Breaking the Faith – Salt Lake City

13 December

breakingthefaithIn the latest episode of Breaking the Faith the group traveled to Salt Lake City, UT to stay in house a owned by a Mormon woman who helps the FLDS transition to the outside world. While I think it’s great she wants to help the FLDS girls find their way in this new life outside of their religion I can’t help but think it’s a little odd.

Both religions are cut from the same cloth woven by Joseph Smith. Both hold to up the Book of Mormon as scripture, both believe the practice of polygamy came from God; both believe you must make yourself worthy through obedience to the doctrines of the church and both consider Smith a prophet.

During their trip to Salt Lake City the girls had a chance to meet and spend some time with a group of Mormon girls. In the course of their conversation the Mormon girls became very curious about the polygamy and how women were treated within the FLDS community.

After learning about some of the restrictions placed on the FLDS one of the Mormon girls asked them if they ever felt like they were in a cult. This really offended a couple of the FLDS girls and they left before the Mormon girls could say any more.

The young Mormon girl’s criticism of the FLDS way of life sounded a lot like the pot calling the kettle black. It was astonishing to me for a Mormon to ask that question considering how restrictive and controlling their church can be in the most mundane parts of the members lives. Some examples of this are:

Endowed members must wear their “scared undergarments” at all times, and aren’t permitted to wear regular underwear.

Only one set of ear rings and no tattoos

The Word of Wisdom and dietary restrictions

Like the members of the Mormon Church are to strive for perfection, the FLDS must do the same. In the episode the girls explained how the FLDS is broken down into two groups. The “Repenting” and the “United Order”. If they’re in the Repenting group it means they’re not living up to the standards of their church, and therefore aren’t considered perfect.

 If they’re able to achieve the desired level of perfection as set by their church leaders the FLDS members move up to the “United Order”. At this level church members receive such privileges as going to the Storehouse to purchase food and personal items.

When you think about it, apart from the polygamy there really isn’t that much of a difference between the two groups. However Mormons still do their best to separate themselves from the FLDS as if they’re an entity all on their own.

It was Joseph Smith who set the stage for them to practice polygamy into eternity. The FLDS are just doing their best to live the life he wanted for them. The fundamental doctrine of plural marriage was never to change, and yet Mormons look down their nose at those who would dare to follow the doctrine established by their beloved founder and prophet, Joseph Smith.

As I watch this show my heart goes out to these girls. I know how hard it is to leave a religion and culture behind for unfamiliar territory. I hope and pray these girls find a way to build a life for themselves outside the FLDS community.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes

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2 Responses to “Breaking the Faith – Salt Lake City”

  1. Shawna December 16, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Oh honey…. you may not agree with either the LDS or FLDS churches, but there are SO many differences between the two. SO many. (Also, I’m not sure why the idea of “sacred undergarments” is so offensive. What makes “regular” underwear so special, anyway?)

    • Melissa December 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Hello Shawna,
      First let me thank you for taking the time to site and comment on our site. Secondly there are more similarities than differences between the two sects of Mormonism. While it’s true the women of the LDS don’t have to walk around in prairie dresses, and share their husbands with other women they’re still controlled to a degree by the church.

      The “sacred undergarments” are one example of the control both churches have not only on the women but on the men as well. I was Mormon (LDS) for a number of years, and so I’m well aware of what the undergarments stand for. Once a year I had to go to my Branch President, who was the leader of my local church for an evaluation to see if I was worthy to attend the temple that year.

      One of the questions asked was whether I was wearing the “sacred undergarments” day and night. What is so “offensive” is that I was asked by a man who wasn’t my husband what underwear I was wearing. Even as a Mormon I felt that question was very inappropriate.

      I was not only asked that question once by a male church leader but twice. After receiving my Branch President’s signature of approval I had to visit the Stake President, who presided over the Mormon Churches in my whole area for his signature. After asking me a few other questions he also preceded to ask me if I was wearing the “sacred undergarments.”

      If a church can control something as simple as what you put on when you dress in the morning what else will they try to control next? And as far as regular underwear goes, they are AWESOME!!! 🙂

      With so many different designs, types and colors, I was like a kid in a candy store the first time I had the chance to choose what I wanted to wear under my clothes. – Melissa Grimes

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