I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been one for 37 years. I have lived all over the world and seen all walks of people, both in the Church and without. Your web page represents nothing more than an ax grinding forum. I am glad you and your family have progressed out of the church, if this gives you joy. However, you are neither an authority on the church, nor the neutral resource you claim to be.
Might I suggest that if you wish to truly demonstrate your purported concern, use the point, count-point approach. Give a faithful member of the church the opportunity (unedited) to counter-point every one of your points. If you can't be this generous, then include my name and e:mail address. I'll be glad to respond to any questions posed, not as a forum for a debate, because such a course would be fruitles, but as a resource from someone who's only "ax to grind" is giving anyone the opportunity to learn more.
As for your ax to grind? I can only speculate. However, this much I think I can be accurate about - what you think and what you know aren't compatible with each other. It is more then likely that you weren't able to live the standards of the church and because of that, you have determined the standards are wrong and bad. Okay, welcome to the real world. I haven't met the "perfect" member yet. I don't suspect I will in the near future either. But this much I do know, for every person like you in this world, incapable of striving to live to the lofty standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are thousands trying to do their best, and haven't rolled over under the buffetings of the world. You've given up, I haven't. You have nothing to offer me or anyone, except your rheteric. I would rather strive for what the future offers through the Church, then the options you think you can offer.
Let's see if you're are really capable of more then bashing. Let's see if I'm wrong. Let's see if you are truly concerned, or simply want the lime light. I feel much like Alma the Younger speaking to Korihor - "Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou are possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God." Personally, I'm glad to see your page. You will probably be able to deceive the weak in heart, however, the elect will read what you have to say and it will inspire them to search to find the truth. On their behalf, let me say thank you!
Eric's reply: This is not a debate forum. There are over 600 web sites promoting Mormonism and a few dozen or more which give opposing views. Just do a search. I do not have time nor do I have an inclination toward debate. I did enough of that as a Mormon. My e-mail correspondence is with other former Mormons or those who had already started working their way out of Mormonism. This web site is for those who found out Mormonism is not what it claims to be from outside of what this web site has to offer. Its intention is to give support to those who have left this organization and are finding their sense of humanity again or for finding it for the first time in their lives. A current believing Mormon does not understand this site at all. I would have not either a few years ago.
hello eric! i just wanted to thank you for this page. i am a member in the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. it is always great to see opposing viewpoints to the church, it was even more interesting to see members of the church getting so emotionally involved with your page that they send less than inspiring letters, threats, pleading, etc. i cannot fault them for getting upset, this church is their life and my life. as the missionary who baptised me said, "it isn't the people in the church who are perfect, it is the gospel that is perfect" and it holds true, certainly i am not nor or any of the people who have posted for or against the church. i enjoy your sarcasim in reading the member's accounts/testimonies/etc, i was laughing at some. nevertheless, they are passionate and they know of what they speak. keeping a forum where both the pros and cons of the restored gospel can be discussed is wonderful. i do not know your motives for doing it but i know it can do some good. i would suggest allowing for positive stories of members to be placed here also. certainly one woman was abused, that is awful.....but what of the women who are treated with respect and love? we do not hear of their stories, that is unfortunate. the people in the church are not perfect but i can testify that the gospel is. and i love everyone who posted in defense or against the church...it brings to mind my favourite hymn>i am a child of god< and so are you, and that knowledge is only taught in fulness by the church and it allows us all to know we should love and respect the opinions of one another, because we are all in this together in the end. thanks for allowing me to post.
If you take ONE person away from the gospel you will be damned to spend eternity in hell!
Please think about this when you tell people this church is bad
THIS IS THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH!
The priesthood is a true power
The Book of Mormon is the only truly correct book on the face of the earth
Joseph Smith was a true prophet of god
If you think one of all of these are false then I feel very sorry for you and your family
Whether or not I am a member of the mormon faith really holds no bearing as to how Jesus Christ would respond to your experiences. I personally don't believe that the Savior would slam anything that he may have regretted.
I don't think he would have a page devoted to slamming on Judaism, Jehova's Witnesses, Amway, US government, Catholicism, Mormonism, or ANYTHING AT ALL. But perhaps you have left Christianity altogether.
