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On
26-Jul-2015,
Ted said:
Thank you for the time and energy you put into the site. For me, the conclusive evidence that I had been raised in not "the one, true church," but in one of hundreds of well intentioned but ultimately misinformed constructs came from my own experience of complete disconnect between the doctrine of Jesus Christ as taught in the New Testament and the policies/procedures of the Mormon faith. (I grew up Mormon) I was excommunicated at the age of 43 for having an affair years earlier. I am not sure if that is consistent with the ancient church or not, but is not actually my bone of contention. It was my experience of being a penitent sinner - one fully and voluntarily confessed and eager to reconcile myself to the church to "earn" forgiveness that brought me to the realization that Mormons are not Christians. Christ taught in many ways that the wayward should be enfolded about (Parable of the lost coin, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, and John's account of Jesus and the whip in the second chapter of John) and embraced / welcomed back into the fold. My experience of excommunication was one of rejection, contempt, and shame. I was required to attend church for a minimum of a year, but by the church's own policy was forbidden from offering insight or commentary, even in a class room setting - and even when called on for input by a teacher. I was required to wear silence in a publicly shaming manner, much as if I had been put in an actual stockade or forced to wear a scarlet letter. The idea of expiatory grace was cast aside in favor of subjugation. Far from humbling myself, I was required to endure humiliation. As I met regularly with a Protestant chaplain from work, I came to realize that the grace of the atonement should have covered the sins of the penitent. The deep schism between what I knew to be the core of Christian doctrine and the actual practices of the Mormon church became increasingly hard to bear. Strike one. It was from this place of disenfranchisement that I revisited the two points of Mormonism that had always felt off for me, but which I had glossed over or rationalized: African Americans and the priesthood, and polygamy. 1. As a rational Mormon, I have always believed that the Mormon's original position toward African American men not being eligible to receive the priesthood was erroneous and not based on revelation, but based on the culture of the time. In 1978, I rejoiced when Spencer W. Kimball reversed the position of the church and permitted "all worthy males" to receive the priesthood. This was in response to a question put to God by "his prophet." I assumed that God had always had the position that "all worthy males should hold the priesthood," but that the Mormon leadership just hadn't gotten around to asking the right question for 150 years. This was my apologist and admittedly fragile attempt to reconcile overt prejudice with my nascent faith. But if that were truly the case, then why didn't the Mormon church reinstate into full membership those dissidents they had excommunicated for speaking out in favor of equal rights? Clearly, in reversing their position but in failing to restore membership to people they had excommunicated for publicly disagreeing with them (even though they were admittedly wrong), the church took the position that members should side with the Mormon church and NOT God in case of disagreement. Strike two. Polygamy had always turned my stomach, but I accepted the rational presented to me as a young child - men were in short supply, the blessings of the covenant of an eternal family were paramount in one's spiritual journey and NEEDED to be afforded to all women. The historical reality, even endorsed on the church's own website, is that Joseph was "sealing" underage women to himself in a "spiritual union." And further that the claims of those minor women of sexual impropriety were fallacious, according to the church. I became increasingly comfortable with the position that we should "blame the victim," through a personal study of church approved history as I tried to re-read the accounts with an objective eye. Strike three. I have had many conversion experiences growing up, which I took to be testament of the truthfulness of Mormonism. In retrospect, I have come to understand that my spiritual experiences were real, but testament to a loving creator, or a divine will that inspires us to be better than we are, and stirs within us the drive to reconcile, to create, and to be one with our fellow beings on earth. This is the core of all the world's wisdom traditions and the essence of true spirituality. Anything that exalts or distinguishes itself as "better than," or "superior to," eclipses the possibility of spiritual union and should be avoided like the plague. My spiritual journey today is much more nebulous, more arduous, and more hard fought. I no longer have a set dogma that I can subscribe to and which does the soul exhausting work of spiritual inquiry for me. Instead, I am working out my salvation with "fear and trembling." I still haven't figured it out, but I think now, at least, I am on a path which will one day yield real answers.
