Year of Polygamy
Join Lindsay as she concludes her conversation with Aaron Sullivan, a successful computer engineer and Mormon man who once heard voices and talked to God.
Listen to part one here.
Listen to part two here.
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Aaron, I would really like to connect with you about this topic; it has caused me a lot of grief during my years in the church.
Please contact me.
Pretty riveting stuff. You both seem like very nice people. I value that. Aaron, what a roller coaster for you. Mighty brave of you to share so candidly. So much to think about with what you’ve shared.
Deception is so ever present in this life.
I am a believer in God and Satan.
Aaron, can you share with us the *extent*, as you remember, your messengers seen or unseen promoting the thinking, speaking and living Christ’s character / attributes and perfections in your life?
Did your messengers promote the power and significance of Jesus as did An angel while conversing with Nephi did?
Nephi was shown, amongst other things in a divine vision, the same tree of life that his Father saw. When asked if he knew what the tree of life represented—Nephi told the Angel it was the love of God that sheds itself abroad in a persons heart and that such a cause and affect was the most desirable thing to ones soul. The angel reaffirmed this by saying that it truly is the most joyous to ones soul.
The theme of the scriptures tell us it is “life eternal to know God Father and his son Jesus Christ whom he has sent.”
Jesus always deferred to his Father regarding any thing special he brought to the table. He who is love who is meek and lowly of heart kind and a humble servant of all was whole and perfectly strengthened in his life which was not with out difficulty For him .
Know one escapes their own strenuous difficulty in this life. I have found that understanding and receiving the truths of Jesus in this life as it pertains to thinking and speaking and living to the best of “ones ability” —-that the promise of his “yoke being easy and his burden light, manifests. That all of this is the gift of seeking diligently and receiving through the grace merits and mercy through the atonement of a Jesus—-even a sanctification a rebirth through our Savior…
The opposite of this is not the fruit of God’s promise or my witness as to how God and Jesus operate.
Aaron, I too thank you for your vulnerability with the honesty in which you shared your experience. It would appear that the truths manifested in the life you lived (at least what you shared) during your the hearing and seeing times that your character was that of being critical of others and in judgement of others and that you were fairly puffed up etc?
Sounds like you read a lot from sources in church history etc but to what extent did you hunger and thirst after righteousness through pouring over the scriptures to perfect yourself in Christ through faith in him unto repentance?
God, would not have abandoned you— he would’ve made your experiences as he did for Job appear to him as gold and your devotion to he who is the epitome of love and peace would’ve remained.
My brother, I believe you got hijacked from a source that is not what they claimed to be. Satan is the master deceiver. If he can not have us engaged in apparent sin then believing all is well or thinking that God does not exist etc is his game.
More discussion needs to be had / understood as it pertains to your shared experiences.
It’s been years since I checked this thread, and somehow I missed your response. I’d you’d like to engage on this topic, I’m happy to do so. Please feel free to propose a medium (here, online chat, phone call, in person).
Thank you so much for this interview! I have listened to hundreds of post Mormon interviews in the last year or so and I consider this one of the best. As I listened to Aaron’s story, it became so crystal clear what Joseph Smith saw and heard and is the perfect example of why he did what he did. He had a mental illness that was unexplainable to him. For me- this is absolutely the answer historians have been looking for regarding was Joseph a con man or pious fraud or did he really believe he was a prophet? To me, the fact that proper medication caused the voices to disappear is proof positive this is neurological and not spiritual. If God (or even Satan) is the author of the the experience, no pill could stop his ability to connect to any person he chose to connect to. Just fascinating and so grateful for you, Aaron, for telling your story!
I have been following the LorI Vallow/Chad Daybell case. Yesterday, someone shared this 3-part series in a FB group, suggesting this interview offered insight into the background beliefs of Vallow/Daybell. I am not LDS, so I jumped at the chance to listen and, hopefully, to learn. This interview certainly proved to be eye-opening.
Since yesterday I have been mulling over what was discussed and searching for the words to adequately describe my thoughts and feelings of shock and horror. I am dumbfounded, stupefied, flabbergasted, and horrified. Aaron, I am so sorry you experienced all of this!
The suggestion that such experiences are not uncommon for Latter Day Saints is disquieting, to put it mildly. I don’t know the LDS position on mental health or neurological science. I am Christian (Anglican); science and God are not mutually exclusive. So, please know that my following question is not intended to be derogatory or offensive… Do you think that it’s possible that there is an inherited neurological/psychological trait at work in this people group? I am not an anthropologist and don’t know Mormon anscestry, but am curious about the possibility. Or do you think it’s possible that the LDS belief system might act as an external stimuli, or even an externsl stressor, upon thalamocortical circuitry functioning, etc.?
Latter Day Saints have something in common with Anglicans; my ancestors in the faith created the King James Bible, which I have read is used by the LDS. Do you think that if Latter Day Saints read the New Testament on their own that it would help those among Latter Day Saints who are experiencing what Aaron experienced to differentiate between what is actually God talking and what is not of God? For example, when Aaron was describing his experiences, I pretty quickly determined that it was not God, based on what God’s word says about who God is and what He does/doesn’t do to His beloved, and that Aaron clearly needed medical attention. Do you think reading the Bible could help Latter Day Saints distinguish the difference and thus seek medical help sooner? Again, I hope I have not offended anyone with my questions.
You both – Lindsay and Aaron – are brave for breaking the wall of silence surrounding this type of suffering. I applaud you both!
It’s been years since I checked this thread, and somehow I missed your response. I’d you’d like to engage on this topic, I’m happy to do so.
I am sharing a couple of brief responses to your message. There’s plenty more to explore, so please take these as conversation continuers, not conversation enders.
1. I personally think there’s something like heritability at work, although I don’t believe it’s confined to Latter Day Saint populations. It’s an interesting question to ponder how many religions and religion-like systems of belief might emerge from like minds and biologies.
2. I consider the Bible (and many other religious and / or mythical texts) to have similar problematic material, full of moral dilemma, moral contradiction, and justified under the notion of higher intelligence, higher morality, and elevated states of being. For some people (and groups of people), exploring this material can be insightful, full of meaning and wisdom. For others, it can be a catalyst for destructive behavior.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and questions. Happy to engage more, if you’re interested.
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