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7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 1:59AM #1
Maurices5000
Posts: 11
Ok, this forum is for Mormons. I read the sticky but it did not tell me how to get to the forum for nonMormons with questions.

Here is my question.

Did you guys see the Momment of Truth contestant, Angela Ciemny? How will the Church deal with such a person after the show?

Thanks!
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 2:40AM #2
moksha8088
Posts: 4,984
I had never heard of the show so I googled this episode.  I read several reviews and even watched a Youtube clip.

This reminded me of having watched the Jerry Springer Show in the past.  I was never certain whether the guests were just plain stupid or whether they were in on some hoax.  If real, the woman in question has really put herself in a predicament in regards to her personal life.

The part that floored me was her answering yes to whether she would leave her husband if he left the Church.  My guess is that point is moot now.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 3:11AM #3
Maurices5000
Posts: 11
So you were able to find a clip? I was not able to find one. I did a google search. I think it might be helpful in comments. How does the Church handle such situations? I remember too what happened to that girl who was on Real World who was Mormon. Her parents came on the show and disapproved of her behavior.

I'm just wondering how it is that these people feel so comfortable coming on TV saying they are Mormon and showing their questionable mormon views and conduct. How is this viewed?
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 10:21AM #4
ProfitOfGod
Posts: 1,020
Based on the church's history, yours is a fair question.

There likely won't be any 'official statement' specific to this event from Salt Lake City, in large part because of the fact that the members have all been admonished not to participate in activities that are not 'uplifting' or good for the spirit and that would include viewing - or taking part in - shows like this.

I tried to watch the first episode, but found it boring and painfully slow.  I could care less whether it's uplifting - it's just not entertaining enough to hold my interest. 

They do have this nifty little tool for those who like seeing train wrecks, though:

http://fox.com/momentoftruth/

You have to temporarily allow pop-ups, but if you go to that site, you can view an entire episode of this show in about 2 minutes.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2008 - 12:35AM #5
bytebear
Posts: 1,451
On the other question on this topic:  You can go to the Welcome board and there is an LDS forum there.  But you are welcome on either board.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2008 - 12:43AM #6
MMCSFOX
Posts: 1,561
Did you guys see the Momment of Truth contestant, Angela Ciemny? How will the Church deal with such a person after the show?
**
Why should I, or anyone else, worry about how the church deals with another member when I have enough trouble just keeping myself in line?

Now here I go and do a little fault finding my self. (I will repent later)
I really find it sad that people are so quick to find fault and put blame on others that they do not know or have the responsibility for. I find it even sadder that so many people waste time nit picking instead of bettering themselves.

I guess that is now called entertainment.

Jesse F.
*
It is better for my enemy to see good in me than for me to see evil in him.
- Yiddish proverb
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2008 - 6:04PM #7
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,207
[QUOTE=Maurices5000;429814]Ok, this forum is for Mormons. I read the sticky but it did not tell me how to get to the forum for nonMormons with questions.

Here is my question.

Did you guys see the Momment of Truth contestant, Angela Ciemny? How will the Church deal with such a person after the show?

Thanks![/QUOTE]

There was a girl at BYU who appeared on MTV's The Real World and ended up getting in trouble with BYU, but the reason for her issues were more technical than moral.  I don't think you can find a single passage in any book of scripture that says it's immoral to go on MTV, or even that co-ed housing, by itself, is some kind of abomination.

Mind you, from a Mormon perspective, it's not too bright if you're trying to live Mormon standards of chastity.  Just living under the same roof with folks of the opposite sex does not mean you're going to have sex with them - and it's the "having sex" part that matters - but why make it easy to fail?  That's like working at a liquor store when you're an alcoholic.

What got that girl into trouble was a clause, in the BYU Student Code of Conduct, that says BYU students, while attending BYU, must live in approved housing.  BYU does not approve co-ed arrangements for obvious reasons.  As the Church's flagship school, it knows it has parents expecting BYU to be a safe environment where they can send their kids, a place where their kids are less likely to end up with moral issues. 

