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I realized that a lot of you watching Big Love might not get the second half of the opening sequence, and what all of that "sealing" nonsense was in the show last night. *Cue the Beach Boys* After the ice breaks apart in the opening sequence, they're all wandering through blowing gauze, meant to represent "veils." Bill finds Barb first, then Nicki, then Margene. Here's what that means:

When a Mormon couple is married, they also get married for eternity - done in the temple. So, it's not "'til death do us part." You're stuck with that hombre for time and all eternity. (Hope you picked wisely!) It works like this:

First, Mormons get "endowments" performed, which is a way of commiting yourself to God wholely. Once you've done this, you wear "garments." These, incidentally, were ripped off of the Freemasons, as were the majority of the temple rituals. This is a separate ceremony from the marriage ceremony. (Guys and girls who go on missions have this done prior.)

Second, comes the wedding in the temple. Aside from the weird apron you put over your genetalia (you're in a white temple dress if you're female - the apron is over this) and the kneeling across from your mate while mirrors reflect yourselves for "eternity" back at you, the husband stands at a cloth hanging like a drape with a rent in the middle. *cough*vagina*cough* He steps through. He says your secret name (women get a new name for the eternities - and only the husband can call you by it once you're dead) and reaches back through the tear for your hand and draws you in to the afterlife to be his spouse.

Funny thing: the names aren't cool like in "Neverending Story," they're things like "Helen" or "Katheryn." Ehhh? Also, the church has recently removed the pantomime of slitting your throat, slitting your gut and spilling your bowels out, because newbies were freaked out by it. (read: not coming back to the temple) Um, that was there (as in the ORIGINAL FREEMASON RITUAL, ahem) because you swore to God that you would kill yourself in a ritualistic manner if you spoke about what goes on in the temple. *cough* And suuuuure.

This was only done to instill the "importance" and "sacred nature" of the temple rites. It wasn't done to keep people from knowing what wackadoos they are. [/digress] I've not even talked about the secret handshakes... (Also from the original Freemason rituals. Joseph Smith was a Freemason, which is in NO WAY coincidental that the Mormon's "revealed and ancient" temple rites practically mirrored the Freemason's.)

Through this process and others, you are "Sealed" to your mate. Meaning, the marriage bond cannot be broken, even by death. Any children born of that union are automatically "sealed" to the parents. That way, you can float in the heavens as a family harp band for ever. No one lost! UNLESS. Unless they are excommunicated by the church, in which case all "blessings" that came from the church (baptism, sealings, etc.) are broken for the eternities.

This is why Barb's family was so devastated by her becoming a polygamist - they feared the church finding out and her being excommunicated (not to mention that according to their beliefs, God and Jesus would judge her and find her unworthy to enter the highest level of Heaven. Um, the Mormon church's heaven is a lot like Mary Kay or Amway - there are levels to climb.)

Polygamists (FLDS) believe that they are the only ones that can REALLY get to the top tier of heaven, because they're practicing the religion like Joseph Smith laid out. So to someone like Nicki, Barb's family will never get to the level they're at, because they're NOT living the Principle.

It's also important to note that a single woman (in the Mormon beliefs, and this is true for FLDS, too) CAN NOT obtain the highest level (kingdom) of heaven. She will HAVE to be sealed to a man to get there. So... anyone who wants to tell me that this lifestyle is about women's power, because they run the house, etc. I am holding my sides and belly-laughing. Also: it is perfectly normal for a man to be sealed to many women in "heaven." (My father, for example, was sealed to my bio-mom and my step-mom. My bio-mom got a "temple divorce" a few years back, so my dad is no longer a theoretical polygamist.) A woman CAN. NOT. be sealed to more than one man.

OH! And some of the polygamist blogs I follow (um, written by polygamists - Warren Jeffs' flock) had been watching Big love up until Alby's second wife started poisoning the "prophet" and then they all got silent on what was goiong on. Which makes me think the show is more accurate than I guessed. (Warren Jeffs came quickly into power when his father, Rulon, died suddenly. Also, there are gay rumors about Warren Jeffs and some of the "Lost Boys" that are being called to testify in his upcoming Federal case.) My guess is Roman Grant will die in the finale and Alby will take over, which is what I surmised a few eps back, too. I think they're going to push the power/closeted homosexual element to Alby's character in the next season, and hopefully talk more about the Lost Boys element and the forcing young girls to belong to other men.

WACKOS, people. They are all wackos. It's fascinating TV, but geez Louise. Wackos. Last thing: the guy Sarah is getting her heart broken by? And how unappealing sexually he is? (That's not just me, right?) That's like... 70% of the population in Provo. BLEH. floweringjudas? Am I wrong? Ick.

