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Tolkien’s Ring of Power is like the priesthood.
 
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Here is what I think and why I think the priesthood corrupts.  The very minute that I was given the priesthood at 12 years old I began to feel that I was slightly better than those that didn't hold it.  I was taught this.  We all were.  Non members and girls didn't have the lord's priesthood.  The Lord chose me.  I continued in this vein and was made Deacon's quorum president, then Teacher, then Teacher's quorum president, then Priest, then Priest's quorum president, then Elder, then endowed to be a God, then Missionary, then RM, then married in the temple to rule over my wife for eternity, and finally I became an apostate that resigned all those privileges.  

Becoming a Deacon was no big deal and I didn't become a twelve year old egomaniac but I liked the feeling of importance.  Each step felt a little more important.  Had I continued in that vein and become a bishop or stake president, I very well could have reached the point where I thought I was special enough that it was appropriate to ask people private information about their sex lives.  God gave me that power.  I am that special. Inch by inch the feeling of importance from the priesthood steals every scrap of humility that kid had when they made him a Deacon way back when.

This is why I think the priesthood is like Tolkien's ring.  It's beautiful and you want it, it seems innocent at first, and the influence advances so slowly that you don't see it coming. It makes you feel special and then you act like you are special.  The only problem is that once the power gets in your head, you are anything but special.

 

There are lots of priesthood holders that are decent men but they didn't advance in it as far.  I don't think it is possible for a GA to have a scrap of humility and claim to be a prophet.  It takes brass balls to say, "I am God's mouthpiece and I am oh so humble."   I couldn't do it with a straight face.  This overwhelming influence of power is why guys like Packer seem a bit too much like Gollum.

 

Do you see a parralel here or I have I read the Trilogy one too many times?

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I like the analogy.  Well, except the priesthood doesn't make you invisible.  Now THAT would be totally worth it.  
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The priesthood makes women invisible, does that count?
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I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
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Oh ya!  I totally saw that analogy from the moment I watched Fellowship of the Rings 10 years ago.  I even used the analogy in Ward Council the next day! LOL

 

I will love that movie 'til my dying day.  I saw SO MANY symbols and analogies in it.   

 

...and that's another thing I miss.  Symbolism.  It was fun.   

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Tessa:
The priesthood makes women invisible, does that count?

 

 Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!  

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And just like Sauron sent out the ringwraiths on a search and destroy mission against the ring-bearer, so does Stan send the evil spirits that followed him in the pre-existance to tempt, torment, and destroy priesthood bearers.

 

From the Journal of Heber C. Kimball found here:

 

About day break, Sunday July 30th, Elder Isaac Russell came up to the third loft where Elder Hyde and myself were sleeping, and called upon us to pray for him, that he might be delivered from the evil spirits that were tormenting him to such a degree that he felt he could not live long, unless he obtained relief. We laid hands on him, I being mouth, and prayed that the Lord would have mercy on him, and rebuke the Devil. While thus engaged, I was struck with great force by some invisible power, and fell senseless on the floor; and the first thing I recollected was being supported by elders Hyde and Russell who were praying for me. They then laid me on the bed, but my agony was so great I arose, bowed on my knees and prayed.

 

I then sat on the bed and could distinctly see the evil spirits who foamed and gnashed their teeth upon us. We gazed upon them about an hour and a half, we were not looking towards the window but towards the wall, space appeared before us and we saw the devils coming in legions with their leaders, who came within a few feet of us, they came towards us like armies rushing to battle, they appeared men of full stature, possessing every uncomely form and appearance of men in the flesh, and every variety of stature and form, mean, mangled and deformed, who were angry and desperate, and I shall never forget the vindictive malignity depicted on their countenances, and any attempt to paint the scene which then presented itself; or portray the malice and enmity depicted in their countenances would be vain. I perspired exceedingly, and my clothes were wet as if I had been taken out of the river.

 

Although I felt exquisite pain, and was in the greatest distress for some time, and cannot even look back on the scene without feelings of horror; yet, by it I learned the power of the Adversary, his enmity against the servants of God, and got some understanding of the invisible world. We distinctly heard those spirits talk and express their wrath and hellish designs against us. However the Lord delivered us from them, and blessed us exceedingly that day, and I had the pleasure (notwithstanding my weakness of body) of baptizing nine. 

 

Just another day in the life of Heber C. Kimball.  