On
14-Mar-2015,
Mark Olson said:
My story is consistent with most that have been exposed to the Mormon Church by their parents. Why would anyone ever think that their Mom and Dad were intentionally exposing their child to a False religion. I was ask to attend meetings and be active in the Mormon church simply because it was a family event. I never questioned my parents word or wisdom concerning the Mormon Church. Their knowledge and participation in the church began years before I even knew what the word Mormon was referring to. I tried to follow its direction and my parents gentle push to achieve the goals they set for me within the church. Then I began to drift away because of life requesting a greater amount of my time. A family was began and now I had the choice of what I presented to my children in the way of religion. Because I had been close to the Mormon religion most of my life, taking a wife with a Mormon background was great. Years passed and with an extremely high IQ, I started to question the religion. Two degrees and lots of education had opened new horizons and new religions made me curious. I took two steps back from the Mormon religion and began a sincere effort to look at it as though I had never been involved in any manner. I set out to prove the validity and the foundation of Mormonism. I took a look at the statements they made in general and the way they stated it all began. One man appeared to have began it all. He had created a new history for the world that we all live in. Made statements about people that came here from other areas of the world, bringing their religious agenda. I began to question this man’s source of information. Like I said, a great knowledge of the world we live in and years of education said their was something wrong with all this. I had obtained a wealth of information during my education about DNA. I had taken additional classes at night because I wanted to know everything possible about how to trace my very being back to the beginning of humanity. I had attended a lecture at BYU that explained how it was possible to trace every human on the planet back to one single tribe in Africa. Every step was completely traceable as they move around the world. I contacted a friend that taught at BYU and got the name of the top person in the Genetics Lab at BYU. I sent an email to him and explained the process I was going thru and ask if he could direct my endeavors. He sent me a White Paper that was very informative and opened my eyes to just how impossible it was for the Book of Mormon statements to be accurate or even possible. I spent the next several months doing research into other thing in the Book of Mormon. Suddenly, it was evident that there was lots of lies and half truths in the self acclaimed prophet of the church. I attempted to contact the individual that had sent me the white paper. I wanted to question him further about the results of the DNA. I received no answer to my attempts. Then I read an article about the professor at BYU. He had left his position at BYU, one of the most advanced DNA research facilities in the world. He openly stated that DNA had exposed the impossibility of what the Book of Mormon was based on. There was no trace of the group of people that the Book of Mormon stated had came to this continent. He stated that, as the processes had became more precise and more advanced, he had no option other than to leave the religion. What he was part of had proven the religion he had faithfully followed to be a complete fabrication. I was taken back by this but, now I really wanted to know the truth. I began to find misinformation in every statement that the Book of Mormon made. I had now began looking at the Mormon faith as a false religion. The more I researched the prophet of the faith, the more I realized that he had created a religion to fulfill his desires. The Black community, according to him was a cursed race. Research into what was available about his personal position on the Black race on this Continent revealed that he had a huge and disgusting view of them. His perverted sexual desires were fulfilled in his vision of a new religion. He was telling his mother in personal letters to her that it was God that appeared to him. Yet the faith to this day had different ideas of who appeared. Then I came across a study by a University that had done a scan of the Book of Mormon and several versions of the Bible. They discovered that 13 chapters of the Book of Mormon were almost a direct quote from the Bible. When using his device to get his revelations, it was a simple matter to read from his Bible and have his scribes sitting on the other side of the curtain take it as divine information. Then came his interpretation of a simple Book of The Dead scroll contained in the chest of a Mummy that he talked several investors into purchasing. Thinking that NO-ONE will ever decipher those scribbles on rock notebooks and walls of Tombs, he continued his deception by creating another book. Having studied Egypt as a passion of mine, it was easy to see the deception in that one. The feeble attempts by the church to make his lies fact, only makes it more evident how far this man would go to make himself a Prophet. False prophets will always be disclosed for what they are. This one done it to himself with continuing to tell tall tales. He wanted to be a prophet but his lies are to transparent to have ever become that except for those that simply look the other way and close their eyes to the facts. Beware
On
05-Jul-2014,
Ginger said:
I wanted to say thank you for putting all of this information together, and for continuing to run the site. I grew up Mormon and was baptized when I turned 8. You could say I was a strong member, but by force. If I didn't go to church with my family, I was punished (not physically). You are taught that you CAN'T question or you will go to hell, or "outer darkness." You are intimidated into staying and manipulated into believing. I honestly feel sorry for my family and other people in my life and all Mormons who are so blinded by lies that they can't see the nonsense that they are dedicating their lives to. I set out to compare side-by-side the lies that the church teaches, and thankfully all I had to do was find this site. Thank you again for your efforts here, because I know it hasn't been without retaliation!
