Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Best Sushi

Best Sushi

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Romney's challenge: What Bexar County's primaries could tell America about the anti-Mormon vote

Photo: Photo illustration by Chuck Kerr, License: N/A

Photo illustration by Chuck Kerr

Photo: Steven Gilmore, License: N/A

Steven Gilmore

A new Mormon temple being constructed on Talley Road.

Related stories

In town hall meeting after town hall meeting, supporters have called upon Romney to open up his private life and share details of his time as a Mormon bishop. The LDS church and its members, however, still operate behind a curtain of mystery, employing secret handshakes and recondite temple rituals. Over the past decade or so, the internet has thrown the temple doors open (if you know where to look), a result of apostates seeking to rend the veil of mystery. Curiously, this has both prodded the church toward more "acceptable" rituals, on one hand, and, on the other, more transparency in church activities. "In the LDS, nothing's 'secret' anymore," an ex-Mormon told the Current with heavy irony, "but everything's still 'sacred.'"

The Mormon Manual

When it comes to matters of doctrine, the LDS relies on the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and any other number of prophetic writings and revelation.

When it comes to conduct, there is but one text: The Handbook. It consists of more than 400 pages of rules and regulations to be followed by the laity, instructions for the leadership on how to administer the regulations, and detailed procedural guidelines for enforcement and discipline.

Bedrock social issues such as abortion, birth control, and premarital sex are covered, but so are myriad matters of quotidian life, both public and private, from attire to artificial insemination, hypnotism to hedonism, bedroom activities to the Boy Scouts. Though major matters are either forbidden or required, questions of conduct in this hefty lifestyle manual are overwhelmingly simply "encouraged" or "discouraged."

The discouragement speaks softly in print, but carries a big stick in practice. LDS sinners suffer public shame more than any other major U.S. religion. When any member falls out of good standing, the entire congregation knows. Excommunication is the pathway to perdition in the afterlife; the threat of excommunication can be hell on earth for a Mormon.

"I could never admit that I struggled with anything," says Paige Richardson, a San Antonio resident and former LDS follower who has since converted to evangelical Christianity. "Because if you admit it, you lost your leadership positions, you lost your friendships, you're shunned. For instance, this isn't my issue, but say you tell someone about a problem with alcohol or drugs, that you admitted that. Well, you would lose any 'calling' you had in the church. Friends would not support you, they would just say, 'You need to talk to the bishop.' It would spread like wildfire. I saw it happen to people time and time again."

Jenny Clark, a San Antonio resident and also a current evangelical Christian who comes from a long line of Utah heritage Mormons, said she left after her doubts with the church's dominance of her personal life became irrepressible while at Brigham Young University. As an active parishioner, she saw loyal LDS members turn against apostates. When she left the church, she tried to do so quietly. "I didn't really rock the boat, I just kept stuff to myself. As soon as you stop going they start pestering and hounding you, and they start asking questions."

Recently in News
  • Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... | 8/27/2014
  • Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... | 8/27/2014
  • Mayoral Horserace Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget... | 8/27/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus