The Mormon Woman... Goddess or Second Class Citizen? by Bonnie Ricks - Read Online
The Mormon Woman... Goddess or Second Class Citizen?
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Using the stories of twelve women (plus the author) who have left Mormonism and have become born again Christians, The Mormon Woman... Goddess or Second Class Citizen? reveals the effects of Mormonism on the lives of women, and shows the stark contrasts between Mormon doctrine and the Bible. The first 23 chapters focus on subjects from being a “baby factory”, eternal marriage and polygamy, all the way to the shocking subject of satanic ritual abuse. The final chapter examines the biblical view of women to give the reader a clear picture of how Jesus views women and how precious they are to Him.

Published: Bonnie Ricks on
ISBN: 9781301657223
List price: $7.99
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The Mormon Woman... Goddess or Second Class Citizen? - Bonnie Ricks

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A Confusing Mess

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

In the process of researching this subject, I amassed an incredible amount of paper – so much so that my husband threatened to add a room to our house just to store it all! My once comfortable office became a maze, with a single path leading from the door to my desk. If it weren't for Post-It Notes, I would never have been able to make any sense of those varied piles of books and papers.

It was even more difficult to make sense of Mormon Doctrine – on any topic! I’ve found that what a Mormon knows and believes – specifically concerning Mormon doctrine – depends on how long the person has been Mormon, how old the person is, whether the person was a convert or born into the church, what part of the country and/or world the person lives in, whether the person is a man or a woman, etc. As such the Mormon doctrine shared in this book comes directly from the published books, magazines and other publications of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, since most of the books have had many changes made to them, when I reference something, I have noted the year of publication for the document being used.

Because of what I just stated, I have to offer my undying gratitude to Sandra Tanner and her late husband, Jerald, for their impeccable, well-documented research and their commitment to accuracy. Although I own or have access to many of the books they reference in their work, they saved me untold hours of searching page by page through tedious Mormon documents for particular quotes. Instead of spending days wondering where did I read that?, I usually found the desired information very quickly by grabbing one of their meticulously prepared books.

Another source of help for this book came from the former Utah Missions in Marlow, Oklahoma. I am so grateful to them for opening their files to me, and for the wonderful source of information their Evangel and Inner Circle were to me, not just in researching this book, but for the first 15 years after I left the LDS Church. The founder of that ministry, John L. Smith, has passed away, and it is my understanding that the ministry is no longer in operation, but they provided a tremendous resource and an effective ministry for many, many years.

I also want to thank Ed Decker and the staff at Saints Alive in Jesus. If not for their prayers and their efforts in helping me locate women who would be willing to be interviewed, this book would have taken much longer to write. I praise God for their spirit of ministry and their desire to see more and more Mormon women recognize the lie that holds them captive.

Shortly after Saints Alive published a notice in their newsletter asking for women who would be willing to share their stories, I began to receive cards, letters and phone calls from women throughout the United States and Canada, all wanting to tell me about their experiences with the Mormon Church. I've included twelve of these women's stories, as well as my own, in this book. For the most part, I have used their stories as they were submitted to me – in their own words, filled with their own heartaches and tears and laughter and the genuine peace, freedom and joy they've found in Jesus Christ. The impact of the stories was so great that I felt it would diminish their significance if I re-wrote them or edited them in any way.

I only had the privilege of meeting in person with four of the women; the rest I got to know through the mail and over the phone. Each of their stories is different. Each is heart-rending. Some are frightening. Some requested – either because of fear or because of a desire for privacy – that their names be changed for this book. But with each of the women, two common elements prevail – the deep and abiding love that each has found for the real Jesus of the Bible, and the conviction that an LDS woman is, at the very highest estimate, nothing more than a second class citizen in the Mormon world.

One other thing you will notice as you read the words written by the women themselves is anger – an emotion that boils up uninvited each time any of them discusses their experience with the LDS church. Why, you ask, if they're so dedicated now to Jesus, can they not forgive and forget? They can, and they will. Some of them already have. Some of them were healed of their anger through their efforts in helping with this book. Others are well on their way.

Recovery from Mormonism is a slow and painful process. Mormonism is not just a religion – it is an entire lifestyle, a social structure, a pervasive set of rules that dominates every moment of every day. When a person – man or woman – leaves the LDS Church, everything about that person has to be restructured. Everything within that person has to be healed. Somewhere along the line, the anger surfaces... anger at having bought the lie... anger at the wasted years... anger at anything and everything connected with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know. For some time after I left the LDS Church, I was filled with it, too.