On
13-Feb-2014,
Mark said:
I came across your website today, and I wanted to thank you for taking the time, expense, and effort to do what you did. You see, I was raised a Mormon, and indoctrinated to believe in the Church from my youth. Having been raised in the Church, something that always troubled me was that I was taught to pray about the divinity of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, and I was always promised that if you prayed sincerely enough, that the Holy Ghost would affirm to you that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet. However, in the same breath, I was always reminded in Sunday School and Priesthood, that if you believe in the Church and have the Holy Ghost affirm to you that it is true, then if you leave the Church after having received that confirmation, you will be damned to outer darkness, basically Hell, for denying the truthfulness of the Restoration (LDS Church and Joseph Smith). This always bothered me. It is an excellent control mechanism that uses fear to keep people in the flock so to say. A year ago, I decided to begin a very deep and diligent study of the LDS Scriptures as well as its history, all in an effort to strengthen my testimony of the Church. I even decided to become a Master Freemason in order to dispel any question regarding the links to Mormonism and Freemasonry. However, at the time I was unaware that this journey would lead me to realize that the LDS Church is in fact not what it professes itself to be, and that I had been duped into believing the words of not just one con-artist (Joseph Smith) but several (the founders of Mormonism). I quickly began to realize that what the LDS Church portrays as its official history in its educational materials for Members, is a drastically white-washed version of actual factual history. I could go on for pages regarding all I have learned about the true origins of the LDS Church as well as questionable practices; however, I will keep it short and simple: 1. The Book of Abraham is a clear fraud. 2. DNA evidence clearly refutes any possibility that the Native American people have Jewish ancestry. 3. Joseph Smith's character is not what the LDS Church portrays. He was convicted in a court of law for fraud prior to his establishment of the Church. He was a womanizer, using the Church as a tool to justify his actions of taking on children as wives, and marrying women who were already married. He made promises of exaltation as a tool to get women to marry him. To prevent accusations of adultery, he used the Church as a tool to instead call it plural marriage as condoned by God. He clearly plagiarized parts of the Book of Mormon from the Bible, as well as using stories and sermons told and given by family members and preachers familiar to him. The plot line of the Book of Mormon is irrefutably taken from the View of the Hebrews, as well as ample evidence that it was also taken from Manuscript Found. Smith invented the LDS Temple Ceremony after becoming a Freemason, having used the Freemason ceremony as its basis. He invented the LDS doctrine of the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom from Emanual Sweedenborg's writings. The Church even claims his persecutions were based on his trying to bring forth the Restored Gospel, when in fact his persecutions were because of his deliberate and illegal actions, such as the destruction of the printing press that publically exposed his polygamy. The LDS Church describes him as going to his grave as a martyr, like a lamb to the slaughter, yet they conveniently leave out at the Carthage Jail tour that Smith had a smuggled pistol in his possession, and when the mob stormed the jail, he shot three people before he himself was killed. The LDS Church also has him heroically giving his last words as "Oh, Lord, my God!", hands raised to Heaven, while conveniently never mentioning that in fact that is the beginning of the Freemason cry for help. The LDS Church also conveniently never discusses all of the failed prophecies Smith has made, nor the fact that he defrauded people by creating a bank, as well as tried to create a United Order demanding everyone's possessions be given to the Church. Smith's actual character is not the same character that the LDS Church presents to its Membership. Nor does the Church ever mention to its Membership that there are nine well documented versions of the first vision, all of which are significantly different. 4. Changes in doctrine over time, as well as contradictions made to previous prophets prophecies (e.g. the Adam-God Doctrine and the blacks and the Priesthood). 5. Sealed financial records, as well as shady financial practices that the average Member is unaware of. Though their finances are kept well guarded, property transfers are public information. 6. Shady "reimbursement" procedures as a means of concealing income to those called to higher Church callings. Gifting, or in the Church's words "reimbursing" upper leaders for housekeepers, gardeners, babysitters, children's tuition, children's college education, even family gifts, etc, while expecting its Membership to pay tithing before rent and expecting parents to pay nearly $10,000 to send their son on a Mission for the Church. I literally could go on forever on everything that I have learned to be Truth about the Church of my forefathers. What amazes me is that more Members are not wising up and coming to terms with the Truth. I think it is mostly because the average Member is so afraid to question the Church or research the Truth for themselves, that they instead choose to bury their heads in the sand, and only allow themselves to read or be exposed to what the Church chooses to white wash and spoon feed them. They consider even the possibility of anything other than that "Anti-Mormon" propaganda and lies, never taking the time to research it objectively themselves. I think the typical Mormon lives in a world where they believe that better people than themselves believe it is true, so it must be true, having never taken the time to investigate for themselves everything that I have mentioned. It is a dangerous thing to blindly follow, and not use reason, logic, and common sense to confirm that what you are being taught is in fact true or false. After all, if a simple burning in the bosom were enough to confirm truth, then every religion would be true because everyone tends to feel that way about what they choose to believe. The biggest question a Mormon should ask himself is: "Take moment to soberly and objectively consider: would God be offended by my believing that I can become a God one day if I am righteous enough, if the Church is not true?" I think it is arrogant and un-Christ-like to believe such a thing, and even when I was a believing Mormon, that doctrine always seemed blasphemous to me. Anyhow, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put up your webpage. The more exposure to the Truth there is, the more individuals like myself who are or were being deceived by the Church will find the Truth and find that they have been taken in by and based their lives on a fraudulent foundation.
On
30-Jan-2014,
Rex said:
My family and I just resigned from the Church yesterday. I had reached the same conclusions you explained in your blog and was amazed that I hadn’t found your site before. You did a really good job of piecing it all together. I am nearly 40 years old, and have been a Mormon since birth, 5th generation. I served a 2-year mission in Japan and got married in the Houston temple. About 10 years ago, I read the account of Charles Anthon about his encounter with Martin Harris. My first impression was that poor Harris was being viciously conned by Joseph Smith and that all the “anti-Mormon” guys were right about Smith being an unscrupulous gold digger. I suppressed that instinctive reaction and continued on my merry Mormon way, serving as a Gospel Doctrine instructor and in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency for the next 10 years, all the while becoming more and more miserable. My wife returned to full-time work a few months ago, after our children had grown up enough to be a bit more self-reliant. As soon as she started working, she could already feel a lot of shunning from other members (especially the Relief Society) for working outside the home, which Mormonism discourages. That pressure and the Church’s inherent attempts to regain control over her made her despise the way the members guilt each other into conformity. Not long after that, someone at her work noticed the line on her thigh under her jeans from her Temple Garments and said “I can tell you are a Mormon.” That embarrassed her and made her start to question the temple and the magic underwear. She said that she was done with the Church controlling every aspect of her, going so far as to control her underwear. She decided to stop wearing the garments and that decision liberated our thinking, allowed us to take a step back and re-evaluate our beliefs. After months of inactivity, ignoring calls from members and home teachers, and taking a REAL look at Mormonism, I reached these conclusions: 1. Joseph Fielding Smith said that “Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground." Doctrines of Salvation, 1:188 So, if Joseph Smith said or produced anything that was false, he is the world’s greatest fraud. There is no middle ground. 2. The introduction to the Pearl of Great Price states that it “is a selection of choice materials touching many significant aspects of the faith and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These items were translated and produced by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and most were published in the Church periodicals of his day.” It further states “The Book of Abraham. An inspired translation of the writings of Abraham. Joseph Smith began the translation in 1835 after obtaining some Egyptian papyri. The translation was published serially in the Times and Seasons beginning March 1, 1842, at Nauvoo, Illinois. So, the Book of Abraham was an inspired translation according to Church scripture. “Inspired,” in Mormon dialect, means that it came through the power of God via revelation. 3. The actual translation of the hieroglyphics compared to Joseph Smith’s “inspired translation” reveals that he just made it up. I could forgive some distortions, but the guy didn’t get ANYTHING right. How can a prophet, by inspiration from God, translate it so patently WRONG? I needed an explanation from the Church. 4. The only place I found an explanation was from The LDS Institute of Religion Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (which is an official LDS Church document) states that “The Prophet Joseph Smith never communicated his method of translating these records. As with all other scriptures, a testimony of the truthfulness of these writings is primarily a matter of faith. The greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of physical evidence nor historical background, but in prayerful consideration of its content and power. So, I should believe that the sky is pink as a matter of faith, because the greatest evidence that the sky is pink is not found in an analysis of the physical evidence and historical background (i.e. looking up at the sky with my own eyes), but in prayerful consideration of the truth that the sky is pink. Joseph Smith’s translation being COMPLETELY wrong is conclusive evidence that he did not translate the papyri by the power of God, like he said he did. Thus, we can presume that all other alleged translations done by “the power of God,” including the Book of Mormon, were also completely wrong; assuming they even existed in the first place. That is an undeniable TRUTH that I could no longer ignore. I honestly cannot fathom how this church continues to exist with the information readily available in the public domain, accompanied by the Church’s flimsy explanation stated above. I am not going to exert much effort proselytizing against this false church, as it reminds me too much of all the time I wasted doing so on behalf of it. But, I don’t mind if others do it. So, feel free to post this on your web page.
