My dad was a smoker (40 a day or more, sometimes) and he tried to give up smoking many times, but was always so evil about it with his temper, that my mother always bought him some cigarettes.
My father stopped being a smoker when he became a Mormon. So my attitude to Mormonism has always been a little ambivalent. On the one hand I knew it was a fake, but on the other hand, I knew it had stopped my father from smoking and thus increased his lifespan.
Whilst inwardly debating this point I said: “So, even though the Mormon church was untrue, it did, at least, give my father some extra time on the Earth.”
But then I heard the voice (probably the voice of inner debate!) say: “so, your father got extra time on the Earth. Big deal! What, exactly, did your father DO with this extra time on the Earth that he got?”
Well, that was something I had never thought of before. Exactly what HAD my Dad done with this extra time?
The answer I got was rather upsetting. For he had wasted this extra time. Three hour block meetings every (yes, EVERY!) Sunday. Meetings, bloody meetings, Home Teaching, Bishopric meetings, temple trips, etc, etc., et-bloody-cetera. And all to do with the Mormon Church, of course.
My father had, at one time, several hobbies. But all of these were washed away and subsumed by the hours and hours of tedious Mormon crap that washed over our family like so much spillage from an especially vile sewerage works.
My parents had more time for the Mormon church than they ever did for us, their children.
Had my father said to my mother: “No, I do not think we should become Mormons” yes, there’s a chance he would not have made 76, as he did. But he and me could have gone down the pub together (a male bonding ritual in Britain) gone to jazz concerts, visited the theatre, he could have pursued his hobbies, my parents could have gone on holidays, having not wasted their money on ensuring that the Mormon president and his acolytes had a very nice lifestyle.
Who knows? Perhaps he could have given up smoking with the help of autosuggestion or hypnosis.
The Mormon church gave my father extra years of life. But they made sure that he paid for it big time, the bastards! They stole much more from him than they ever gave him.
Because they stole his life.