It's not a normal anger. It is deep-seated, excruciating and intensely personal. It surfaces unbidden at the sight of anything LDS – a TV commercial, missionaries on bicycles, a Mormon Ward house. But it can be healed. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes it takes years. Always it takes prayer and an increasing closeness to Jesus and His healing power.

So, I ask you to forgive any anger that you sense in the words of these women. Realize that the anger is not toward the LDS people; rather it is directed toward the author of the lie that held them captive for so long, and against the well-planned and well-executed deception that continues to dominate the thinking of the Mormon priesthood. Read past the anger and see the pain that caused it. And pray for each of them.

One final note... Although the official version of the Bible used by the LDS Church is the King James Version, I have used the NIV 1984 version throughout this book, except for some selected verses. I did so because the NIV is much easier to understand. No one speaks King James English today, plus the meanings of many words have changed over the centuries, rendering the KJV translation difficult to interpret in many spots. Since the goal of this book is to promote total understanding of the plight of the LDS woman, I wanted to make all of it understandable, especially God’s Word.

This book, by design, is not a scholarly tome. Those who desire to conduct deep doctrinal studies will have to do that on their own, using, I might suggest, any and all of the books I refer to herein, plus the wealth of information that can be found on the internet, starting with some of the ministries listed in Appendix D. This book, instead, is intended to be read by women who want information... women who have left the LDS Church to follow the real Jesus... women who have suffered at the hands of the Mormon Church... women who have lost friends and daughters because of the Mormon Church... women who need to be healed of the hurt and anger that still surface in spite of their desires to quell those destructive emotions... women who have lost their self esteem... women who need to find real self esteem by seeing themselves through the eyes of Jesus.

This book is also for LDS women with enough courage to read a book the Mormon Church most assuredly will not approve or endorse. Perhaps within these pages – perhaps within one of the varied stories told by the women who contributed to this book – you might see yourself. And perhaps it will give you the courage to turn away from the darkness and the burdens and the hopelessness of Mormonism toward the light and the freedom and the hope we have found in Jesus Christ.


How to Make Sure Your Daughter

Becomes a Mormon people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

Hosea 4:6

Some years ago, the Mormon Church began an active campaign to convert Christians out of their own churches. With their multi-million dollar public relations campaign, including the all too familiar – and incredibly enticing – television ads, plus their all-out effort to be accepted as Christian, the campaign is working.

It's working for another reason, also. It's working because our Christian churches and parents are falling short in an essential area – teaching the Word of God. My husband likes to use an illustration of how the Gospel needs to be taught, telling about how his grandfather taught him to drive a nail. First you give it a tap to set it in place, then you strike it five more times to seat it firmly, giving it a seventh strike to drive it home. Teaching the Gospel takes seven strikes, too. The first tap is what the person receives on Sunday at church. The next five are what he learns Monday through Friday. The final strike to drive it home is what he gets on Saturday, preparing him for a new nail of the Gospel on Sunday.

I have a copy of the Uniform System for Teaching the Gospel – the outline for the Mormon missionary lessons. It should be entitled the Uniform System for Deceiving Christians Who Don't Know God's Word Very Well, because a person who is a Sunday Christian, who knows just enough of God's Word to think they're Christian, could sit through those lessons and become totally convinced that the Mormon Church is what it claims to be – the only true church on the face of the earth – because not one word of the real doctrine of Mormonism is taught. They save that until later, feeding it to the unwary new member a bite at a time, making it palatable by convincing the new member that if a person questions a doctrine, that person is coming under the control of Satan. A Ward teachers message in June, 1945, said, When our leaders speak, the thinking has already been done. Lucifer wins a great victory when he can get members of the church to speak against their leaders and to do their own thinking.

In their June, 1999, issue, Families Against Cults in Carmel, Indiana published a profile of a typical cult convert. Following is that profile:

"I came from a main-line denominational background, from Catholicism, evangelical Christian, or sometimes from another cult. Eighty percent of us came from Christian backgrounds – forty percent of used to be Baptists.

"I could have sat in my church and never heard the gospel, even if it was taught. I never responded to an altar call, or if my pastor gave an altar call, I didn’t think it applied to me. Perhaps I did respond to an altar call, but I didn’t feel anything, so I thought it was ineffective. I was told that I must be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, but since I didn’t, I thought God had rejected me.

"I believe in the supernatural, and I thought only good people went to Heaven. I could never believe that God would send anyone to Hell.