On
22-Oct-2013,
JD said:
Your site has been helpful in furthering my research into this horrible fallacy of a religion. I was forced into the Mormon lifestyle as a child by controlling parents and deprived of my free agency to practice my own beliefs. As a lifelong Agnostic that questions everything, I was belittled, punished and even told I was likened to Lucifer (by a bishop none the less) when I started to ask questions in my preteen years. After multiple reprimands I just suffered in silence and told my parents and church members what they wanted to hear. I clamed up and kept my own beliefs to myself until I was told the truth about the book of Abraham by a middle school history teacher and that sparked my interest to research further. I learned much a little at a time but the death of my mother soon after ( the more devote follower of my parents) gave me the will to tell my father the truth and my refusal to be associated with the church any longer. My research stopped for the most part and I was just glad to be rid of the church as much as still possible and move on with my life and stayed that way for almost 2 decades. I really tried not to think about it and move on but it seems the bitter parts of your past can be easily resurrected. About 2 years ago they found me, letters in the mail, missionaries and home teachers are rearing their ugly head again and they don’t take no for an answer. I did have to deal with pestering from both the higher and lower echelons of the church leadership and former friends that I have distanced myself from since my what turns out to be informal resignation from the church. All contact was severed when I moved out of my father’s house in southern California to the bay area. I had no attempts of contact and received no junk mail until I elevated in status from renter to home owner. Turns out that my private information (SSN, birth certificate, all family data, etc.) was given to the church by my parent upon demand when I was a child without my consent. So my warning to anyone seeking information for potential enrollment for membership is this, once they have you they have you forever and look at you as a number and income source. They have a great distained for thinkers but will still make great attempts to per sway you and alter your mind set to keep you there or bring you back. Even though I’m working on my resignation letter (hence the resuming of my studying, want to hit “em with all I got) they will still always have my information and I cannot ever get it back. From what I’m told once it was given willfully by my parents it became rightful church property and can still be retained even with my letter. So I tell my story to give a perspective of how these people work and of their ethics and practices, beware.
On
05-Dec-2010,
Suzanne said:
It's been a while since I visited your website. I was raised in the Mormon religion until I was a teen, at which time I begged my mother to let me quit going--just never "got it". Years later, I found Christ in the Episcopal Church. I finally figured out that I didn't have to obey, or listen to uneducated people called to give advice. My older sister also did not attend church during her lifetime, but her spouse died and she went back to the church. She has been diagnosed with Parkinson's and MS. After a series of sad incidents, she came to live near us after having been away for 2 years. She has been so financially burdened, yet, the church people prey on the elderly in our area. I found out in order to be "worthy" enough to wear garments and go to the temple, she has had to give 10% of what she gets to the church. There are other elderly folks who live around us, and they tell stories of the church men coming to their homes to ask about their finances. So is this religion all about money?? It angers me because we see people who can hardly buy groceries, yet the church squeezes every cent they can get from them. No other real church would do that, I guarantee you! If you're looking for God, he will find you with no expectation of a 10% tithe.
On
18-Jun-2010,
Suzanne said:
I just read a comment from a former Mormon that blew me away, but I know that it happens. Many of my friends have experienced this, as have I. Here's what he said:"If you haven't heard by now I've removed my web page.I've chosen an alias because I'm still trying to find a way to bring my page back. It was my mistake for using my real name, I felt that to do otherwise would be cowardly. I guess the joke's on me.I was born and raised a Mormon in Southern California. My ancestors crossed the Plains in covered wagons, and I have ancestors who were married to both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.To be a Mormon takes a lot of dedication and time. The average service on Sunday is over three hours, and that's not counting other activities during the week. The Church makes sure its members are always involved, which is one of its selling points. Mormons are made to feel important. Ever since I can remember, Mormonism just didn't seem right to me. The teachings were so different from other Christian religions that I never felt comfortable with it.Religious instruction starts early with constant reinforcement. Everyone around me was so sure Mormonism was the right religion. I felt that I was just a bad person who wasn't 'getting it'.These feelings continued to grow as I did. I tried to believe. I read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it. I never received the 'burning in the bosom' talked about by Mormons. This was suppose to be a signal from God that the individual had found the true Church. This made me feel even worse. I was a rebellious child, and Mormonism isn't the ideal religion for that. It's very structured with clean-cut boundaries as to behavior and status. Needless to say, my activities put me near the bottom of the pecking order. As I approached the missionary age (18-19), I sat through farewell meetings for my friends. I heard the girls cry while the young missionaries would almost glow with religious fervor for the Lord. My mother would talk about how nice the meeting was, and plan what they were going to do for my farewell. I would smile and feel like dirt. I knew that a mission was out of the question, because I didn't believe. Yet, I didn't quite know why. As time passed, and it was clear I wasn't going on a mission, people's attitudes towards me changed. Conversations stopped when I came near, and everyone always had something to do and left. My social