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The fine print: You can also find me populating the DAMU as monomo on NewOrderMormon, Happy Guy on LifeAfterMormonism, Tim the Enchanter on Mormon Discussions, and TheWayoftheFuture on /r/exmormon (Reddit).

 
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Happy Guy:

And just like Sauron sent out the ringwraiths on a search and destroy mission against the ring-bearer, so does Stan send the evil spirits that followed him in the pre-existance to tempt, torment, and destroy priesthood bearers.

 

From the Journal of Heber C. Kimball found here:

 

About day break, Sunday July 30th, Elder Isaac Russell came up to the third loft where Elder Hyde and myself were sleeping, and called upon us to pray for him, that he might be delivered from the evil spirits that were tormenting him to such a degree that he felt he could not live long, unless he obtained relief. We laid hands on him, I being mouth, and prayed that the Lord would have mercy on him, and rebuke the Devil. While thus engaged, I was struck with great force by some invisible power, and fell senseless on the floor; and the first thing I recollected was being supported by elders Hyde and Russell who were praying for me. They then laid me on the bed, but my agony was so great I arose, bowed on my knees and prayed.

 

I then sat on the bed and could distinctly see the evil spirits who foamed and gnashed their teeth upon us. We gazed upon them about an hour and a half, we were not looking towards the window but towards the wall, space appeared before us and we saw the devils coming in legions with their leaders, who came within a few feet of us, they came towards us like armies rushing to battle, they appeared men of full stature, possessing every uncomely form and appearance of men in the flesh, and every variety of stature and form, mean, mangled and deformed, who were angry and desperate, and I shall never forget the vindictive malignity depicted on their countenances, and any attempt to paint the scene which then presented itself; or portray the malice and enmity depicted in their countenances would be vain. I perspired exceedingly, and my clothes were wet as if I had been taken out of the river.

 

Although I felt exquisite pain, and was in the greatest distress for some time, and cannot even look back on the scene without feelings of horror; yet, by it I learned the power of the Adversary, his enmity against the servants of God, and got some understanding of the invisible world. We distinctly heard those spirits talk and express their wrath and hellish designs against us. However the Lord delivered us from them, and blessed us exceedingly that day, and I had the pleasure (notwithstanding my weakness of body) of baptizing nine. 

 

Just another day in the life of Heber C. Kimball.  

 

I didn't laugh until I came to the last comment in green.  Heber actually stood up in conference and told everybody he and his buddies kicked ass on legions of orcs devils and then ... had the balls to claim he was humble.  Then he baptized nine, belched, and married the youngest.

 

I think the priesthood breeds bravado that can become dangerous.  Heber C was completely ruined by it.  Is is possible that at one time Heber C Kimball was a decent person? Is it possible that Dallin Oaks was once a guy you could talk to?

 

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“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Alice in Wonderland.

 
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Yay, that makes me like Tom Bombadil.  I held the ring in my hand, ... and with amusement I handed it back.  It had no power over me.

 

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Probably some "mormon tea" cooked up by JS for Heber and company....(gotta get those guys to see what he saw.)
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I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
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Tessa:
The priesthood makes women invisible, does that count?

 

 

Maybe it does count. You and other women would know better than me.  In my experience it probably counts.

 

My mom is many great things but her personality type is a doormat.   She can't make a decision on the simplest things without priesthood input.   Ask my mom if she liked a movie and she will ask my dad if she liked the movie.  I don't think she was born a door mat.  Years of being under the thumb of the priesthood made her invisible.

 

 


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“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Alice in Wonderland.

 
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So would we all be considered "elves/Bilbo-Frodo" who have to leave "Middle Earth" because we can't tolerate "them" anymore?
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I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
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tluminouswatcher:

Yay, that makes me like Tom Bombadil.  I held the ring in my hand, ... and with amusement I handed it back.  It had no power over me.

 

 

 Tom Bombadil is one of my favorite characters and it's too bad he didn't make it into the films.  He is important to the story.

 

As it relates to this metaphor that is precisely what you are.  You saw what power and elitism could do to you and said, "No thanks."  I didn't start this thread because I love LOTR, even though I do.  I started it because I have heard some horrid stories lately about abusive leaders.  I heard about some of the crap spewed in conference by GAs and I thought a lot about how these men became the elitist, abusive, and arrogant bastards they have become.  I agree with Martin Luther King that said "God didn't make any bad babies." Boyd K Packer wasn't born the shitheel that he is now.  It took sixty years of holding the priesthood (and people treating him like he was extra important) to make him that way and the higher he rose the shittier he became.  