When I was contacted by the group, they agreed with me on almost everything. They didn’t believe in Hell either. You see, they had the answers that really made sense to me. I didn’t understand the Bible, and I had never heard a warning about cults from the pulpit. My pastor said it wasn't loving to be negative about other people’s religions... he said all religions led to God… he said we were supposed to have tolerance and unity".

"I thought all cultists wore saffron-colored robes and had their heads shaved. I didn’t know they could be so nice and look so normal.

"I was uprooted from my friends and family… I was in college… widowed… divorced… elderly… lonely. Nobody came to see me except the cultists at my door, and they wanted to be with me all the time.

I was too skinny, too fat, not smart, popular or well-to-do. I was handicapped... I felt a void in my life that church was not filling. When I came to church, hardly anyone said hi", and when I didn’t come no one missed me or called to see if something was wrong.

When I joined the cult, I was told that my pastor said that he felt bad that I had done it, but he didn’t come after me. I guess he felt safer with the ninety-and-nine.

This is why I'm including my story in this book – to illustrate for anyone who will listen exactly what is happening to thousands of well-meaning but uninformed people – people who call themselves Christians – all over the world. They are being deceived because of their own lack of knowledge – led like lambs to the slaughter – away from the light of Jesus Christ and into the darkness of Mormonism.

This chapter is for you – Pastors, teachers, parents – please, please, please heed the warning now.

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,..." Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Teach your children daily. Study God's Word yourselves. Not just on Sunday. Not just on Wednesday nights. Not just listening to what someone else has to say about what God says. Read it for yourself. Be like the Bereans who were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

This chapter is also for the Mormons – the women especially – because I love you with the love of Christ Jesus. My prayer for you is the same as Paul's was for the Hebrews:

"Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Romans 10:1-4


Bonnie Ricks' Story

I was raised in a Sunday Christian home. Although my parents were good, church-going people, there were many areas that I can see today where I know that they could have done much better in their parenting of me. Let me illustrate...

My father was attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas, when I was born. He and my mother were living in a trailer park which was occupied predominately by college students. He then transferred to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he graduated with a B.A. in Religious Music. Throughout his years in college, my mother stayed home and took care of me. My father’s first job after graduation was as music director for Newport High School in Newport high school in northeast Arkansas. Shortly after we moved there, he was also hired as music director for First Baptist Church. My mother had been raised a Methodist, but had joined the Baptist church when she and my father were married.

During the seven years we lived in that small town, it was a rare time when the church doors were open and we were not inside. Sunday school, church services Sunday morning and evening, Wednesday night prayer meeting, and Vacation Bible School were a solid part of our lives.

A revival was held at the church every year, but the one when I was nine years old is the only one I of which I have any memory. I know we attended every night, since my father was directing the choir. I vaguely remember the final night. An altar call was given, and all the kids around me got up and headed down the aisle. Realizing that I was the only one still sitting, I jumped up and followed, unwilling to stick out like a sore thumb as the only one still in my seat. After the service was over, the Pastor took me into a little room and asked me a few questions. I remember nodding my head and answering Yes to all his questions, but that's about it. I also know that I was baptized shortly thereafter, but I have no memory of that event.

When I was twelve, we moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas, where my father was employed at the high school as music director. We joined a local Baptist church and became involved. A few months after our move, our church held a revival, which we faithfully attended. The revival preacher was an old-time hellfire and brimstone preacher, who shouted and banged the pulpit a lot. During one of his sermons, he said something that scared the wits out of me. I don't remember specifically what he said; I just remember being terrified. I went home that night in tears, unwilling to talk to anyone, and spent most of the night crying. The next morning, I woke up and, with all the confidence of a pre-teen who knows everything, I announced to my parents that I would never set foot in another Baptist church again.

I'm sure my parents thought I was just going through a phase, because they ignored it. When they got dressed that night to go to the revival, I refused to join them. Instead of counseling with me, they shrugged their shoulders and allowed me to stay at home. Since this tactic worked once, I knew it would work again so, being the mule-headed kid that I was, I repeated it each and every time my parents tried to get me to attend church. And it worked for over a year. Every Sunday morning and evening and every Wednesday night, my parents would get dressed for church, and I would stubbornly refuse to join them. Since they were having their own marital crisis at the time (very nearly getting a divorce at one point), they took the easy way out and let me stay at home.

The one thing that stands out in my mind is that neither my mother nor my father ever tried to help me understand what the preacher had said that frightened me so much. Instead, they basically ignored the situation. Finally, however, they became weary of my not attending church, so they asked me if I'd go to church if we changed denominations. I already had gained a sense of power where my family was concerned, so being given the option of deciding where we would attend church only added to my feelings of power. I had to maintain. I had to hold my position. This was not the time to falter! Quick thinking reminded me that some of my friends at school attended a Methodist church in a community just outside North Little Rock. They were cool, so I figured that was a cool church. Intent on maintaining my power edge, I offered that church as an option. Grateful that I would agree to attend church, my parents acquiesced. We began attending services at that little Methodist church the next Sunday.