When this girl went on "The Real World," she was still a student at BYU - albeit on summer break.  I doubt seriously whether her arrangement - with cameras in every room - would have made her more likely to have premarital sex, but it was technically in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  I say "technically" because, in almost any universe, a student going home during the summer, shouldn't have to check in with BYU to see if their housing arrangements are acceptable to some bureaucrat in the Standards Office.

I didn't watch the show (I find MTV a snore) but it was my impression that the girl hadn't done anything wrong, certainly nothing immoral.  The Standards Office was simply bruised about her appearance on the show because it presented their people with a dilemma: How could they find fault with freshmen trying to live in questionable housing arrangements, while students at BYU, and let this one go WHEN IT HAD BEEN SEEN BY HALF OF AMERICA?

The Standards Office issued her a letter, demanding an apology.  She found it offensive, as would I.  (Although I never took a break from BYU - pulling 18-credit semesters straight through), if I had returned home to Florida, I'd have considered myself on my own recognizance during the interim.  If I'd had a moral issue, I'd have expected my bishop to worry about it, not some wingtip at BYU, but let's face it: When millions of people are presented with someone calling themselves "a Mormon," it invites an uncomfortable level of scrutiny.  That's not so much an LDS thing as a "fact of life" thing.  As a public school teacher, I know that if I create a certain level of scandal - whether it's getting arrested or becoming a male stripper - that kind of thing could track back to my employer and I could end up having to explain myself.

BYU considers the status of "BYU Student" to be potentially disastrous to the school if one of its students throws caution to the wind and does something harmful or scandalous - especially if that student ends up in the papers over it.

I, personally, didn't think appearing on "The Real World" in a co-ed living arrangement was all that scandalous, though I can see why the girl's parents would have objected to it.  I also thought it was invasive and stupid for the Standards Office to get involved in something that had happened off-campus during the summer, and which never resulted in anything immoral at all.  The girl was on a TV show!  Big deal!

When BYU demanded a letter of apology, the girl did what I would have done.  She blew it off.  When she did that, it created a public conflict that could only go badly for her status at BYU, but she had already thought it through and was unwilling to demean herself publicly in order to pacify some bureaucrat at BYU.  Considering her own dignity of greater worth than her status as a BYU student, she transferred to a different school and gave the Standards Office the metaphorical finger.  I applaud her in doing so.

(Of course, that's assuming that she had any dignity left after appearing on The Real World or that BYU's little spanking was more demeaning than being used by a reality show whose subjects usually act like cranky first graders in need of a nap.)

On the other hand, the situation could have been handled better by both parties.  BYU could have handled this in a less public way, and she could have made a "whoops" level mea culpa, and life could have gone on.  I think both parties wanted some kind of showdown.  Somebody at BYU wanted to play district attorney and she wanted to play Galileo.  It was a tempest in a teapot.  It had no bearing on her status in the LDS Church.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2008 - 6:47PM #8
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,207
With respect to the woman on the Fox TV show, this is what one anonymous poster said about it:

"She admits that she had slept with a married man prior to her current marriage, admits that she fantasizes about her girlfriend, admits that she slept with one of her girlfriend’s boyfriends, admits that she would pose nude in a magazine for 100,000$, she admits that it is hard to stay faithful to her husband, one of the questions hint that she has cheated on her current husband, etc. She doesn’t ever look ashamed or embarrassed, but proud of what she is saying, like it is normal. Then she says that she is “VERY RELIGIOUS” “MORMON” and that she would leave her husband if he ever considered leaving The Church!"

Here's my take:

1.  That show is crap.  You don't have to be Mormon to figure that much out.

2.  If you're going to go on a TV show and tell everybody how "Mormon" you are, there are lots of LDS people who'd appreciate it very much if you didn't embarrass them.  They have people they're trying to introduce to the Church.  They also have people at work who view them through the lens of religion.  The last thing they need is for someone calling themselves a "Mormon" to go on TV and play the part of a skank.

