You Can Make Fun Of Me For Being A Mormon If You Want…

Over the last few years I’ve been making an effort to share my testimony of the gospel online. I never could have imagined the types of things people would say about me just for doing so. I mean…I grew up in California in a place where there weren’t a ton of Mormons around. Most of my friends weren’t members of the Church…so I’ve been made fun of in the past. None of it was ever hostile. Just friends doing what friends do to any Mormon that is outnumbered 20 to 1 in a baseball dugout. It’s all good. 🙂

But as I’ve published a few blogs over the last couple years now, I’ve been dumbfounded by the number of people who have relentlessly made fun of me and my testimony in the most callous ways. It was hard at first to read the comments and messages, but in time, it taught me a huge lesson. So I want to tell anyone that has made fun of me for “staying in Mormonism” a couple things so that you will know what’s in my heart regarding the Church and it’s validity.

the mormon

I want you to know that I’m just a normal guy that wants to do the right thing in life. I’m constantly and honestly trying to learn, research, and grow. I’m not being “willfully blind” to the truth and thereby abiding in a lie because I have nothing better to do. I have no interest in living a lie or dedicating my life to a fraud. I have no desire to get up at 4:30 am to teach a seminary class or to work an early morning temple shift if everything I believe about the restoration is made up. I have no desire to give up 10 percent of my income for nothing and no desire to give up my Sundays for no good reason. I have nothing to gain temporally by staying in the church.

When I left on my mission, I also had nothing temporal to gain by leaving. I was already 21 years old, a full scholarship to play baseball in Hawaii, interest from a couple major league baseball scouts, a fiancee, lots of friends, surfboards, and my parents never pressured me. No one came up to me while I was 21 and in college and said “hey…I’m gonna bring you in on this fraud, and I want you to give up everything you’re doing to go around and lie to people…and oh by the way, you’ll get nothing for it in return.” Do you realize how fast my 21 year old self would have told the dude to “get lost” had that been the case?

trimble greg

My point is that there is absolutely no good or logical reason why I would leave on a mission and continue as a member of this church unless I honestly believed it was true and good.

So when someone writes to me (which is quite often) and tells me that they know, that I know, that I am lying and purposely trying to lead people astray by giving my own personal testimony about what I believe regarding the truthfulness of the church…my only question is WHY? Why would I do such a thing if I didn’t honestly believe it was true? What is the gain? The motivation? Even just one valid reason?

No one paid me to serve a mission. I didn’t get any kind of temporal reward for those two years or any of the subsequent ten years of church service. There was no conflict of interest. No secret plan.

When I returned home from my mission, I’ve had no reason to lie and say that I loved my mission or go on about it being a defining moment in my life. It makes me sad when people that don’t even know me tell me that I’m lying about my beliefs. Again…why would I? Why waste the time and energy? I have no ulterior motives for staying in the church other than the fact that I believe in it. I truly believe in it. If I didn’t believe it was true, then I would chalk it up as just another man made institution and be on my way. Are you kidding? If I thought it was a fraud…I wouldn’t waste another moment of my life thinking about it.

But for me personally, I truly have nowhere else to go. I’ve incessantly studied other religions and philosophies for years. I’ve looked deeply at agnosticism and atheism and tried to find some semblance of logic in them. I’ve studied every ounce of literature I could get my hands on that is critical to the Mormon faith. And still…the validity of the Church is logical to me. I’ve searched high and low and haven’t come across anything better. Like Peter said…”to whom will I go?”Absolutely nothing that I’ve studied satisfies my innate deepest desires and hopes the way that Mormon doctrine does. That has been my experience. I can’t argue or dispute what I’ve felt and heard.

study

Everybody believes something. If I was to read a blog that someone wrote, and it contained a testimony in which a person believed in Lutheranism, Agnosticism, or Wiccan…I would have absolutely no desire to write mean things about that person. I might disagree with the things written, possibly consider it misguided, or just pass it by for being so ludicrous as to not be worth my time…but never would I imagine spending so much time trying to prove that person wrong. I don’t dislike that person just because I don’t agree with their beliefs about God. At the end of the day, regardless of a person’s belief, love is always better than hate. Positivity and respect is always better than negativity and disdain.