About a year later, my father was offered the paid position as tenor soloist with a large Presbyterian church in Little Rock, which he accepted. Suddenly, we were Presbyterians. I didn't object to the church, since it was where many of Little Rock's upper echelon attended. It was a beautiful old building near downtown, with wonderful stained glass windows and a large sanctuary. I joined the adult choir, even though I was only fifteen, and we continued our regimen of regular church attendance that continued through my high school years until I left for college.

Considering all of this, why do I contend that I was raised in a Sunday Christian home? Because I cannot recall one instance in my growing years when the Word of God was used to either guide or instruct me by either of my parents. Because when I went forward at the age of nine, neither of my parents spent one moment with me discussing my decision. Because when I was frightened by the revival preacher, neither of my parents made any attempt to counsel with me about what had frightened me so much, nor to explain what the preacher had said. Because my parents allowed me – a teenager – to control our family, not only in this situation, but in many other situations. Because discipline in our family meant being shouted at, then given totally unreasonable punishments that were rescinded later when tempers cooled. Because, except for the Ten Commandments, the 23rd Psalm and John 3:16, I achieved the age of 20 without knowing anything of God's Word. Because neither of my parents, either through verbal instruction or through illustration with their own lives, ever taught me who Jesus is or what He could mean in my life.

Does this anger me? No. Do I hate my parents? No! I love both of my parents deeply, even though both of them are gone now. My mother died in 1985 and my father in 1993, but I love them still. But I pity them for their lack of commitment to Jesus. They were good people. They lived their lives pretty well, considering their lack of knowledge of what God wanted for them.

There were many chinks in their armor. They taught me good values, all the while exhibiting bad values in their own lives. They didn't steal, but they did save every dime they could get their hands on, fearful of what tomorrow might bring, giving only what little they could afford to the church. They didn't kill, but they hated and held grudges until the day they died, unwilling to give up their anger even when facing eternity. They didn't commit adultery, but they did nothing in the way of commitment to their own marriage; rather, they lived in unpeaceful coexistence in the same house for thirty-nine years. Anger and bitterness were acceptable. Fear was also acceptable, as were vengefulness, spite and malice. Not once do I ever remember either of them trusting God for anything – anything at all.

No, I don't hate either of them. Rather, when I think of them, I am deeply saddened for all that they missed. It breaks my heart that neither of my parents truly had the abundant life that Jesus promises to all of us who follow Him. Whether they are with Him at this moment, I do not know for certain. I do know that both of them professed to be Christian. I pray that I will see them both in heaven. I believe all of this was one of the contributing factors in my conversion to Mormonism in 1968. But I don't blame my parents. There's a lot more to the story of my journey into captivity.

When it came time for me to choose a college, I was filled with high hopes and ambitions. I wanted to be a journalist. My mother, on the other hand, wanted me to find a wealthy husband. She was of the school that believed that women became teachers, nurses or secretaries only long enough to find the right man. Writing was not an honorable profession; rather, it was something one did as a hobby. If I was going to go to college, and if my parents were going to foot the bill, I was going to attend the college of their choice.

Unwilling and uncourageous enough to stand up to my parents, I agreed to attend the college of their choice – a small church-supported school just thirty miles from home – a school noted for its lack of a football team, its emphasis on education, its high academic ranking, and the large number of doctors, lawyers, scientists and theologians who were its alumni. More expensive than most, it was, in my mother's opinion, the ideal environment for me to find that man she hoped would support me the rest of my days. To her, it represented the perfect, protected environment – a school where six hundred well-behaved students attended classes, studied faithfully, and graduated with degrees that would speak well of them and their families.

Since the college was supported by a church, it required that all students take six hours (two semesters) of religion and attend chapel services regularly. Intent on getting all of my basic requirements out of the way, I enrolled in my first semester of religion the fall of my freshman year. I remember very little about that first course. It was the second semester course that created the problem.

The professor was a learned man, although young – probably in his thirties. It was his teaching style to drop a question upon the class and then sit back and watch what we did with it, interjecting comments and questions as we went along to guide the discussion in the direction he wanted it to go. One discussion I remember that went on for more than a week centered around his question, Do you think Jesus was a homosexual, since he hung out with twelve men all the time? By the end