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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 01:40PM

Until very recently, when I discovered I had a heart problem, I was employed as a cop. I loved the job because it gave me the unique opportunity to combine my love of helping people, with my joy of firearms and driving fast while not having to worry about traffic tickets. Admittedly, I was never what you would call a super-cop, but I showed up to work, did my job, and for better or worse had a major impact on some peoples lives, most of whom I can't remember, even though they took the time to painfully describe what they would do upon the joy of ever meeting me again, preferably when there were no witnesses, and I had left my gun behind.

I grew up being taught that the lowest deacon has more power then the president of the United States. Well, I was an Elder in the church, which in Mormon theory, meant that I had all the power in the world that there was to have. I was also a cop, which while having more power then most people, is no where near as powerful as what the president possesses, he having command of a couple thousand nuclear bombs among everything else.

I once saved a life, while acting as a police officer. As a priesthood holder, I have given many blessings, that have never once, had an impact on the common cold, little lone stopped someone from dying.

While I have never taken a life, I had the authority to carry a firearm in public, and was trusted by the state, to be able to judge in a moment, if I should pull that firearm, and take the life of another. As an elder, the church never trusted me to be alone with a female.

As a priesthood holder, if I saw someone doing something I did not like, I could dust my feet, or raise my hand to the square and rebuke them, resulting in much loud laughter and mocking. As a police officer, if I saw someone doing something I did not like, I could and have, placed them in handcuffs, and taken them to jail, or failing that issue them a citation that would require them to pay a lot of money, or else go to jail.

But on the other hand, I can't carry a tray full of stale bread, inside a Mormon church, without causing a hissy fit, so maybe a deacon is more powerful.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 01:41PM by forbiddencokedrinker.

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Posted by: peepstone ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 02:09PM

When you think about it the whole "power of the priesthood" thing is just silly!

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Posted by: The StalkerDog™ ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 02:14PM

Cops' unis are way better looking than the temple junk!

And you don't need to be "endowed" to get into the cop shop!

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Posted by: lillium ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 03:59PM

But you get better prices if you are. ;-)

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 04:43PM

The uniform reminds me of another thing. I learned the difference between respect and pity. When you are a missionary, you get pity. When you are a cop, you get respect. Neither one requires the person to actually like you.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 02:40PM

. . . I, at one time in my Mormon past, gave plenty of priesthood blessings, as well--and I don't recall any of them producing a miraculous healing effect as to the health of the person receiving "the laying-on-of hands."

As a cop, I was on-scene where, in one case, a man had drowned in his swimming pool; in another case, where a man had died of a massive heart attack; and, in a third, where a double murder/suicide had taken place where a woman killed the father of their child, then the child and then herself.

Mormon priesthood "blessings," so-called, would not have helped any of those individuals. If they had, I would have expected that an LDS priesthood holder would have been dispatched to render aid.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 04:35PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 04:46PM

I never would have pegged you as a former LEO. I don't know if you were TBM when you did your stent, or if it was after your enlightenment, but did you ever find the altitude of religious cops to be condescending?

I remember getting instruction on the emotional tole that being involved in a shooting can have on someone. (Again never have been in a shooting, but they were giving everyone the training just in case) and the instructor, who was one of our supervisors, and who as far as I know has never pulled a gun on anyone says, "now unless you have a faith system to turn to, you will never be able to deal with the pressure of post traumatic stress." I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying something.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 04:48PM

P.S.--I was a fully-sworn cop from 1997 to 2006. I left the Mormon Church in 1993.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 04:50PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 04:51PM

I agree, on the street, you back each other up. However, there are certain people you did not hang out with after shift.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 04:54PM

I had both Mormon and non-Mormon cop friends among my co-workers--and I still hang out with them.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 04:55PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 04:59PM

Good for you. I got involved with the cops towards the end of my involvement with Mormonism, and it was probably for much of the same reason. I spent my life thinking I was doing something important for my community, and it gave me the opportunity to do something that really was.

I didn't mean to imply that I didn't get along with religious cops, they just had a hard time seeing eye to eye with me, and we usually just didn't talk religion.

BTW, I was surprised after I left, how many of my co-workers were atheist. Again, we didn't regularly talk religion, but after I left the church, I had no problem telling anyone, as I was the only Mormon on the force. I would say most of the older cops were religious, while nearly everyone under thirty is not a believer. Probably two thirds for each group.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 05:06PM

The institution of the Mormon church, in my view, habitually abuses its pretend authority and, in the process, hurts the vulnerable.

Striving to be a good cop was its own reward.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 05:08PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 05:07PM

Of course I could really be evil, and ask you your opinion of the Temple Square gestapo. I know the love/hate relationship that we have with the local mall security. We need them, we want them to be able to be able to do their job right, we help them as best we can, and a lot of them are good people who do a good job, but we were constantly having to clean up after the stupid ones. Now add the "gift of the spirit," and an easily offended altitude (something you can't have as a cop) and it has to be a recipe for disaster.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 05:12PM

When I saw him at General Conference one year guarding the GAs, I left my Benson family reserved section in the Tabernacle front-rowed seating area and went up to where he was standing to say hi. He was cool and professional. When I later informed him that I had left the Mormon church, he was polite but distant.

As far as Church security on Temple Square, I did not like my observation of, or limited experience with, them. In a particular case, they were quite overbearing and unnecessarily so. For an account of that experience, see: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,470860,470860#msg-470860



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 05:50PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: helamonster ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 02:45PM

Though rather than being a cop, I was a commissioned officer in the US Army. Yes, far more REAL POWER in that than I ever had as a priesthood holder.

And let's just say I never bought into the priesthood power concept enough to *not duck* when I was being shot at...

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Posted by: The StalkerDog™ ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 03:29PM

<evil doggy grin>

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 03:40PM

I have never been in the military, but I think even the lowliest private, is entrusted with a significant amount of power, that dwarfs "the priesthood."

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Posted by: helamonster ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 03:42PM

mutli-million dollar equipment. Equipment that could level city blocks in a matter of hours.

Yeah, that's a LOT of power.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 03:43PM

When I was nineteen, the only thing I was entrusted with as an elder, was a church owned KIA. Somehow that doesn't compare to a Bradley armored fighting vehicle.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 03:42PM

It always amazed me, during a priesthood session, how you could have all that gathered power, and instead of having sparks of static electricity, or flickering lights as you tried to contain all that power in the same room, you just had a bunch of men in uncomfortable clothes, smelling of BO, because their church was too cheap to fix the ancient AC unit.

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Posted by: John Lingo ( )
Date: April 10, 2012 05:12PM

Yep, being a cop made me start questioning more than anything. Some of the things I have seen and heard from priesthood holders!!

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