It seems as if so many people want to control the thoughts, actions, and beliefs of others. I’ll sometimes hear from people that make fun of me by calling me a “TBM” which stands for “True Believing Mormon” and then I’ll read one of their comments in which they admit to being a “TBM” only a year or so ago. They’ll get mad at me for being a “TBM” just because I didn’t have the same negative experience that they had that caused them to stop believing in the church. They want to ridicule me into not believing anymore just because they’ve stopped believing…and if I don’t listen to them right then and there…then I’m accused of perpetuating and covering up a lie as if I’m privy to some kind of underground information. It’s what atheists have done to believers for ages. “I’ve stopped believing…and now you must do the same…or your an idiot.”

But here’s what I can’t understand. Why would anyone on earth spend their time thinking and worrying about the church if they don’t believe it’s true? If it is indeed a fraud, and you have already moved on, saved 10% of your income, freed up loads of time, and broken free from the “shackles of Mormonism” then what motivates you to ever read one of my ignorant blog posts, discuss it on Reddit with the basest of language, write apologetics, create video rebuttals or entire podcast series’s against what I’ve written, or what FAIR’s written, or any number of LDS writers have written? I like my belief. It makes me better. Plain and simple. That fact only helps me to treat others better which is an overall micro-benefit for humanity.

There are a lot of people who will concur with the fact that being a member of the church makes them happy. Many of those same people are they who know what it’s like to not have the church in their life. They’ve seen the contrast and can attest to the stark differences. That is real. It’s not hype. It’s not made up. There is no other motivation other than following what they’ve felt in their heart.

I understand that everyone is not the same. I have plenty of friends and family members that have chosen a direction and belief system that is completely contrary to everything that I believe. But I have no desire to argue with them or criticize them for the path that they have chosen. I just love them…and am grateful for our friendship. So you can make fun of me for being a Mormon…but please just realize this one thing. I absolutely believe it is true. With all my heart…I believe that it is true.

 


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  • It’s like Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, something to the effect that people can leave the church, but they can’t leave the church alone. Misery loves company as the truism goes. Those who leave the path and go into the great and spacious building have to point the finger of scorn and mock others who stay on the path. Keep up the good work, it is being recorded in heaven and will testify in your favor on judgement day.

  • DebRN

    I have always found your thoughts and comments to be insightful, enlightening, helpful and knowledgeable. Please don’t let the slings and arrows of hateful unhappy people stop you from your important mission here. I grew up in Cali too and enjoyed visiting lots other churches with friends. Ultimately I found all other doctrine and spiritual beliefs wanting and developed a strong unwavering testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. People have asked me “Why would you want to be a member of that church since XWYZ…” My reply is always “Because its true” and it is.

  • Chris

    When I served my mission I had a good few converts who left their religions to join the LDS church and never did I ever hear any of them talk badly about the church they left or bash on it. I think that is a testimony to the truthfulness of this work because when someone leaves the LDS church they often are angry and become enemies to the church. But it seems like when someone converts to LDS from another church they give up their old faith wholly and don’t give it much thought afterwards. It’s almost like they are changed in some way… Or born again by water and fire… Or something like that. 🙂 Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts! A great read as usual

    • hej0718

      Great point.

  • Greg, I have enjoyed your posts for some time now and have also tried to do the same thing: share the gospel. I have also gotten the same result. On my church twitter account (well over 15,000 followers), I used to try and help those who had left the church or were against it or were gay or, whatever. All I did was waste my time. They are not in the mood to learn. Snark is the key and that’s all they care about. It certainly isn’t truth they are seeking. Now I just block anyone who doesn’t look like we aren’t going to go anywhere. It has made my life a lot easier and less stressful.

    I also posted a new post today about my own testimony with a detailed video. Let me know what you think: http://www.kellywsmith.com/god

    Keep it up bro. Your words are wonderful and have helped many. I see a complete separation coming very soon. I pray we will all survive it.

  • Renee

    The motivation – it’s simple. They want us to be as miserable as them. I see no other motive in mind. If they had something better to offer they would have said it by now. To just tear down a persons belief and leave them with nothing afterwards means you were only feeding yourself and not wanting to help others. They have no true concern for your well-being. They just can’t stand to see you happy with something they know they could be happy with, only if they could live up to it.

    • Mr Marty

      I’m sure if you try harder, you could come up with a better reason. Not that you’d have to agree with that reason, but at least you’d be on the path to understanding.

  • wplash

    Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through
    life, as if to say, “Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not
    sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be
    forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what
    Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy
    joy!” Neil Maxwell.

    • Paige Chesnut

      I LOVE quotes from Neil A Maxwell but I have never heard this one. It is going in my quote bible right now. Thanks!