3.  It is not an excommunicable act to go on TV and embarrass yourself by revealing every stupid indiscretion you've ever committed - including your lesbian fantasies, your old sins, or your weakness for money (to the effect that you'd sell your nude image to Playboy if they paid you enough).  Publicizing all this, however, might get the woman called in by her bishop for two purposes: (1) To counsel her that such disclosures are not consistent with the dignity of a Latter-day Saint; and (2) to check to see if there's any unresolved issue that might need to be addressed.  Mormons don't go out of their way to excommunicate each other, and the process of resolving conflicts - especially old ones - is not all that hard.  But if somebody goes on national TV and says, "I'm a Mormon and a tramp," it's the kind of thing that local ecclesiastical leaders would want to address and resolve.  Otherwise, this woman could end up out of the Church.

4.  It's important to distinguish between old sins and new sins.  The fact that a person has done things in the past that were not up to basic Church standards does not, in itself, affect a person's status in the Church.  When people get baptized, they repent of their old sins and take up a new life.  Even if a person were a member of the Church and got into some trouble, the process of repentance is fairly mechanical and straightforward.  The real issue is not what someone has done in the past but how one is living now.

5.  It's also important to distinguish between serious sin and indiscretion.  In the view of most Christians, adultery is a much bigger deal than a person's idle fantasies.  By the same token, posing nude for Playboy is a bigger issue than admitting you'd be tempted to do so if the money were right.  Mind you, such disclosures are likely to make this woman the loneliest sister in Relief Society, and possibly the one they gossip about the most.  While it's not considered a sin to be so open about your past failings, it's not very Mormon to do so.  Mormons are taught to preserve their dignity.  They're supposed to confess their sins to God and to those injured by them, not to every pair of ears in the chapel.  Doing so is practically a sin against oneself, since it begs others to look at you, not as you would want to be seen, but as a series of trainwrecks.  Confession is not an excuse to wallow, nor is it an opportunity to celebrate.  The idea is to wash the dirt off and move on, not save it for a rainy day.

6.  There may be a problem with airing your dirty laundry in an openly unrepentant way.  Going back to the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that he who breaks one of the least of the commandments - and teaches men to do likewise - will be least in the kingdom, while he who obeys all of the commandments - and teaches men to do likewise - will be greatest.  I don't care so much about the comparison (Jesus spoke in running hyperbole) so much as the idea that people should strive to live up to the highest standards not go about justifying exceptions.  If this woman is pleased with the fact that she has managed to get away with one major sin after another, her attitude is likely to raise red flags.  The Church, at the highest level, won't stop what it's doing to go after her, but her local bishop will be hard pressed to call her in.  Even then, if she takes a repentant posture, regretting any harm done, it's unlikely she'll find herself run out on a rail.  More prominent Mormons than her have gotten into trouble for now-infamous screw-ups, including Paul H. Dunn's made-up stories, told at firesides and on tape.  In his case, a lot of damage was done because this guy was selling books and tapes with inspirational stories that turned out to be hilariously wide of the facts.  But once exposed, Dunn apologized and showed remorse for letting the desire for attention and popularity get the best of him.  He didn't brag about what he'd gotten away with.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2008 - 6:04PM #9
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,207
[QUOTE=Maurices5000;429814]Ok, this forum is for Mormons. I read the sticky but it did not tell me how to get to the forum for nonMormons with questions.

Here is my question.

Did you guys see the Momment of Truth contestant, Angela Ciemny? How will the Church deal with such a person after the show?

Thanks![/QUOTE]

There was a girl at BYU who appeared on MTV's The Real World and ended up getting in trouble with BYU, but the reason for her issues were more technical than moral.  I don't think you can find a single passage in any book of scripture that says it's immoral to go on MTV, or even that co-ed housing, by itself, is some kind of abomination.