If you HAVE found the "one and only" true church, I would be interested in hearing about it and why you joined.
Eric's reply: I do not believe there is any ONE true organization. It does not exist. What did Christ say about and to the Pharisees and to the Sadducees and to the Scribes? The people he "slammed" were usually those who claimed self righteousness and were members of those groups. Is Mormonism with its many rules, regulations and quotas really much different than the sect of the Pharisees during Christ's time? I am not advocating Christianity right here, just using this as an example of what kinds of groups were mentioned quite unfavorably by Christ.
Thank you for reading. I encourage you to try some of your own religious research and not use others as a crutch. Please respond if you feel inclined. 3/12/96
2. You are a complete moron! I think that you need to list some references to your discoveries. It is amazing that you finally figured out the secret of the Mormon religion when thousands of scholars have tried to prove the Mormon religion false since the beginning. Can you give us the reference as to the false portion of the Kinderplates ie Where can I read this in church history?
Interesting analysis!!!!! I suppose you found a faith that has the truth? I would be interested in knowing which faith would have it. 3/11/96
Eric's reply to both: My story on why I left Mormonism was not originally intended to be a document with footnotes and references. It was a letter to a friend. I am going to add documentation to it because many have asked me to do so.
The Kinderhook plates:
"I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike county, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. Robert Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton and were covered on both sides with ancient characters."
"I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth. "
This can be found at on the Internet from the 1930 version of the History of the Church:
For many years, the church claimed that these plates were authentic ancient writings, in spite of the fact that the farmers later admitted the hoax - evidently the fact that Smith had translated part of them made it too embarrassing to accept the hoax. After resorting to more and more implausible and desperate arguments, the church flip-flopped about 10 years ago, and now admits that the plates are phony. [See the August 1981 Ensign.] Why is it in the official church history along with pictures of the plates? [The pictures are not in the Internet version.] The church now pretends this incident never happened by maintaining complete silence about it. I have now given you original sources to look at. See for yourself.
Hey Eric, I noticed that you haven't posted my little note that I sent to you yet. So here is another copy. Just in case you accidentally deleted the other one. I did notice (I'm sure everyone else did too), that all the replies from the LDS people were all really short, did you edit them or something? Those who support your views were given as much space as they needed. Why is that? Is there any chance that you could post my WHOLE note? You being the concerned 'Christian' that you are of course, will be fair right? I also used my spell checker one this one Eric, so you don't need to use that cute little title about my spelling.
I think that it is nice that you have a web site that people who have lost faith in their religion can go and share stories that make themselves feel better. Would it be too much to ask for you to offer this site for other Christians as well people from any other faith who have lost faith in their church too? I suppose the site would be full to soon, right?
It is a great statement for the Church that such a small percentage of believers actually stray. Maybe you could be subjective (if that's possible) and compare the LDS dropout rate to maybe that of the Catholic faith. And then even more interesting would be to see of what percentage of those Ex-Mormons who so proudly use your site have strayed after serious sin on their part. I know several people who are like you, and in each case they have committed serious sin, and this is their (and maybe your) only way to deal with it. To deny the very truth you used to profess. Somehow it must make you feel better, knowing that others are on the same road as you.
To say that your doubts were the reason you fell away from the Church of course is only a partial truth. Every believer of every faith has some kind of doubts during their life. But the so called Christian belief of non-LDS people requires so much less effort on their part that the real question is this: Are Ex-Mormons just taking the easy way out? No tithing to pay. So many fewer meetings to attend. So much less criticism from others not of your faith. No more Word of Wisdom. No guilt for sin. Wow, being a Christian is really easy, isn't it? And isn't it also interesting that in reading your support letters, one gets the feeling that relief from righteous living is what has been the trophy for these people.
Maybe some of your readers can answer these questions (if they have a Bible that the so called Christians have left some original verses alone in), 1 Corinthians 15:29 What about this baptism for the dead they used to believe in? Does their new faith accept this scripture? Or maybe this resurrection of the dead, referenced in the same chapter of Corinthians verses 40-42. I thought all you Christians were just going to Heaven or to Hell. Why do you need celestial bodies or terrestrial bodies at all? You're just going to float around Heaven forever, right? That's the beauty of your new position. You don't have to have any answers at all! Just criticize the LDS position.