  • wplash

    And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

  • sunflower

    Greg… your posts and testimony are so inspiring and help to clarify many things… they are helping many people…you are like a light in a dark storm…satan and his followers are angry and marching across the earth right now…please stay strong and continue standing for truth and all the glorious things that this Gospel stands for, even if faced with this ugly opposition. You are so brave and so needed!!!

  • Paige Chesnut

    Greg, I always love reading your blog posts. You put into words the same thoughts and feelings I have. I too am an early morning seminary teacher. and quite often I have used your blog to help teach a principle in my lessons. The other day we were talking about why the adversary is so focused on ridiculing and trying to bring down members of the church. I told my kids (I teach seniors) that aside from our Heavenly Father and the Savior, there is NO ONE that KNOWS of the truthfulness of this church more than Lucifer. So of course he would focus abundent amounts of energy on us. His time is running out and he knows it. In my opinion he has given up being subtle and now just goes for broke.

    I am so grateful for the influence you have had on so many by sharing your testimony. I don’t think you will ever know (in this life) just how much good you have done and the impact you have had on others. Thank you!!!!!

  • Sharon Shore

    Stars and Dots Stars and Dots Stars and Dots. Hi Greg ~ You do not care who gives you stars or who gives you dots. In the final analysis the only agreement and approval we need is that of our self and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

    You are applauded by me and I give you stars…which, of course, does not matter. THank you for being a true missionary; never cease. The Gospel iis restored to the earth and the Second Coming appears to be coming in haste.

    “Be of Good CHEER for Ultimate Reasons” Neal A. Maxwell

  • Mitch

    Greg, I am so sorry that you have not been able to find peace and truth in a place less destructive than the LDS faith. It is stealing 10% of your income and likely more than 10% of your time. You are not helping your fellow humans by doing any service in the church, your are hurting them morally, physically and emotionally. Hundreds if not thousands of suicides of LGBT children and teens are on the LDS church’s hands. Hundreds of thousands of family and spousal relationships have been ruined by the LDS church’s indoctrination system. When one member of a family or marriage studies the origins of Mormonism and comes to the undeniable conclusion that it is false and the product of a brilliant but sadistic con man, it will often tear marriages and families apart. Why would you (who seem like a logical, good person) want to be not only a part of the LDS cult, but also promote its demonstrably false, hurtful and deadly doctrine? I am a former member. I choose to not “leave the church alone” because I feel so much guilt for my time spent as a missionary bringing people into an organization that I now know is so deadly. I will work just as tirelessly to warn everyone I can not to come near the LDS faith, to avoid it like the plague and that they will find much stronger and more lasting happiness literally anywhere else. Please study harder from all sources, like a true historian. Learn about the true origins of the LDS doctrines and take the time to get to know the stories of families that have lost loved ones due to the deadly effects of the LDS Faith. There is still time to repent and use your following and great writing to save lives instead of take them. Please, Please, Please consider doing good instead of evil to your fellow man. I am so much happier now that I can say I have rescued a few from Mormonism and I will feel a lot better if I can rescue many. How great will be my joy!

    • tbc32

      Mitch, great example of what Greg was talking about in his thoughtful post. Cheers.

    • SUZAN NELSON

      How very sad, totally inappropriate, and proving the whole point of Greg’s post. Sigh.

    • Dave

      Elder Maxwell (April 1996 conference) “Church members
      will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real
      tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture
      the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They
      criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They
      condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain.
      Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they
      cannot leave the Church alone (Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14). Like the throng on the
      ramparts of the “great and spacious building,” they are intensely and busily
      preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne.
      8:26–28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there
      no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large
      building—like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir
      are repressed doubts of their doubts. In any case, given the perils of
      popularity, Brigham Young advised that this “people must be kept where the
      finger of scorn can be pointed at them” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John
      A. Widtsoe [1941], 434).

  • Donna

    I certainly hope the “The Last Two Blogs” does not mean you are finished writing these wonderful articles? I hardly ever comment but I do read your blogs. Sometimes it is just what I need to strengthen my testimony at that time. They help me to think deeper.
    I admire your courage. I see some of the awful, hateful comments that have been made against you and your writings and cannot imagine how hard that is to be under constant attack. Please block these hateful people and continue writing for those who are sincerely searching and others who need a word of encouragement. Your work must go on as we are in the last days and the Lord’s Gospel needs to go to every part of the earth. You are helping to do that. And I must too. Thank you for all you have done thus far.

