tell you that THIS feels so much better. Being 'gone' feels awesome. Knowledge feels wonderful.