life was finished because Mormon girls are taught that their prime duty in life is to marry a returned missionary and raise children. There was only one young woman who treated me with kindness during that time. B. E., if you ever read this, thanks. I drifted further and further away from even the most basic Mormon beliefs; however, I still has to attend while living with my parents. Seeing everyone believing and content just pushed me further into depression and confusion. I joined the Air Force at age 21 and left for basic training. While there, I once again tried to return to Mormonism. I reread the Book of Mormon and prayed, but it didn't help.I was stationed at March AFB, Ca., near Riverside. Leaving the Church was easy, and I didn't miss it at all. I was always told that I'd feel an emptiness in my life without it, but I didn't.Mormons are very tenacious people and don't like the idea that one of their members is back-sliding. Since I was still on the membership roles, I could be tracked down. Men from the Church would come to my home and ask me to come back. Their visits would average about once every 4 to 6 months. I would get phone calls both at work and home for the same purpose. I was considered an 'inactive' member by this time.Mormons have a program called fast-offerings. The first Sunday of every month, members are required to fast from the Saturday evening meal until Sunday evening meal. The average food cost is then calculated, and that amount is given to the Church (as a minimum donation). On that day, twelve year old boys are handed a package of envelopes. On them are the names and addresses of inactive members living within certain boundaries as well as those individuals who couldn't attend the fast meeting. The boys are then driven to the targeted houses and ask for a fast offering. I was hit up for this as well.I left for Korea for a 1 year tour and wasn't there two months before they found me again! I had to live in a dormitory and my neighbors would tell me about missionaries knocking on my door and asking about me. I worked rotating shifts and was seldom home. The visits had gotten so frequent that my neighbors taped a sign to my door saying 'Mormons, go away!' Religious recruitment is forbidden on military installations. How did they get in? How did they keep on finding me? As a result, I had my dog tags changed for religious preference.After my return to the U.S., I started doing my own research into the history and doctrine of the Mormon Church. As stated earlier, I required three independent sources of information to confirm a belief or event. The reason for this is while the Mormons were starting their religion, they were persecuted. While some anti-Mormon literature was written, there was also a great deal of objective and firsthand accounts as well. If three different sources agreed on an event, it was unlikely to be pure hate literature. What I found out was very different from what I was taught growing up. The Church version of Mormon history is a heavily doctored one designed more for the raising up of faith than recording accurate history.Independent research is highly discouraged. Members are told to view, read, and listen only to Church approved sources. The more I learned on my own, the more I believed that Mormonism is not the true religion of God. I was no longer bothered by the thought that I was going to the Telestial kingdom (the lowest of three worlds Mormons believe will exist in the afterlife) for casting away the true gospel. The discrepancies between the historical and Church versions were so wide that I started to get angry. All my life, I was taught to believe that Mormonism developed in a certain way, and now it was all wrong.It got to the point that I wanted to sever every tie with the Church that I could. I called the local bishop and asked him to forward a letter to Salt Lake City, Utah. In that letter I stated that I wanted my name removed from the records of the Church. He sounded very distressed. He stated that he didn't even know I was in his boundary (I guess the dog tags was how they kept finding me). He asked to meet with me, but I declined. I told him that I didn't want to talk to anyone, no one was to come to my home, and no one was to call. He was agitated and somewhat dumb-founded. He asked me if I had sinned against the Church, and, if I had, that I must go through a bishop's court. In this court I'd be judged as to whether I warranted excommunication, in other words, cut from the Church on their terms. I told him that I wouldn't attend any court because I no longer recognized his authority (he didn't like that). After some more discussion, he agreed, and I mailed him my letter.About two weeks later, I was away for the evening. When I returned, my wife told me that the bishop had come over. He told her that he needed my phone number and priesthood records. After she let him in, he immediately started looking around for me. He asked her if she was Mormon (she isn't). He told her all the horrible things that would happen to me in the afterlife if I continued with this process. After getting his information, he left. I was furious when I found out. The only reason he was there was to get my phone number (it's unlisted). I clearly told him I wasn't to be contacted at home, and he disregarded my wishes.About two months passed without any progress. I received a phone call one evening from the bishop. He asked me to meet with him at the Church next Sunday. My initial thought was that he had my membership cancellation notice. But as I thought about it, it didn't make sense. It would've been mailed to me. I asked him what he wanted to talk to me about. There was silence for about twenty seconds before he spoke. He said that the Lord had a calling for me. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. I asked him to repeat what he said, and he did, adding that we needed to talk about it. I told him I wasn't an active member and wasn't interested. He turned nasty then, mocking my voice and started pronouncing doom on my head if I refused the Lord. I hung up the phone. This happened in Jan. ' 95. By this time I knew that he wasn't going to honor my request. I started to look for another way out. I couldn't believe the trouble I was having getting out of a church! If I had gone ahead with a bishop's court, it would've already been over. The Mormon Church doesn't like people leaving on their own. It makes them look bad. But if the person has been excommunicated, they can say that the person was a sinner and didn't deserve to be a Mormon.I contacted a lawyer and told him what had happened. At first he looked at me a little strange but as he got the full story, decided to help me. He told me he would call Salt Lake and advise them to release me. If they didn't, then I was going to sue the Church for harassment. In addition, he wanted the records to reflect that the only reason I was removed was because I had requested it.I went home and just shook my head. I was amazed at this whole thing. If it wasn't so pitiful, it would've been funny.The next day, I came home from work and checked the mail. In it was a package sent overnight express. Inside was my records cancellation letter from the local bishop. It was a Xerox and written in the top right-hand corner was 'Nov. 94'. I just laughed, they were fighting to the end. I decided to develop a Web page to express my opinions and become a point of contact for others who had gone through the same experiences I did. It got pretty popular, receiving over 31,000 hits in seven months. I was helping people who've had their lifes thrown into turmoil by leaving the Mormon church. As my page received more exposure, the members in my parents area started to mobilize. My parents were harrassed by people they've gone to church with for over 20 years. Instead of exhibiting Christian-type values such as comforting them for the loss of a son from Mormonism, they received emotional blackmail instead. My father's health started to suffer as a result of it.I was forced to remove my page from the Internet because I was stating my opinion and it scared them. Mormons have long cried "Persecution! The world won't let us believe what we want and publish/think what we want." Well, that same attitude has been used on me. Since they couldn't get to me they turned on my parents. Another example of a repressive, closed-minded church that will work tirelessly to stop anyone who dares express an opinion of Mormonism that hasn't been through the Church's sanitation machine. I've had many people tell me I should write a book, I'm in process of doing that."How sad that a church feels the need to take hostages.
On
17-May-2010,
Natalie said:
Growing up a Mormon, I was never allowed to ask questions or debate concerns I had about many aspects of the religion. I was to sit tight and have faith. Mormons tell you all the time to have faith. That is what they build their religion on. And faith isn't something that can be proven, so there you go. Have faith=good mormon. Wavering faith=bad mormon. My heart goes out to all those who walk through life blinded by the inability to choose for themselves. Mormons will say, "wait! I do get to choose for myself and I choose to be a mormon!" No you don't. You either don't know any better, haven't looked at the extensive historical inacuracies of mormon canon, never thought to question something that sounded strange, and became comfortable going through life with a script in your hand telling you what you can and cannot do and what will happen if you do or do not do something. I requested my records be removed at the age of 21, and it was a process. I stated that I did not believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of any sort, the book of mormon and other mormon canon were not true, and I did not recognize the "churches" authority to dictate whether I was worthy or not worthy enough to be a mormon. I also stated that "excommunication" was not to be included in my records because this was my choice, not the church's. They sent letters back saying I needed to see a bishop, to which I replied I did not recognize any authority of a bishop and therefore would not meet with one. After nine months I finally received a letter, after numerous letters of intimidation on their part, stating my records had been removed and excommunication would not be included as cause of the removal. I cannot emphasize enough the tremendous unexpected burden that was lifted from my shoulders. I had feared these men. I had sufferede humiliating "confessions," been told not to take the sacrement for my sins (I was around 12 and the whole congregation could see I wasn't taking the bread and water), and I realized they had no power. None. They were men who lived next door, my friend's dad, school teachers, but all just men. They had no priesthood that aimed to pound the fear of God in to me. I don't think I ever really grasped that until that letter came in the mail after I stood up for myself and refused their claim of authority. I don't hate the church. My parents are very active and we get along great. If you need a map to follow and someone to tell you how to live every single part of your life than mormonism is the church for you. No free thinking. I am so thankful that I "saw the light" and got out. I am no longer a Christian but believe everyone has a right to their religion. I am speaking from my own experience. That is all I can truly know.
On
13-May-2010,
Oliver said:
I baptized several people on my mission in the early 80's. Later, when I discovered that the church is nothing more than a well oiled propaganda machine, I felt so bad about what I had done to those people I called all of them up and apologized. I guess the joke was on me...only one was still active...
On
12-Apr-2010,
J. Frost said:
I speak from the perspective of a seeker of truth. I was convinced by the mannerisms and polite ways of the missionaries who visited me that they were sincere in their belief. However, when I followed them down the path that they(the Mormon missionaries guided me on) even to baptism by some Elders of the church. My quest and subsequent experiences(which include praying that God will reveal whether this is truth or NO)led me to a very definite conclusion that Mormon Doctrine is not Spiritual. I experienced the emptiest feeling during my baptism(I can only describe it as NOTHINGNESS or A VACUUM)this convinced me to flee from any further association with the LDS. church. I am and always have been a fervent scholar/student of all things Biblical. Throughout my 41 yrs of study I had always felt the presence of a benevolent Being with me. During the Baptism that Presence was strangely absent(the best I can describe this) I have much respect for all people and their personal belief...(so long as theirs doesn't include harming others) and I declare that my experience and my prayers to God concerning these matters are what sent me away from it all! Do with it whatever you will, this is my True Testimony!