Today is underwear/shoes/paper and folder purchasing day. One week until school starts for us! \o/

Comments

( 65 comments — Leave a comment )
a2zmom
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
Note to self: religion freaky.

I don't want to insinuate that Orthodox Judaism isn't patriarcial in a lot of ways (I, of course, am not Orthodox) but did you know that women can request a get (divorce) if they are not sexually satisfied? Men do not have that option.

Only the husband can grant a divorce though. Like I said, not perfect.
redscorner
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
women can request a get (divorce) if they are not sexually satisfied

It's early and I haven't had nearly enough coffee, but that made me giggle for some reason. I don't know, I guess it's the mental picture of standing in front of a judge or what have you and saying, "I'm just saying, he can't get me there and screw THAT!"

Sorry. I'm going to go over there now. :)
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herself_nyc
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Fascinating.
Can you link to some of these blogs you read, please, for those of us who are curious?
ANd I'd love to know how you came to leave the church, if you care to tell.
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
I'm actually writing a memoir of sorts on my life growing up in the Mormon faith (my family came across with the original settlers, are leaders in the church still, etc. etc.) and how I left.

Mostly I realized that it was hogwash. There was a period of shame and anger for having been duped for so long, but my main focus now is to enlighten people on what that religion actually believes.

The most important blog I follow is the one of the group that fled after Warren Jeffs' arrest and set up in Texas. They're shockingly candid, which makes me wonder how the Feds can't use this as evidence.
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tinpanalley
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC)

I find this all so interesting, but I'm glad that I can just read about it and I don't live in that world.

Buying school supplies...I kind of miss that. Shiny new notebooks, new pens, and the all important Trapper Keeper! :)
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, you don't know the half of it! I get really sad sometimes, thinking about the people that are living this lifestyle, and how people don't understand the mind control, etc. going on. There's nothing admirable about them.

I loooooooove school supply shopping! All the folders and paper and safety scissors and glue... YAY!
redscorner
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
I had a very good friend in high school who was LDS and she was always on me to go through the "lessons" with the missionaries. I finally relented and while everyone was nice enough, I felt like the whole religion was batshit crazy. Now that I've said that, I'm sure I've offended at least one or two people, so I'm sorry. I'm not saying everyone in the religion is batshit crazy, just the concepts of Joseph Smith and the founding of the Mormon church are batshit crazy, in my opinion.

So, I have enough working knowledge to feel somewhat comfortable talking about it and am just very glad to say I didn't get pulled into it.

Anyway, thanks for posting this. I have always been curious about the temple endowment stuff, since it's forbidden to be talked about.

*goes back to lurking*
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't worry about dissing the Mormon church here - I am incredibly anti-Mormon, having escaped that life/religion. I'm very open about my feelings on that. (And long time readers here know it, too. *g*)

I've written several posts about this topic, all tagged if you want to read more batshittery. Hahahaha.
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aimeelicious
Aug. 20th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
Um, the Mormon church's heaven is a lot like Mary Kay or Amway - there are levels to climb.

HAHAHAHAHAHA omg this struck me so funny and I laughed for like, 5 whole minutes. Yeah.

Caffeine FTW!! \o/
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
Hahahahah - it's TRUE! Why do you think pyramid schemes are so popular with Mormons? Because they're LIVING in a pyramid scheme. :D
lolz
Aug. 20th, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
My best friend just recently stopped practicing Mormonism. Her husband and his family are crazzzzzzzy Mormom and I 100% believe they had brainwashed her. I'm so happy she got to her senses because this whole "password" at heaven thing is such a load of crap to me.
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. It's ALL crap. All of it. I mean, teaching people to love their families is quite nice, but the principles the Mormon church is based on are either frightening or outright laughable lies.

It *is* brainwashing. Absolutely. Good to hear about your BF.
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southernbangel
Aug. 20th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
Wait, WHAT?!? Big Love was on last night?!?! DAMNIT HBO, STOP SWITCHING IT AROUND. Next week is the season finale, right? Is it airing on Sunday as well?

I admire the Mormon ideals of love, family (NOT the freaky poly families but the "family is good" ideal), helping one another, but the principles to achieve those goals? SO FUCKED UP OMG.

My guess is Roman Grant will die in the finale and Alby will take over, which is what I surmised a few eps back, too. I think they're going to push the power/closeted homosexual element to Alby's character in the next season, and hopefully talk more about the Lost Boys element and the forcing young girls to belong to other men.

WACKOS, people. They are all wackos. It's fascinating TV, but geez Louise. Wackos. Last thing: the guy Sarah is getting her heart broken by? And how unappealing sexually he is? (That's not just me, right?)


