Are They Watching You?

24 July

Today as I was surfing the net I popped over to the Mormon Church’s web site, lds.org. It’s undergone some major changes since the last time I visited. On the site now members and non-members can sign up for an account that will allow them certain privileges on the site.

Non-church members of course have limited access to the site, whereas active church members receive an all access pass to many features on the site. But what non-members get to see and don’t get to see isn’t the point of my article. As I clicked to see what information a church member would have to provide to receive an account, I discovered that to receive full access to they must provide their Member Record Number located on their Temple Recommend.

When I saw this I started wondering what the purpose of this number is, what it’s used for, and why is there a need for each member to have their own number? And knowing the Mormon Church as I do I have to wonder if this is about control?

The Temple Recommend is the church member’s ticket into any temple around the world; it’s what they use to purchase their undergarments, and other temple clothing. I have no doubt the Church uses the member’s record number to keep an eye on how often each member visits the temple, but I have to say it bugs me to know a church can keep an eye on how often someone buys new underwear.

Maybe I’m just weird for thinking that way, but having record numbers assigned to each member is unheard of within the body of Christ, at least to me it is. I know from personal experience and from those around me that the Mormon Church likes to keep tabs on where their people are living, and if they’re attending their local church assigned to them.

If they move the Church seems to have an uncanny way of tracking the individual down, whether or not they want the Church to know where they’re residing. And if they chose to go to a Mormon Church in the next town over they’re sure to receive a visit from the Stake Presidency, and be scolded for not informing them first before attending another Mormon Ward.

The Church wants to hold too tightly to its members. They slap an identifying number on them like they’re a plasma TV just to keep track of them, to monitor them and to know their comings and goings. What’s even more concerning is any church leader who has access to a member’s record number has access to the member’s private and personal life. The member’s record lists past callings extended to them, information about their family, where they’ve lived, if they’ve had any church discipline in the past, and probably a lot more.

Didn’t Jesus die so we could be free? Free from being ruled by a religion? If you were to ask any member of the Mormon Church if they thought they were free they would most likely say yes, but where’s freedom in bondage? The bondage the Mormons are in will cost them so much more than their 10% to a church holding them captive.

When I think about how dedicated and loyal church members are to this religion it hurts my heart. They believe and have been taught this is just how it is, you do what’s expected of you, don’t make any waves, don’t question anything, because the Church and it’s leaders know what’s best for you.

They wouldn’t stop to think for a second about the significance of what having an individual membership record number could mean. And that’s the scary part, when people don’t stop to think or question they get sucked into things they otherwise could have avoided.

To a Mormon a little number many be insignificant, and in any other case I might agree, but not when it’s pertaining to Mormonism. There is always an agenda behind everything they do; everything has a meaning and purpose.

As always I pray with all my heart that Mormons will open their eyes and minds, and think about things.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes meliss@lifeafter.org

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