 

There is something about the power that people give to priesthood leaders that changes them into dicks in my opinion.  They have to rise high to notice it but I don't think it's good for anyone.  It's influence on women is also bad because it makes them feel inferior.  Men are led to feel falsely superior and women feel falsely inferior. I think people low on the pole can still be OK to hang out with but I have never met a SP or higher that wasn't a total jerk.  Maybe some of you have.  It's possible.  

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Hiker Daddy:
luminouswatcher:

Yay, that makes me like Tom Bombadil.  I held the ring in my hand, ... and with amusement I handed it back.  It had no power over me.

 

 

 Tom Bombadil is one of my favorite characters and it's too bad he didn't make it into the films.  He is important to the story.

 

As it relates to this metaphor that is precisely what you are.  You saw what power and elitism could do to you and said, "No thanks."  I didn't start this thread because I love LOTR, even though I do.  I started it because I have heard some horrid stories lately about abusive leaders.  I heard about some of the crap spewed in conference by GAs and I thought a lot about how these men became the elitis, abusive, and arrogant bastards they have become.  I agree with Martin Luther King that said "God didn't make any bad babies." Boyd K Packer wasn't born the shitheel that he is now.  It took sixty years of holding the priesthood (and people treating him like he was extra important) to make him that way and the higher he rose the shittier he became.  

 

There is something about the power that people give to priesthood leaders that changes them into dicks in my opinion.  They have to rise high to notice it but I don't think it's good for anyone.  It's influence on women is also bad because it makes them feel inferior.  Men are led to feel falsely superior and women feel falsely inferior. I think people low on the pole can still be OK to hang out with but I have never met a SP or higher that wasn't a total jerk.  Maybe some of you have.  It's possible.  

 

I have several friends who grew up in completely non-theist or only marginally theist homes. As adults, religion has absolutely no pull for them.  They are simply not interested. If you hadned them the ring of religion they would look at it with amusement and hand it back.

 

Yes, you're right, Hiker. People learn to be self-righteous jerks and the church has an institutionalized curriculum to help them along. 

 

 
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"I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened"

 

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“There never was much hope. Just a fool’s hope, as I have been told”

 
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hagiasophia:

"I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened"

 

 

No shit. Boy, can I relate. 

 
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Swearing Elder:People learn to be self-righteous jerks and the church has an institutionalized curriculum to help them along. 

 

 I think of B.F Skinner's theory of operant conditioning.  People will do those things that their environment positively reinforces and stray away from the negatives.  the church tells us all that we are children of God, that we the elite have been saved for the latter days, and the extra elite have been given the lord's one true church.  That sort of philosophy shapes people over time.

 

I think many Mormons subconsciously see this and counter it subconsciously.  They manage to not become massive narcissists in spite of being told for years they are really are the elite of the elite.  I recall seeing a bumper sticker in Rexburg that read, "I would rather be dead than special" that was a reference to how often the church abuses the word special.   

 

Still, if a person has narcissistic tendencies like Packer, church philosophy is like placing herione in front of a junky.   Narcissism is reinforced and it is encouraged.  Give a guy like Packer the priesthood and he will ride his narcissistic horse to the apostleship.  Being an egomaniac is part of the GA job description.

 

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Hiker Daddy:

 

...to claim he was humble.  Then he baptized nine, belched, and married the youngest.

 

 

 

 

Good humor. I laughed significantly. I think it is the "belched" that was the masterpiece. Way to go

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This thread really struck a chord in me. It made me process some feelings I hadn't been aware of since leaving.

 

Thank you.

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"The Golden Platesssss, my Preciousssssss....Rock-in-my-Handssss......" gollum-n-the-ring.jpg
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I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
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If you extend this one step further, you can not even take the priesthood and yield it for good, as it has it's own will, and you will not only be corrupted, but you will ultimately fade into nothingness, a mere shadow in service of the evil that is the true master of the ring.

 

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luminouswatcher:

If you extend this one step further, you can not even take the priesthood and yield it for good, as it has it's own will, and you will not only be corrupted, but you will ultimately fade into nothingness, a mere shadow in service of the evil that is the true master of the ring.

 

 

One priesthood to rule them all,

One priesthood to find them.

One priesthood to bring them all,

and in the darkness bind them.

 

Near the Star of Kolob where the Shadows lie.

 

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