Yes to all of that. Roman, as scary and power-hungry as he is, doesn't freak me the hell out like Alby does.


stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
They switched back to Sunday, and yes - that's the new schedule. For... the last episode. o_0

And yeah - I love how strong the community mindset is (unless it takes a busy-body mindset) how dedicated to service they are, acts of charity... But the basic beliefs are absolutely insane. There's been a HUUUUGE shift in the backrooms to try and make the church more mainstream, to get all of this sort of info removed, but the problem is that the state of Utah knows all of this stuff and... that's where the church is. Fool's errand.

Alby is FRIGHTENING because he's so clearly unhinged. Yeeeps.
xochitl42
Aug. 20th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
Man, I don't even bother to watch Big Love (I don't have HBO anyway). I just live it vicariously through your glosses!
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
haha, at least I know someone's reading! :D
soundingsea
Aug. 20th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
The guy Sarah wants (for no obvious reason) is ICK. Bleh! Sarah, flee to Heather!

Oh, wait.. that means that they don't get to go to the top kingdom! (Wait.. who care...)
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
I cannot understand WHAT she is doing with that guy, other than she has been taught her whole life to respect authority and men, and he seems to have that cadence/calm power that Mormon men try to exude, plus he's just different enough from her dad in principle (har) that she thinks he has all the answers?

...I guess I do understand. LOL!

I worry about what will happen to Heather if they explore anything there. The movie Latter Days (for all of its cheese and incorrect missionary stuff) is unfortunately based on a harsh reality: gay Mormons would rather kill themselves than leave the church/embarrass their families. <-- utterly horrible
jennem
Aug. 20th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
This was really interesting (and informative). Thanks!
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
Absolutely!
montyollie
Aug. 20th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
I love love love reading your insights into Mormonism. You totally need to write a book, my friend!!!
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
Ha, I AM! I add a little to it every day... One day, hopefully, I'll have something that's publishable!
spikefan
Aug. 20th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
"Batshittery" ROFL! I love that. I've long been interested in cult-like organizations (realizing that one person's truth is another's cult, except when I think it's nuts, of course). With apologies to my Mormon friends, I believe I was personally responsible for a recent convert (at the time) backsliding into perdition. We dated for awhile--very chastely, except for a lot of drinking and my being a heathen--and he got hauled in front of the bishop for a little chat. I was slightly proud of myself for dragging someone down into the Pit of Iniquity with me without even putting out.

I stayed far away from Big Love. It looked far too creepy. Now, I'm thinking I should catch up with it. I'm also looking forward to your memoir.
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Ha, I've been calling everything _____ery, like the bathroom is the pee-ery. :D

The show is really fascinating. I was worried it would be a glorification of that religion, or trying to make people less concerned about their practices. If anyone can watch that show and think it's a good idea afterwards, I'll eat my hat. They really did their research.
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
You know, you really should have told them all the wackadoo stuff about Mormons. Mitt's making headways with conservatives, but that's because they don't know that Mitt really WILL be the mouthpiece for the Church if elected.

Just tell him that Mitt's dad was born into a polygamist commune and see what he thinks about that. :)

And our school was really smart this year: they submitted school supply lists to Wal-Mart, Target, and Staples locally. It's right there at the crayon/marker/paper section! I have a few more folders to pick up, new shoes for #2 and then I am DONE!
fishsanwitt
Aug. 20th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Your insights into Mormonism is so amazing. I love to read your posts and thank you for linking to site you read. I'm going to check it out as well.
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
It's good to know I'm not bugging people with these posts. *g* That blog is interesting - it has both pro and anti-plygs, plus the pro folks are there in the compound, formerly supporters of Warren Jeffs. Veeeeery interesting.
midnightsjane
Aug. 20th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
Wow, Mormonism (is that a word?) is truly whacko. It's not a religion I know much about, but the more I hear about it the less I like. There's a FDL sect up here in BC that has been under investigation for the whole polygamy thing; unfortunately the authorities say they doubt they could get any convictions because the women won't testify. The whole marrying off of underage girls to icky old men just makes me want to storm in and rescue those poor kids.
I don't watch Big Love (I don't think we get it here anyway). I enjoy reading your insights into it and the religion. I remember seeing a TV special on the Lost Boys awhile back; it's quite horrifying to think of all those boys just tossed away by their supposedly loving families.
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
You must be close to Bountiful! That's a "re-education" compound where they send US girls that fight the system. They get them terrified all over again so they won't speak out any more.

The FLDS (the fundamental Mormon outfit) is just a horrible organization. The regular Mormons aren't as bad - they're just slightly brainwashed instead of crazy brainwashed. =/
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floweringjudas
Aug. 20th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
SO NOT WRONG. Mormon boys are, most often, v fug. Also they go bald early. I blame the sexual repression.
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
"I blame the sexual repression."