  • Mr Marty

    Many people leave the FLDS church, but few can leave it alone.

    Many people leave Scientology, but few can leave it alone.

    Many people leave the JWs, but few can leave it alone.

    Many people leave the Presbyterian Church, but … Well, you don’t see a lot of ex-presbyterians on Reddit.

    Honest question: why are former Mormons, JW, Scientologists, and FLDS so disgruntled, whereas most other religions don’t experience the same phenomenon?

    This article is funny: Greg complains about being made into a “TBM” caricature, and responds by making a caricature of his critics. I see this conversation going absolutely nowhere.

    • proudcarrier

      My brother left Scientology and is now a bit worried about repercussions and even warned many family members in case of pressure from that “church”. Has there ever been another organization that passed itself off as a church that persecutes its former and soon-to-be-ex members so strongly? OK, Jim Jones’ cult in South America that poisoned its members rather than be investigated, but few others and not in living memory. Nor so successfully with the huge numbers of members and the money involved.

  • Naturalist

    “Why would anyone on earth spend their time thinking and worrying about the church if they don’t believe it’s true?”

    If you were a life long member that recently found out all of the history of the LDS church you never learned in church, seminary, or institute that proves(at least in the minds of those leaving) that the LDS church is not from God but fallible men making it up as they go and really believed that you had been lied to by omission about those facts, for your whole life, you would understand. Put yourself in their shoes.

  • Michael Martinez

    They rally against that which they have turned from to justify a choice they know deep down is not correct. Bad decisions must be justified or you have to admit that you are wrong. People will spend time, money and a ton of emotion to justify a bad choice. Those people are not willing or ready to admit to themselves much less others they are wrong. Justification becomes their religion, their war, to defend themselves against themselves.

  • Ann Willardsen

    This was the first time I’d received one of your posts but from readers response it sounds like you post often. I loved your post so please keep them coming my way, too!

  • Court Clark

    You’re a spiritual giant! I am really hoping these are not your last two blog posts. I am a convert to the LDS church and too believe for myself of its truthfulness. I don’t post on your blog often but I read each one. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your insights and sincere testimonies. There have been many times I have gone back to read posts because it was something I really needed to hear. I have shared different posts with family and friends and your words touched their lives more than you know.
    I have seen some of the awful comments people leave on here and I too think, Why? I have been surprised that so much energy and feelings of hatred are expressed to you for simply sharing what you personally believe in. I have admired your strength and unwavering faith in the Lord and your beliefs when such hurtful words are written.
    I must thank you for all your posts. Greg, you have helped me, my marriage, my relationships and my life become better and stronger. My testimony grows when I read your posts.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I do hope you feel strength to continue writing openly but can understand if this your end for now.
    My favorite scripture is 2 Tim. 4:7 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Just thought I would share that with you.
    Keep fighting and keep the faith! That’s my motto.

  • Tyson Waters

    I agree with you as far as people being argumentative and condescending about the belief. But there are very logical reasons for non-believers to want to discuss and share the reasons for their non-belief. If each of our religious ideas affected only our personal lives, there would be no reason to be critical. But it’s all part of the fabric of society. Just like members think they have a message of truth that will improve society, so do people of other ideologies (including atheists). Many who have left the church are still enmeshed in a culture that minimizes those who find new beliefs rather than respecting them, and that can be very frustrating and make it hard to move on. So we discuss and share and ask questions and challenge. It shouldn’t be a negative thing as long as we don’t let passion go too far and lose our empathy for one another.

  • Court Clark

    You’re a spiritual giant! I am really hoping these are not your last two blog posts. I am a convert to the LDS church and too believe for myself of its truthfulness. I don’t post on your blog often but I read each one. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your insights and sincere testimonies. There have been many times I have gone back to read posts because it was something I really needed to hear. I have shared different posts with family and friends and your words touched their lives more than you know.

    I have seen some of the awful comments people leave on here and I too think, Why? I have been surprised that so much energy and feelings of hatred are expressed to you for simply sharing what you personally believe in. I have admired your strength and unwavering faith in the Lord and your beliefs when such hurtful words are written.

    I must thank you for all your posts. Greg, you have helped me, my marriage, my relationships and my life become better and stronger. My testimony grows when I read your posts.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I do hope you feel strength to continue writing openly but can understand if this your end for now.

    My favorite scripture is 2 Tim. 4:7 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Just thought I would share that with you.

    Keep fighting and keep the faith! That’s my motto.