Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another NorCal Ex-Mormon Testimony Meeting

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: We would again be remiss if  . . .

My dear friends from the Abbottsville Fourth Ward,

Just because we're ex-Mormons doesn't mean we don't have testimonies. After all, it takes a village/ward to raise an ex-Mormon. In that spirit, we gather every first Sunday to express our gratitude to the people and circumstances that helped us see the light. 

This month our thanks went out to:

  1. The San Francisco Ferry Building and its myriad venues for breaking the fast, the Sabbath, and the Word of Wisdom.
  2. The historical problem that Mormon leaders have keeping their stories straight -- from Joseph Smith and his multiple versions of the First Vision, to Paul Dunn and his slew of bogus faith-promoting stories.
  3.  The historical problem we had keeping our own stories straight. -- Or, how thankful we are that we no longer have to find ways to say we "know the church is true" without really saying it. It used to be: "I know... that god lives." or "I have a strong ... testimony of ... the gospel." Now it's just: "It's a load of crap." 
  4. Well-meaning TBM moms. Like the one who can't stop sending her son pro-Mormon emails that argue against his point of view. Or another who likes to slip in an invitation to church just as her son and DIL are hurrying out the door. (Hoping that in the rush of the moment they'll accept.)
  5. The nincompoops at BYU who brought a world class Rodin exhibit to the campus, then hid most of the sculpture in the basement.
  6. The nincompoops in the COB who decided to "glam up" the sister missionaries by finally letting them "wear colors" and go without pantyhose. (Now that pantyhose are coming back into style.)
  7. # 10 cans of freeze dried potato flakes.
  8. The bargains at the bar ware sale at Sur la Table that helped keep the children amused during the meeting.
Way more educational than the "Testimony Glove!"
In addition to extolling the joys of not living the gospel, we also addressed the following weighty points of doctrine:

How will rank and file church members react if the Prophet decides to reverse the church's stand on gay marriage? Will they be angry that God has once again changed his mind? Or will they be relieved that they can finally be on the right side of the issue?
--We decided it would probably be a toss-up between the two.

Who's the bigger asshole? Packer or Bednar?
--Another toss-up.

But, after extended discussion, we were inconclusive on the question of how, if the two were separated, the left and right brain would respond individually when asked, "Do you believe in God?"
--No, we were not stoned.

We closed with a discussion of these upcoming events:

A boozy and/or highly caffeinated General Conference pot luck.

A litany of ex-Mormon holiday pot lucks.

A freeze-dried food pot luck.

A clandestine infiltration of the church vault that will require each of us to drop inside on a wire whilst deftly dodging the errant motion sensors. More details to come.

If we have offended any of you -- or have forgotten to thank someone, kindly share your testimony in the comment field. Also any spy ware and technical expertise will be appreciated.


  1. I've got a swell pocketknife that might be good for spying and stuff.

  2. Goldarn -- awesome! Especially one of those knives that has all the do-hickeys on it, like a can opener and a toothpick.

  3. I love these reminders about how many blessings I have. And I would also like to share my testimony that it *is* just a load of crap.

    Now I'm all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves ...

    Oh, and thank you to the God of Flattering and Comfortable Underwear! She rocks my world.

  4. CD, thank heavens we finally have testimonies -- and normal underwear...

  5. wow, we really end up talking about quite a few off the wall things, don't we?! we sound kinda crazy, but we really did hit on all those points!


  6. A freeze dried food potluck? I hope there are freeze-dried strawberries -- they're really good.

  7. @Sarah, the beauty is we don't have to follow the manual!

    Ahab, yeah, I'm wondering how the freeze dried experiment will turn out. Mormon survivalist retailers claim that the freeze dried meals can last in your pantry for 20 years. (But would you really want to "survive" on them?)

  8. Does the freeze dried pot luck include the recipes? I sure hope so....

  9. @Heather. I will definitely forward them along -- you'll be needing them for your Tuesday luncheons! :)

  10. i have a recipe book in a box somewhere of recipes using your year's supply of dried and canned foods! i must find it! i hope i still have it...

  11. @Sarah, great! It will be indispensable for our next potluck. That being said, I have my old temple clothes in a box somewhere too. Still haven't found them.

  12. Great post - and great list!! #2 is actually my #1... and the rest of the list is very clever and funny (as usual). So glad we can laugh at all things Mormon now (because sadly once upon a time, it was extemely serious to me).

    As always, you definitely put a unique spin on things, Donna. Love reading your blog!!

  13. Diane, thanks again for your kind words! Also, for dropping by my blog. I agree about #2. Learning about all the versions of the 1st vision was devastating to me. I'm not sure I'm quite up to flat out laughing about it yet.

  14. Yes, the First Vision and its many versions... the truth behind the supposed "martyrdom" of Joseph Smith... the truth behind Polygamy, and the fact that Polyandry was also practiced (which totally flabbergasted me since I neverever heard anything about it before leaving TSCC)... and so much more. Nothing about the Mormon Church is true. Nothing. Mormonism is about as far from the truth as you can get. But at least I found that out before I spent my entire life in it. For that I can be very grateful.

  15. BTW, what is the name of your other blog? I keep meaning to visit it, and every time I think about it, I can't remembers its web address.

  16. Diane, it's white and delightsome. There's a link in the top of my sidebar, or you can copy and past this: Jennifer (the Cognitive Dissenter) just put up a post this morning. Pretty funny.

    I know what you mean. I was shocked by so many things I didn't know about the church until after I left. The Mountain Meadows Massacre was a big one for me too.