Ahahahahaha. Oh, and also the INBREEDING. Gubler, Sorensen, Christiansen, Young, Romney... Maybe three other names. And that's everyone EVER in Utah. :D
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enigmaticblues
Aug. 20th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
This is all so fascinating. One of the guys I work with is Mormon, and he tried to convert me. I told him that I'd convert when he actually produced the Golden Tablets. He hasn't tried it since.

Really, there are two reasons I would never join the LDS church (other than I find it bizarre). One, I'd have to give up coffee, and two, the view of women sucks.
stoney321
Aug. 20th, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
AHahahahaha. Please tell me you've seen the South Park ep. where the Mormon family moves in? Lucy Harris, smart smart smart! Martin Harris dumb!

And the funny thing, Mormons think they have a GREAT and POSITIVE view on women. *cough* as baby makers. If you can't produce a baby, well... It's all such crap.
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darlas_mom
Aug. 21st, 2007 10:06 am (UTC)
Ah, I love the smell of Mormon insanity in the mornings. A year in a Mormon private school and having almost exclusively Mormon friends for a VERY large portion of my childhood left a deep, abiding impression on me that I think partly explains my adult Agnosticism.

Hey, I'm curious--are you opposed to polygamy in the non-crazy-Mormon sense? I'm meeting a friend-of-a-friend soon who has lived with two husbands for seventeen years and it's been on my mind. (I have NO IDEA how to behave while over at their house. I'm convinced I'm gonna be a disaster.)
stoney321
Aug. 21st, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
When it's more than one man in a relationship, that's polyandry - and only if they're calling themselves married. Otherwise, groups of people choosing to share their lives based on personal attraction/support/etc. is just good old polyamory, and I have no issue with that.

Polygamy is a religious relationship - there isn't choice for women in that situation. That's the one I have issues with.

(Just be yourself! I mean, you don't talk about what you do in the bedroom, so don't focus on that with this new group. *g*)
baby_elvis
Aug. 21st, 2007 10:42 am (UTC)
Hi, I've been lurking here for a while and have really appreciated your candour about mormonism. It isn't a very popular religion here in Australia, but the suburb I live in happens to house the local headquarters, so we see missionaries around quite often.

Thanks for your wonderful posts.

BTW: I gave up on Big Love very early as I found it far too distressing to watch.
stoney321
Aug. 21st, 2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
Hello! Ahh, missionaries. Fresh faced fellas selling dreams. :)

You know, I go back and forth on the show myself. Up until the past... three episodes? I've been recording them and watching them in large chunks. And getting stressed out for four hours instead of one hour at a time. :D
thepiratequeen
Aug. 22nd, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Every time you make a post like this it changes how I watch the show and I'm so thankful for that.

I have a question for you if you don't mind taking the time to answer. In the episode a few weeks ago where Alby was having his testimony meeting and he kept dipping his head into a hat (? I think, I watch the show on my computer so it's sometimes a little dark and fuzzy). What was the deal with that?
stoney321
Aug. 22nd, 2007 03:37 am (UTC)
OKAY! *rubs hands together* When Joseph Smith first started racketeering, he would do that. He had "seer stones" (quartz) and would put them in a hat, stick his face in it, and tell people where they could find buried treasure, etc. When he "found the golden plates" (aka: The Book of Mormon) they also came with "seer stones" the Urim and Thumim. He "translated" the book of mormon by stick his face and the stones in a hat, and the words of the golden plates appeared in the hat translated into English.

o_0
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nwhepcat
Aug. 23rd, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
It's always interesting to read the experiences of someone who's been raised in a big repressive religion. The Regular Baptists had me for quite some time.

I thought it was high time I friended you -- especially since harmony_fb suggested your current gig might make you interested in participating in the Kerouac!Xander project. There's a comm, kerouacxander, rules (or what passes for rules) on the profile page.
stoney321
Aug. 23rd, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
Hello! Oooh, thanks for the update on the comm! I'll definitely look into that, thanks.

And boy Heidi... The Mormon church still has 90% of my family in its grips, but considering we were there in the covered wagons with Brigham Young, it's astonishing that my sister and I were able to break their hold. It's very cultish, something I denied for yeeeeaaars.


I think the Baptists get a similar hold on folks... ;)
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Aug. 23rd, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
*starts a slow clap*

YAY! And soon, Precious. Soon there will be cable! And reruns of Big Love and other shows!

(there's more horse opera, btw!) How's your day? I'm super sore for some reason. =/
( 65 comments — Leave a comment )

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Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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