On
05-Apr-2010,
Oliver said:
As a former true believing Mormon I have watched this back and forth debate between the believers, and the apostates for more than 30 years, and I have postulated a couple of common themes. First the Believers attack sites such as this, without a single honest example of a lie or misstatement that appears on these pages, nor do they even offer a rebuttal. It all comes down to their faith, and their testimonies. The other theme I find so interesting, and compelling, is that I have found NO other religion like the LDS church that its biggest critics are former members, and most of them return missionaries, and also having gone through the temple to get married. What does that say about this so called religion? The whole church is predicated on the validity of the the First Vision, and not only has that been questioned, but there is NO, supporting science to back any of JS's claims up. No Hebrew DNA. No over sea migration. No Artifacts. Not a single example of any of the battles fought. No accurate geographical representations. The book of Abraham was a fabrication, "translated" from a funeral scroll 2000 years After the time of Abraham. The list goes on. But no matter how strong your testimony is, the red light of doubt ought to be blinking when your church tells you it is spiritually unhealthy to delve into the history of the church, and my personal favorite, to read and review only faith promoting literature. The LDS church could have given lessons to Lenin on how to operate a successful Communist regime. Proud to be a "son of perdition."
On
12-Mar-2010,
Jennifer said:
I too grew up in Utah. About half of my family is still mormon. A few of us have seen the "light" and left this crazy religion behind. I haven't been to a mormon service in years. I recently attended a mormon funeral. It really slammed home for me that I have made the right choice in leaving this religion. It was unbelievable how many people that spoke in the funeral ended their speech by saying "I know this is the true church, JS was a true prophet of God, the book of mormon is true". They all sound like brain washed robot's who just repeat what they heard their parents say when the were sitting in testimony meeting at age 3. I believe that at an early age mormon kids are taught fear and guilt and to NEVER question any mormon teachings. They grow up believing they can never question anything they have learned. Then they become full tithe payers so they can make it into the "celestial kingdom". The perfect plan to keep these people paying all of their hard earned money to get into mormon heaven. My heart goes out to these people trying to leave this cult. I'm so happy and fulfilled to be where I am today. Raising my kids in a healthy christian environment, where we celebrate and Jesus and God. There is no fear or guilt. This website made it so easy for me see the differences in the Bible and book of mormon. Thanks for all of your hard work!
On
03-Dec-2009,
Suzanne J said:
I attended the LDS Church until my early teens. Every time I heard someone "bear their testimony" I wondered how can a child know this is the true church of God. My conclusion was that it's a phrase everyone uses, because they're supposed to. It took me 40+ years before I searched for a new faith, and I am now a devoted Episcopalian. In my communion classes, I learned that no faith should tell me what to do--I don't have to disclose my financial status; I don't have anyone checking up on me if I miss church; I can be myself, and if some days I'm not perfect, I know that God loves me no matter what. I was encouraged to attend other faiths before making my decision. The Mormon church would never encourage that. I work with many Mormon people, and all I hear is their absolute need for money and things, yet they are untruthful when reporting their hours worked—that’s breaking the law, but they don’t see it that way. One person told me a joke about a Bishop who played golf on Sunday and made a hole in one but he couldn't tell anyone. I said why? He said the Sabbath is holy--we can't do things like that on Sunday. I said why would God not love you if you played golf on Sunday? The same individual told me about renting a popular DVD, but he could only watch 5 minutes because it was filled with smut. I was incredulous--in the first 5 minutes of the film, a young girl had shorts on, and that was smut? I can't believe the egotism of these people. This guy was telling me how righteous he was on the one hand, and yet I knew if he had the chance, he'd watch that film from beginning to end. The Scriptures tell us all we need to know about god and how He hopes we conduct our lives. He doesn't say "only if you do it this way will I love you." He loves me no matter what.
On
11-Nov-2009,
Mary said:
I left my religion out of ignorance, and converted to Mormonism out of ignorance as well. One day I went away, and lived over the Far East for 5 years. Then my eyes opened, my mind cleared up and many questions were resolved and answered. It is true… Mormonism is just a well managed business, and like every other big successful company, they also have the best religion propaganda in our planet. They have one of the best organized religions multinational on the planet. All base on a fallacy, now to big and to powerful their presidents and people in command are to make changes, very carefully done changes within their books in order to make some sense out of such craziness. A regular Mormons are pleasant, and good friends, they help when a person needs them and they are quite organized and faithful. They don’t know better, and most probably they will not… and may be is better that way, what dissolution, can you imagine? What a pain. Today I love them for what they are.