Mormon History Podcast: 002: Should I stay or Should I go?

When should you call it quits in marriage? Does it matter how long you’ve been married? What if you have kids? Where do you draw the line and should everyone draw the same line?  Today we discuss drawing lines in marriage and religion and whether it is personal or across the board.

8 thoughts on “Mormon History Podcast: 002: Should I stay or Should I go?

  1. Thanks for the interesting analogy between marriage to a spouse and marriage to a church. It took me years to figure out to leave an abusive lying addict spouse, after being advised by leaders and counselors to “stick it out, there’s hope…” Hey, I’m a guy, I should suck it up, right? Take it like a real man, or, patience and long suffering, so they said.

    Now I know where the line is between real or even exaggerated or perceived “deal breakers which aren’t.” We mix them up too often, we are so well trained from our youth.

    It can go both ways. No male nor female nor leader should get a free pass on accountability, so Christ taught, to especially hold the false teacher/savior accountable, by their fruits…

    You simply can’t save a male or female abuser or real addict of any type from themselves. They Will take you down with them, and preferably take you down before themselves so they can survive with their lies if you will let or help them, like we kinda somehow think Jesus said to do. Jesus actually did warn us to rebuke these, and those pretending to be righteous to further their nefarious motives. Rebuke – Luke 17:1-3

    I have seen so much of these real and fake deal breakers in real marriages, and often church leaders tell women (as well taught or instructed) to leave her husband over mild or invalid deal breakers which many are often taught an rewarded for exaggerating for sympathy and attention (drama = abuse too). I’ve seen leaders likewise tell men to stick in there with addict wives of various kinds and serious abusers of spouse and children (hundreds of studies show women are more abusive of dates, partners, spouses and especially children, but you will never hear any of this over OUR PC pulpits from God’s anointed leaders, nor will you ever hear it during their model (by their fruits…): “Domestic Abuse or Child Abuse Awareness Months (Oct & April), where awareness of truth is offensive, vile. See a pattern of narcissists and sociopaths in various stations of life?

    Both extremes of judging the mild to be severe and the severe to be mild are stupid, not of Jesus the source of all truth.

    So, how do we really fully and fairly relate this to the church, with no free passes, which is against Christ? Are we in an abusive relationship with a child molester and being told to stay quiet and be supportive as she constantly beats you all to a pulp, physically or mentally, drains your bank accounts to feed addictions before family needs and puts you in great debt with real addictions (not just the fake addictions so popular today which she is told to leave you for…) the “addictions” or blasphemy of questioning which women are advised to leave men over…

    Is your church a compulsive spender, liar, victim, using projection or transference against you, not accountable, supports child sex abuse through intrusive interviews…?

    Where’s the line? Christ told us to rebuke the child abusers, the scammers (including money changers…) and the like, and to be wary of leaders who are ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing (just the Catholics and all other churches, right… 2 Nephi 28:14-23 Mormon 8:32-41 Ether 8:24,25?) and… also… to forgive them if they repent. This does not mean to let them keep abusing, lying, being a destructive addict and pointing the finger back at you after saying sorry or not, each time to endlessly repeat and grow their craft which defies Christ.

    Were is the line, for the liar, for the special ones with no accountability, which you must never question (spouses and churches)? Free passes for women, for the Lord’s anointed, or are they really, thus another level to the layers of behaviors of the sociopath “spouse?”

    By their fruits? No free passes on that one.

    • Tom, Thanks for your comments. The hardest part with any organization is figuring out whether or not you can be a part of it regardless of the leader or management.

      I think we are seeing that right now with Actor’s movies or shows being canceled when something comes out from their past. Can we enjoy the show for all the other people involved and the story or must we deny the whole thing?

      The United States of America was founded by Men who didn’t always have the best intentions or past. They passed things like the Sedition Act which made it illegal to publish things against the government which were not positive therefore going against freedom of speech. Some of them purposely did things to get through slavery loop holes so that they could keep slaves.

      Even now, our current President has some questionable beliefs regarding Women.

      Can I stay a citizen knowing the past? Can I make it better from within? Does the constitution have good in it regardless of who wrote it? Can there be truth in there?

      Apple’s founder Steve Jobs was a jerk to women and denied his daughter even after a paternity test. Does that make his product bad? Can you use an Apple device but stand up against Steve and what he represented?

      Can Mormonism turn into something better from within regardless of how it started? Can something be true later if the foundation was based off of lies or misrepresentations?

