Book of Mordor
Date: October 12, 2017 08:37PM
…and I don't particularly like calamari.
Even though I've been on this board for a few years, I've never disclosed whether or not I've resigned. [drum roll] Well, I haven't, simply because IMO the church isn't worth even that minimal degree of attention. The locals (L.A. suburb) have been fairly good about leaving me alone, limiting their feeble attempts to the annual ward Smithmas message and a missionary drop-by every two years or so.
Lately, however, the situation has changed. Maybe they're getting pressure from the COB, or activity levels have been so low that they're panicking. Whatever the reason, they've been pushing harder of late. They must be desperate if I'm considered a reactivation target. For now, I'm content to toy with them like the mice they are.
It started last December when I was emailed by the poor sap who'd been assigned as my HT, evidently to get his monthly numbers in. This was the first time anyone from church had ever emailed me; I wasn't previously aware that they had my address on file, and so this represented a sudden new level of intrusion (Oh fetch! Fetch fetch fetchity fetch!).
"My name is [Voluntold] and I'm in the [Your 'Burb] ward. I'm a [working schlub] living out here with my family in [Adjoining 'Burb]. I'm also your home teacher along with [Meek Sidekick].
"Are you still living in [Your 'Burb]? If so, are you cool with visits from us? We'd like to come and meet you and see how things are going for you.
"Hope the holidays are going well.
This was my response:
"That's not a good idea, [Voluntold]. My position has not changed during the past, oh, ten years at least. It really shouldn't be a secret by now.
"I know where the building is. Obviously, if I had any desire to attend, I would. Should I ever want contact of any kind, I will be the one to initiate it. Further (because this is often done under the pretext of being 'in the neighborhood'), I strongly advise against any unannounced visits; those are always unwelcome, will be considered an imposition, and I can guarantee that they will not go well.
"Discussing me at ward council or PEC or EQ is a total waste of everyone's time. If you're smart, you'll all spare yourselves the trouble. You've wisely left me alone for the last few years, and that is truly the best course to follow.
"[Book of Mordor]"
To which he answered:
"No worries. Thanks for the response."
I made my position clear, again; cautioned them against random drop-ins; informed them of the smart thing to do (everyone wants to be smart, right?); and praised them for having taken a wise course of (in)action and encouraged them to continue. Based on past performance, I was confident that there would be no further problems. And I was right – for nearly eight months.
Then August hit. I read that there were several Ensign articles dealing with reactivation, so I assume this is the current big thing from on high. Presumably there have also been internal church messages, because out of nowhere I received an email from the stake president. Yep, looks like the ward kicked it upstairs.
Now, a few things about the SP. He's literally the only person I know in the entire stake. He used to be the bishop of the ward I reside in, and to his credit he gave me a very sympathetic ear when I truly needed it, at a time when he had no idea who I was. He's got no problem being on a first-name basis, at least with me. He's genuinely a good guy; his wife was in my old ward and remembered me as a teenager, and so I'm not about to go chew on him.
"I just wanted to say hi. I haven't seen you for a while but just thought of you
"Hope all is well.
"Have a Fabulous week.
Like I said, I'm not going to breathe fire, but the timing is (shall we say) suspect. How to react? This was my answer:
"Never mind that. I want to know why Jim Hamula was exed."
It's probably fair to say he wasn't expecting that. But I think it did hurt his feelings somewhat, because he posted this in reply:
"You can access information about his excommunication via the internet. There are several news articles which include the church's official statement.
"As you may know. All disciplinary counsels are private and confidential as to specifics. However, with a High Profile Leader, the Church will make a public Statement.
"That is all the information we have
"I just wanted to say hi as a friend. I wish you well.
Again, I thought that was the end of it. And it was, up until six days ago, when I got an email from the EQ:
"Just a few announcements for tomorrow, October 7:
"10am-noon: D.I. bin is at the [Your 'Burb] Ward Building parking lot now. [Nephi Noballz] will be available to help load items. If anyone is available to serve next Saturday during the same time let us know.
"7pm: [Hapless Kid] has chosen to be baptized at the [Podunk] Ward Building. Baptisms are a great way to feel the spirit, as you are reminded of your covenants. It would be great if we could support him by attending this big event in his life.
"[Your 'Burb] Ward
"(If you feel you've received this message by error, or no longer wish to receive emails from the Elders Quorum Presidency, please let us know)."
They've signed me up for the EQ guilt letter? Starting to get irritated now… never asked for this or agreed to it. Time to be more aggressive. I take them up on their offer. My answer:
"Yeah, take me off all the lists, NOW. If I wanted to receive these, I would have asked for them, as I keep telling you people.
"I strongly, STRONGLY recommend you observe this warning, as it will be the only one. You are seriously overstepping your boundaries, and I am beginning to get annoyed.
"[Book of Mordor]
"P.S. – In reality, 8-year-old children don't 'choose' things like baptism. They're not old enough to make an informed decision. Their parents make the decision for them. You should know that."
I warned them, I really did. Pushing back on the baptism thing should be a hint, right? Normal people would pay attention. But these aren't normal people. They used to be so quiet and unobtrusive, and now… Yesterday this shows up in my inbox:
"With the change of presidency and different callings shifting every couple of weeks, our system to report on home teaching is a bit inconsistent. So please just reply to this email. Reply to just this email though so we don't blow up anyone's inbox.
"Please let me know what home teaching you were able to get done the past couple of months.
Okay, that does it. Home teaching reports?!? Are you f***ing kidding me? Now I'm PISSED. I gave them express instructions to drop me, and they just blew it off. Game on, b****es. Time to drop a bomb on the EQ. I can do that because these two emails were sent not only to me, but also to about 75 others. That's right, the brilliant EQ has placed the email addresses of 75 ward Melky Priesthood holders at my apostate fingertips. All I have to do is hit Reply All – and I do:
"Hey everyone! Disaffected permanent inactive here. Isn't it weird how the church thinks it can stalk and harass people back into activity? See, you can leave the church, but the church can't leave YOU alone – the exact opposite of the narrative peddled by Salt Lake. Go figure.
"To those of you who home teach, I feel bad for you, I really do. As you know all too well, home teaching is a brutal waste of time and effort. It takes you away from more important things, such as spending quality time with your own families. I haven't home taught for many, many years, and I don't ever intend to again. In fact, rather than do so (extends right thumb at a 90° angle)…, I would suffer (raises right hand with extended thumb to just below left ear)… my life (quickly draws thumb across throat, left to right)… to be taken (returns hand down to right side).
"In case that reference is lost on anyone, it's a recitation of the penalty associated with the first token of the Aaronic Priesthood in the temple endowment ceremony. That penalty was removed by the church in 1990, along with the other two penalties and the Five Points of Fellowship at the veil. So much for the unchanging, eternal nature of the temple.
"And should you make the mistake of believing I'm not telling the truth, here's a 1-minute video clip of none other than Jeff Holland admitting that there 'used to' be temple penalties – after first trying to mislead his interviewer about them:
"Thanks for watching!
"[Book of Mordor]
"(Side note to EQP: I gave fair warning not to continue with these emails, which you arrogantly chose to ignore. This is what happens. Maybe now you'll listen for a change.)"
I fully expect a s***storm of outrage from the TBMs, the EQP, maybe even the bishop. My answer will be "Tell someone who cares." Since none of them can do anything, I wouldn't be surprised to hear back from the SP as well. I will return and report. I do intend to resign in the event the SP attempts to convene a court, however.