Tuesday, March 24, 2015


It's said that Mormons share a table at the International Guilt Board of Directors with the Catholics and Muslims.  But I say, the Mormons have an advantage over the other two.  They create an imbalanced precipice of near narcissist self-view and abasement of ever-present guilt, and secure each member on the pointy pinnacle of this narrow ledge through psychological manipulation. 

God is omniscient and all seeing, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." (1 Peter 3:12).  The idea that you are ever being watched is fundamental to keeping you obedient in almost all punishment-based religions.  All of your life is known.  Eventually, it will be accounted in a final judgment.

Final judgment is a part of all Abrahamic faiths.  God will review all your life's actions, words and perhaps even thoughts.  Catholics believe some combination of God/Jesus and even Mary and Peter will perhaps wait for you at the pearly gates and then judge your soul for eternal reward and damnation.  Muslims have Mohammed and God judge you.

In Christianity, the idea that the 12 apostles judge with Jesus is founded in the New Testament.  
"Ye [the apostles] are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:28-30; see also Matthew 19:28.)

And reiterated in the Book of Mormon, to include the Amerindian 12 as judges over the Nephites and Lamanites: 
"Thou rememberest the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold they are they who shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel.  And these twelve ministers whom thou beholdest shall judge thy seed."  (1 Ne 12:9-10;  See also Morm. 3:18 (18–19))

And yet again in the Doctrine and Covenenats:
"...it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else." (D&C 29:12)

Each dispensation, it has been taught in LDS lessons, will have those that preside over the children of God.  Joseph Smith is the prophet of our dispensation, according to their canon:
"Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou (Joseph Smith) shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ." (D&C 21:1)

About Joseph Smith LDS prophets declared, in the 135th section of the D&C:  "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it." (verse 3)

Greater even than the 12 disciples Jesus called in Jerusalem?  Will Joseph Smith judge the latter-day saints like the apostles of previous dispensations?

Brigham Young stated: 
"Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the veil in the great work of the last days...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith." (Brigham Young, "Intelligence, etc.," (9 October 1859) Journal of Discourses 7:289-289.)

If that's not enough, Mormons have the sentiment in their cultural memes that their bishops, stake presidents and other ecclesiastic leaders will be called up to witness at the judgment bar.  Through them your secrets will be revealed, and "...whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops." (Luke 12:3).

Most Mormons believe God is merciful and will forgive their sins.  They might worry what mortals like Joseph Smith, their bishops or other will think of them, but they usually don't feel as beholden to these men as to those closest to them.

Mormon scripture takes the judgment and guilt to the next level.  In Alma 11:43, it says:
"we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt."

The Bright Recollection of all our guilt has been interpreted by many seminary, Sunday school and gospel teachers, by bishops and quorum presidents as something akin to a video playback.  A bright-lit movie, where we review our entire life before the judgment counsel and witnesses of our life.  That implies our family too.

How many Mormons have felt that someday, in the hereafter, their life's deeds will be on DVD (or YouTube) for all their friends and family to see?

The all-seeing, but merciful eye of God has nothing on the feeling your mom, sister, dad or spouse will eventually see your secrets.  God may forgive, but everyone of us have a tsk-tsking family member that will not approve and frown their resurrected face at our morally repugnant behavior during the world-audience life review.

The idea of a bright recollection of all your guilt is probably the one thing that upset your stomach and tensed your jaw in the former Mormon life than any other teaching.  This is guilt on latter-day steroids.

What a great ploy to get you to feel that your whole judgmental family will eventually see everything you have done.  God forgives, but family gossips.

When you begin doubting the LDS church teachings, the idea of your doubts being on display to family and their rejection of your thinking; their ostracization of your life steels you to the ulceration and lock-jaw of internal tension you feel.  You won't do it.  You won't leave. 

In the novel Second Anointing, a psychiatrist works with the protagonist, Porter, to understand a dynamic that is not easily seen from the entirety of one's life.  He said:

“On the one hand, as a life-long believing Mormon, you’re told from your earliest years that you are the most special spirit saved for the latter days. That you’re part of a strange, peculiar and wonderfully distinct group of people. That your world view is the only true one and that it will save the world in the end.  You receive special patriarchal blessings telling you how wonderful you are, and how uniquely blessed your life will be.  That Mormons have a special position in the world, to go out and find everyone else special.  Mormons feel empowered, even narcissistic at times, by these kind of repeated extoling.
“On the other hand, you are given guilt over the smallest things. Alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea.  No nudity, no masturbation, no petting or unmarried sex.  Avoid tattoos, body piercing, dancing too close. Don’t question your leaders. Don’t talk about sex, even within your marriage. Shun doubters, shun gays, keep secrets.
“Many truly believing Mormons teeter between these two extremes—the special feelings and the intense guilt—on edge of anxieties and depression.  Their scrupulosity creates dysfunction, but their superiority allows them to avoid complete breakdown.”

This pinnacle, along with ever present awareness of the bright recollection video-like review of our life before the less than merciful family can create generalized anxieties that salivates and wets the mouth of almost any career therapist.

Being guilted will leave you sitting all alone.