I’d never heard the term TBM until just a few days ago. I guess that might make me ignorant.
TBM can sometimes mean Totally Brainwashed Mormon*, while most of the time it means True Believing Mormon, and it’s a term that I’ve been reading about myself quite a bit over the past few days.
See, I wrote an article about a year ago. Some of you have probably read it. It’s called “10 Things Girls Who Aren’t Serving Missions Want You To Know.”
I’m really proud of this article. I finally got to put into words what I, and so many people that I love, had been feeling.
After I posted it, I was shocked at the response. Thousands of views, hundreds of comments, repost after repost. And I was still proud. Because I felt like this was something people needed to hear, and understand.
Negative comments came flooding in. I was called selfish, egotistical, not worthy to serve a mission, against the church, among other things. I was still proud of that post. My goal wasn’t to voice my own anger, insecurity, or issues. My goal was to help others see the journey I had gone through, and how they maybe could help lessen the problem for others. Not everyone understood that, and that’s ok. People are entitled to their opinions.
In the past few days, that post has again begun popping up. I’m glad to be getting more notes of “thank you” and “this explained my feelings perfectly.” I love knowing that my experience isn’t just mine, that maybe part of the reason I went through what I did was so I could help other people.
I was looking through where some of these people were getting referred to my blog. I found a few forums that had posted the blog for discussion. And that’s where I saw it. The TBM. Nobody had a problem with my post really, just were saying that “the shame in the LDS church is horrible” and “too bad this TBM won’t leave” or “if this post was about men, it would be anti-Mormon.” No disrespect to those forums, or to anyone in particular.
I just want to clear the air about why I post what I do.
I wouldn’t say I’m a Totally Brainwashed Mormon. But I would say I’m Totally a Mormon. My post about missions didn’t stem from an issue with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, revelation from prophets about a lower age change, or even God himself. It came from my experiences with my own questions, my route to revelation, and the comments I heard and saw around me. Comments from imperfect people, just like me. I’m quite positive I’ve said offensive things. And so have you.
*I’ve had lots of people tell me that I’m trying to play into a persecution type of role, that I am making things worse for myself, etc. Let’s be clear here; I’m not trying to say I’m persecuted. I don’t feel that way at all. I do feel, however, that as a member of the Church who strongly believes in its teachings, I should set the record straight that with my mission post, I wasn’t trying to boycott the LDS church, its teaching, its leaders, or anything of that nature. This is simply a post to stipulate that my issue is with LDS culture, not the church itself.
I’m not brainwashed, though I’m sure many would like to believe I am. I am a person who loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ with every ounce of me, because I choose to. Every, single day I wake up and choose to continue living this. Not because I have to, but because I want to.
The people in the Church aren’t perfect. But the Gospel itself, is perfect. Jesus Christ is perfect. And this is His Church. It’s full of people who are trying. And I wanted to bring attention to a cultural subject that people might not have realized, so we all could continue to try to be more like our perfect older brother.
So I’m glad I found my post on various types of forums and on social media. I’m glad the issue is out in the open, so we can all discuss it. I love how the attention on how we talk about modesty in the Church is changing that discussion. The LDS culture is one that is ever-evolving. The Gospel itself is not.
So my hope is that people who read my mission post, remember this about me: that I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with all that I am. I believe that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and is leading the church in the way God wants it to be lead. I don’t question his revelations, and nothing about my beliefs on mission-culture in the church are against his revelations. This church is true. That’s all there is to it really. Do I think there are some things we can all work on? Yes. Does that make the church any less true, real, or right? Absolutely not.
So thank you for your kind responses, suggestions, discussions, etc. It means more to me than you know that the discussion is open. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Happy Tuesday everyone!