Mind you, from a Mormon perspective, it's not too bright if you're trying to live Mormon standards of chastity.  Just living under the same roof with folks of the opposite sex does not mean you're going to have sex with them - and it's the "having sex" part that matters - but why make it easy to fail?  That's like working at a liquor store when you're an alcoholic.

What got that girl into trouble was a clause, in the BYU Student Code of Conduct, that says BYU students, while attending BYU, must live in approved housing.  BYU does not approve co-ed arrangements for obvious reasons.  As the Church's flagship school, it knows it has parents expecting BYU to be a safe environment where they can send their kids, a place where their kids are less likely to end up with moral issues. 

When this girl went on "The Real World," she was still a student at BYU - albeit on summer break.  I doubt seriously whether her arrangement - with cameras in every room - would have made her more likely to have premarital sex, but it was technically in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  I say "technically" because, in almost any universe, a student going home during the summer, shouldn't have to check in with BYU to see if their housing arrangements are acceptable to some bureaucrat in the Standards Office.

I didn't watch the show (I find MTV a snore) but it was my impression that the girl hadn't done anything wrong, certainly nothing immoral.  The Standards Office was simply bruised about her appearance on the show because it presented their people with a dilemma: How could they find fault with freshmen trying to live in questionable housing arrangements, while students at BYU, and let this one go WHEN IT HAD BEEN SEEN BY HALF OF AMERICA?

The Standards Office issued her a letter, demanding an apology.  She found it offensive, as would I.  (Although I never took a break from BYU - pulling 18-credit semesters straight through), if I had returned home to Florida, I'd have considered myself on my own recognizance during the interim.  If I'd had a moral issue, I'd have expected my bishop to worry about it, not some wingtip at BYU, but let's face it: When millions of people are presented with someone calling themselves "a Mormon," it invites an uncomfortable level of scrutiny.  That's not so much an LDS thing as a "fact of life" thing.  As a public school teacher, I know that if I create a certain level of scandal - whether it's getting arrested or becoming a male stripper - that kind of thing could track back to my employer and I could end up having to explain myself.

BYU considers the status of "BYU Student" to be potentially disastrous to the school if one of its students throws caution to the wind and does something harmful or scandalous - especially if that student ends up in the papers over it.

I, personally, didn't think appearing on "The Real World" in a co-ed living arrangement was all that scandalous, though I can see why the girl's parents would have objected to it.  I also thought it was invasive and stupid for the Standards Office to get involved in something that had happened off-campus during the summer, and which never resulted in anything immoral at all.  The girl was on a TV show!  Big deal!

When BYU demanded a letter of apology, the girl did what I would have done.  She blew it off.  When she did that, it created a public conflict that could only go badly for her status at BYU, but she had already thought it through and was unwilling to demean herself publicly in order to pacify some bureaucrat at BYU.  Considering her own dignity of greater worth than her status as a BYU student, she transferred to a different school and gave the Standards Office the metaphorical finger.  I applaud her in doing so.

(Of course, that's assuming that she had any dignity left after appearing on The Real World or that BYU's little spanking was more demeaning than being used by a reality show whose subjects usually act like cranky first graders in need of a nap.)

On the other hand, the situation could have been handled better by both parties.  BYU could have handled this in a less public way, and she could have made a "whoops" level mea culpa, and life could have gone on.  I think both parties wanted some kind of showdown.  Somebody at BYU wanted to play district attorney and she wanted to play Galileo.  It was a tempest in a teapot.  It had no bearing on her status in the LDS Church.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2008 - 6:47PM #10
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,207
With respect to the woman on the Fox TV show, this is what one anonymous poster said about it:

"She admits that she had slept with a married man prior to her current marriage, admits that she fantasizes about her girlfriend, admits that she slept with one of her girlfriend’s boyfriends, admits that she would pose nude in a magazine for 100,000$, she admits that it is hard to stay faithful to her husband, one of the questions hint that she has cheated on her current husband, etc. She doesn’t ever look ashamed or embarrassed, but proud of what she is saying, like it is normal. Then she says that she is “VERY RELIGIOUS” “MORMON” and that she would leave her husband if he ever considered leaving The Church!"

