From: Gwen Todd
To: Conrad Knudson Oct-20-93 09:15:00
Subject: Mormons are Christian
David Rice waxed eloquent to Conrad Knudson about Mormons are Christian
CK> Have you ever been to Church with a Mormon? Have you read
CK> the Book of Mormon all the way through? If not, do these
CK> things and then get back to me.
Darling, I *was* a Mormon. I was baptised in the Parkersburg Ward of the
West Virginia Stake on January 28, 1978. I received my endowments at the
Washingtion DC Temple in June of 1986. I was excommunicated in December
of 1988 for being pregnant with the baby of a High Priest. He was not
excommunicated because (in the words of the Bishop) "his sin was not
obvious" as I was the one pregnant.
CK> Steve or whoever does not need to defend all Mormons nor
CK> should he try. There will always be people who will try to
CK> tear down any religion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-
CK> day Saints teaches its members to be loving parents, good
CK> children, good citizens [...]
What did not punishing Stuart (the High Priest) do? It let him have the
guts to come back two years later and, with the help of his wife, steal my
baby. They didn't even punish him then. He still holds his membership.
And my baby. During the whole mess when I was pregnant I was harassed by
the Bishop. I could have not been excommmunicated by signing papers
giving the baby to the church at birth. The Bishop actually came to my
home and threatened me with the loss of all my children if I did not
comply "with the will of God". When I still refused, he called Social
Services and reported me as an unfit mother. Social Services was
horrified when they came to my house and found me in premature labor (at
six and half months) with bronchial pneumonia and dehydration. They did
put my kids in a foster home, but only so I could get healthy enough to
have a healthy baby. Later I agreed to come here to Colorado with some
Mormon friends. They brought two of my kids with them. I brought the
other on the bus. When I got here they told me I was depressed and needed
to check into a mental hospital. They took all the money I had brought to
get an apartment and spent (although they did buy clothes for two of my
kids) it. When they had me vulnerable they told me they wanted custody of
my kids until I got my life together and the Bishop here supported them.
He said that I was to give them custody and go back to North Carolina
until I had gotten my life together. I went to Social Services and
threatened violence to someone if they didn't go and get my
kids for me. They did. Seems the "good" Mormons in question had a record
of child abuse in another state.
Now, on one hand, you can believe that I was mentally unstable and the
Mormons were correct in what they did. On the other, you can know that
within a month I had earned enough money to get an apartment and my kids
with me. That a few short months later I met my new husband who is a
Software Engineer with MCI and who has degrees in Math, Computer, Literature,
and a PhD in Psychology. He was also born in Boston from an unbroken line
of very wealthy Scotsmen. People of his breeding and education do not
marry mentally ill folks....especially not welfare moms.
So where does that leave your "teaches members to be loving parents, good
children, good citizens". Several of the people involved in this entire
fiasco did more than behave unethically....they broke the law. They lied.
They tried to destroy my family on the word of adulterers and child
abusers because I was poor and single. I have seen "good Mormons" do all
kinds of stuff and get away with it. Like the Bishop's counselor who was a
police captain and was seducing single sisters and brutalizing suspects.
Or the Bishops counselor who was abusing his kids. Or how about the Bishop
who attended temple regularly for ten years....the whole while he was
abusing his position by raping the boys in the Aaronic Priesthood.
I have no doubt there is good about the Mormon Church. Or I wouldn't have
stuck it out so long. And there is alot to be said for it having lots of
rules to keep people in line. That is why I had joined it. I needed
someone to tell me what to do since my own upbringing (which included alot
of abuse) did not give me a clue as to what was acceptable. And when I
think of Deena and Jim (one's that wanted my kids) living only by the
Wiccan Rede....I shudder. She could twist Mormon law around to hurt
people and get what she wanted. She would have no qualms about justifying
that she was doing stuff to help others under our law. And there is
alot to be said for being able to go anywhere in the world and find a
branch or ward to shelter in. Still, the price for membership and
acceptance is too great. As a poem I learned in Relief Society said "I
have to live with myself and so, I want to be someone that I'd like to
know"....now I am. No more kissing bishops feet for me, boy.
... I love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.