      Regardless of whether or not Jesus is real or fictitious, can the supposed teachings of him be enough to maintain the community?

      I am about the fruits, but also grafting branches from a good tree into an established tree that might not be doing so well so that one day, it can also bring forth good fruit.

      It may not work, but it definitely wont work if nobody tries.

  2. I just had to listen to it again, since I’m very familiar with the abusive and addict spouse models and where the real line should and should not be.
    Question #1: What if you daughter’s husband now admits to being molested, and to also being a molester, to being the thief and gambler you already knew he was? He makes the statement that he can do what he wants and take what he wants to or from anyone he wants when he wants… He can deny all of this to the police, and will, he says. Does your daughter lack integrity if she stays with the multi-predator? And what if she also hides the fact that he could be (IS) a danger to others, and a threat to children, even his own? What if your daughter chooses to stay and help hide him from others and from the police and CPS, “for the sake of their 1 year old daughter?” What if she makes you swear to silence, to protect her and her daughter? What if you say yes, but then realize maybe you should not have? Or what if he had not admitted to all of this but you have good proof and witnesses to these problems and behaviors, but, he denies them all? The first part of this scenario was the honest predator who had a lapse of conscience and confessed it all, while the other scenario hid and denied it all, all along.
    Is one more dangerous?

    Question #2: Now, what if you caught your husband looking at adult multi-partner porn (or wife – any different?), and it is not affecting his/her work, your income and bill paying ability or your sex life, but maybe you even have a better sex life than before, well, you liked it until this? But, you know that all porn is “addict behavior” for sure, the church has told you so, esp hard core porn with multiple partners, and that it is just wrong, offensive and an insult and slap in the face to you, and grounds for divorce? Your bishop tells you to give an ultimatum and stick to it if he does not complete porn addiction treatment shaming and stay clean with constant monitoring, which he/she has now failed at least once. You have a child. Stay or leave?

    Question #3: What if you discovered your church leaders had multiple sex partners, claiming them secretly as wives to justify it, some as young as 14, some partners still married to other men, and they hid this, denied it solemnly, denounced the vile practice publicly, yet secretly practiced it anyway. And then you found they were on a roll, that many of their prophecies, policies, guidance and commandments were outright wrong, contradictory and just not of Jesus Christ at all, but, they still have authority and power to commanded you to obey them and not question them because they are anointed of God, His chosen above all, to be revered and praised above all other men? And they threaten you with “my way or the highway!” and that you and many, many others would pay dearly if any complain about these mounting bad behaviors and fraud being found out against you and others (do you leave this spouse but tell or warn nobody – you “can leave him but can Not leave him alone” to con others?). They are offended if asked for accountability or a change to more Christlike behaviors, which they are above (D&C 121…), and you ask for accountable spending habits to boot, with your participation and input included, without shaming you for not raising your hand to swear agreement to endless blank checks from you to never to be questioned. And now you find that some of those leaders have been and still are asking perverted sex questions using their authority and guardianship over the flock of God to ensure the salvation of every member of the flock as justification for this ongoing perverted sex quizzing and pumping for more and more sex details (child and adult sexual abuse and harassment)?
    And more bad, unaccountable behavior comes forward, line upon line, but, it turns out that You are the guilty one, the blaspheming spouse for even questioning those in command, those who cannot err.

    How is this last “spouse-scenario” any different than the first or second spouse scenarios? Free passes for which spouse/leaders, did Jesus command of us? Is Christ about equal accountability when we are not picking at motes? Oh, and this third “spouse” says we are constantly picking at nothing – mole hills into mountains, even smorgasbording the ever shifting Gospel of their making. The cognitive dissonance never ends as we are “the bad guys whom Christ despises,” as usual, “Christ” does not approve of us asking or expecting His anointed to show Christlike behavior and example. We are vile and of Satan for such disparaging questioning and accusations.

    Have a blessed Sunday and FHE tomorrow.
    Thanks for the thought provoking podcast.

  3. Tom, The other issue with #3 is that they will tell you that you aren’t good enough. “Where will you go”?

    All the while, expecting more perfection from you than the founding Prophets, Seers and Revelators.

    That is why (I think personally) it is better to establish your inner authority first and gain your confidence before making any decisions.

    Then, you either stay and try to graft good branches into a bad tree or leave without asking questions but rather telling them how it is.

    I was reading in my 1882 Millennial Star Book today and saw this quote which I not only found ironic but also interesting.