Here's my take:

1.  That show is crap.  You don't have to be Mormon to figure that much out.

2.  If you're going to go on a TV show and tell everybody how "Mormon" you are, there are lots of LDS people who'd appreciate it very much if you didn't embarrass them.  They have people they're trying to introduce to the Church.  They also have people at work who view them through the lens of religion.  The last thing they need is for someone calling themselves a "Mormon" to go on TV and play the part of a skank.

3.  It is not an excommunicable act to go on TV and embarrass yourself by revealing every stupid indiscretion you've ever committed - including your lesbian fantasies, your old sins, or your weakness for money (to the effect that you'd sell your nude image to Playboy if they paid you enough).  Publicizing all this, however, might get the woman called in by her bishop for two purposes: (1) To counsel her that such disclosures are not consistent with the dignity of a Latter-day Saint; and (2) to check to see if there's any unresolved issue that might need to be addressed.  Mormons don't go out of their way to excommunicate each other, and the process of resolving conflicts - especially old ones - is not all that hard.  But if somebody goes on national TV and says, "I'm a Mormon and a tramp," it's the kind of thing that local ecclesiastical leaders would want to address and resolve.  Otherwise, this woman could end up out of the Church.

4.  It's important to distinguish between old sins and new sins.  The fact that a person has done things in the past that were not up to basic Church standards does not, in itself, affect a person's status in the Church.  When people get baptized, they repent of their old sins and take up a new life.  Even if a person were a member of the Church and got into some trouble, the process of repentance is fairly mechanical and straightforward.  The real issue is not what someone has done in the past but how one is living now.

5.  It's also important to distinguish between serious sin and indiscretion.  In the view of most Christians, adultery is a much bigger deal than a person's idle fantasies.  By the same token, posing nude for Playboy is a bigger issue than admitting you'd be tempted to do so if the money were right.  Mind you, such disclosures are likely to make this woman the loneliest sister in Relief Society, and possibly the one they gossip about the most.  While it's not considered a sin to be so open about your past failings, it's not very Mormon to do so.  Mormons are taught to preserve their dignity.  They're supposed to confess their sins to God and to those injured by them, not to every pair of ears in the chapel.  Doing so is practically a sin against oneself, since it begs others to look at you, not as you would want to be seen, but as a series of trainwrecks.  Confession is not an excuse to wallow, nor is it an opportunity to celebrate.  The idea is to wash the dirt off and move on, not save it for a rainy day.

6.  There may be a problem with airing your dirty laundry in an openly unrepentant way.  Going back to the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that he who breaks one of the least of the commandments - and teaches men to do likewise - will be least in the kingdom, while he who obeys all of the commandments - and teaches men to do likewise - will be greatest.  I don't care so much about the comparison (Jesus spoke in running hyperbole) so much as the idea that people should strive to live up to the highest standards not go about justifying exceptions.  If this woman is pleased with the fact that she has managed to get away with one major sin after another, her attitude is likely to raise red flags.  The Church, at the highest level, won't stop what it's doing to go after her, but her local bishop will be hard pressed to call her in.  Even then, if she takes a repentant posture, regretting any harm done, it's unlikely she'll find herself run out on a rail.  More prominent Mormons than her have gotten into trouble for now-infamous screw-ups, including Paul H. Dunn's made-up stories, told at firesides and on tape.  In his case, a lot of damage was done because this guy was selling books and tapes with inspirational stories that turned out to be hilariously wide of the facts.  But once exposed, Dunn apologized and showed remorse for letting the desire for attention and popularity get the best of him.  He didn't brag about what he'd gotten away with.
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