    “An excuse is worse than a lie- for an excuse is a lie guarded.”

    How true that is.

  4. Hi MHP,

    Thanks for the episode. I hope you continue to get the tangible and intangible benefits you desire from this act of service. Sounds like Bill is at a bit of a low point now. Hopefully the tangible benefits will come in to help him keep this thing growing.

    I appreciate the analogy you made between a person’s relationship to a spouse and their relationship to the church. I would just like to add a few points that I hoped to hear in the podcast, but did not.

    1. For some people, the answer to the question, “Should I stay or should I go?” can be significantly influenced by how they discover the dishonesty and abusive actions of the spouse. Did the spouse humbly, honestly and completely divulge the information, or did you have to go digging?

    2. The answer to the question can also be influenced by how the spouse reacts to your knowledge of the truth. For example I think the below quote from Elder Ballard in the recent face to face meeting, may be one of the most damaging in recent history:

    “Some are saying that the church has been hiding the fact that there’s more than one version of the first vision, which is just not true. The facts are we don’t study, we don’t go back and search what has been said on the subject. For example Dr. James B. Allen of the BYU in 1970, he produced an article for the church magazines explaining all about the different versions of the first vision. … It’s this idea that the church is hiding something, which we would have to say as two Apostles who have covered the world and know the history of the church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning of time, there has been no attempt on the part in anyway, that the church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody [sic]…just trust us wherever you are in the world and you share this message with anyone else that raises the question about the church not being transparent. We’re as transparent as we know how to be in telling the truth.”

    RFM has put together a very worthwhile, although at times cynical, analysis of this topic. I had never heard of the term gaslighting before, but the Salt Lake Tribune has an opinion piece about this, and I think the term in many ways accurately portrays the church’s approach to inconvenient truths that aren’t useful to the dominant narrative.

    3. Whether I should stay or go also might hinge on my expectation of future behaviors. Is it reasonable for me to expect to change my spouse into the spouse I want and thought I had? Am I going to spend my life fighting to save my spouse or the church from itself? Is that my life’s calling? I realize quitting is not often an admired trait in American or many other societies, but for some (many?) who view their situation fairly objectively, I think quitting is the correct approach. I have seen welfare cases that consume all the time, energy, money, and emotion of all that put their shoulders to that wheel and the situation remains unchanged. Every bishop has seen something like this. If you are a fish in a tree climbing contest, better to realize that today instead of 40 years from now. Sometimes Sisyphus needs to go lay on the beach for awhile.

    Just wanted to close again with my thanks and hope that you will continue to bring worthy content to the discussion.

    If you are interested, a few ideas that I haven’t seen much research on are:

    1.Early use of the sealing power to seal generations to ancestors. I saw a comment on a Jeremy Runnells facebook post that Joseph Smith and others did not seal themselves to their parents or siblings.

    2. Early use of the sealing power (particularly in the Utah era) to seal adopted sons to church leaders. My limited exposure to this topic suggests that it became an indicator of your manhood (similar to plural wives) how many sealed adopted sons you had. The practice was discontinued as these guys’ biological fathers would subsequently convert to the church and expect to seal themselves to their biological sons.

    • John,
      Thanks for listening!

      I had the intentions of saying something like “What if you caught your spouse vs your spouse sincerely confessing with humility” Does it matter?

      And yes I think it is important to know if the future is full of “I will do what I want” or “I want to change. Please help me.”

      I will look into your suggestions. I know there may have been something like #2 with John D. Lee and Brigham Young.

  5. Kudos to your perspective… keep them coming.

    I believe the problem only starts when we start demanding perfection from one another. Sure, we should strive to become better, even complete by having the love of our Savior, but perfection is unhealthy, and breeds unhealthiness.

    If we can’t forgive, then we don’t deserve to be forgiven. We strive for our ideals by avoiding deal breakers. Life hurts for everyone, so let’s just each do our part and make it easier for everyone else, and anyone causing more pain than relief needs to be shown the door.

    • David,
      Thanks for listening!

      Yes perfection in Matthew for instance in the Greek sense of the word doesn’t mean Black and White perfection as Elder Holland stated in one of his last talks.

      I brought that same thing up in EQ about 8 months ago regarding the Greek meaning of Matthew.

      If we were perfect, there wouldn’t be need for the savior or his atonement. That doesn’t give us Carte Blanche to just do whatever we want but at least it gives us hope.

      I agree with your last paragraph. Life is already hard enough without us holding onto stuff that we can let go of.

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