Maybe if Eric had this WEB page during Christ's time, old Judas wouldn't have committed suicide, just posted a consoling note for others who lost faith, so he could feel better about his actions. I'm sure Pilot would have jumped on too. Maybe Saul would have been so busy here with you putting down the believers that he wouldn't have even gotten on the road to Damascus and seen the Savior? It will be interesting to see how you cut this little letter up, and miss quote me (if you even have the courage to post it). But that is the mark of the true Anti-LDS, miss quote and rearrange the text of the LDS author, right?
Brief reply from Eric: The dropout rate from Mormonism is extremely high especially in fast growth areas of the LDS church. Most Mormons (greater than 55% in the US and higher in other areas of the world) become inactive and they stay on the membership rolls. This letter is a very typical reaction of a member of an authoritarian group. He or she thinks a person leaves their organization because of "sin". That is the most common rationale current believers have of those who leave.
I'm LDS, and I stumbled upon your web page and spent quite a bit of time perusing the material contained therein.
One story struck me as being particularly misleading and full of innuendo: The one titled "Treatment of Women and Child Abuse".
I am very sorry for what this woman went through, but what part did the Church play in her misfortune? It seems that her husband was an adulterer and child abuser, but what has that got to do with the Church? Is the reader supposed to conclude that the Church was somehow responsible? This husband of hers was excommunicated at least once by the church, disfellowshipped another time, and who knows what else.
The author of the story herself emphasises the kindness and love she experienced with her Mormon foster parents, as well as others. Where are the accusations against the Church?
I got baptized into the Chuch 17 years ago at the age of 20, as did my 2 brothers, my one sister, and my mother. I have served a mission, and I have been sealed to my lovely wife in the Temple. I have NEVER seen anything in the Church that has caused me to doubt that it is the true Church of Jesus Christ.
I have seen a few members do stupid things, but that has got nothing to do with the Chuch itself. Heavenly Father only has us fallible human beings to run His affairs here on earth, and we do the best we can!
Eric, if you have made this web page in an honest effort to help others, I believe you will be blessed by our Heavenly Father for your efforts (even if your efforts are misdirrected)!.
If, on the other hand, you have simply decided to become an enemy of the Church at all costs, and are willing to knowingly make false and misleading accusations to accomplish your revenge, then I implore you to reconsider. Heavenly Father is always ready to forgive.
Thanks for reading my message, and I'll be really dissapointed if I don't see my letter in your "more letters to this site" page. Feel free to comment on my spelling, it's not one of my assets. 3/10/96
Eric's reply: The stories are for emotional support for those who have left Mormonism or left other authoritarian organizations. I have received many letters from Mormon women who experienced these things and much more, which I can not print due to confidentiality. It has been shocking even to me because of the volume of letters I have gotten on those subjects. I honestly had not expected such a response. Many women have written about their husband's infidelity while serving as a Bishop and in other major callings and all the husband got was a slap on the wrist so the church would not have embarassing publicity. The common theme has been "if he had been an ordinary member, he would have been excommunicated" and the average member of the ward or stake does not even know what transpired due to the secrecy within the leadership of the church. This is certainly not true in all cases. It varies from stake to stake. A number of women have written about how their ex-husbands are now homosexual after many years of marriage. It is suprisingly common in Mormonism. I wish there were a way to do a definitive study on this and have statistics to back up what I have observed from the letters.
I do not write this to judge you (as only God can do that), but as I read your web page, I couldn't help but refelct on the above thoughts..
I know the church is true, and that is enough. I hope you don't mind that I wrote to you, and please excuse my spelling as I don't have a spell checker here.
Eric's note: What easier prophesy is there for a con-man than to say than that eventually some will fall away and "fight" against the church? Some people will eventually see they have been had, the con-man knows that he can not fool everyone, and they will feel impressed to warn others or to be an emotional support for others as they make their transition out of Mormonism. The con-man can use that as a 'proof' that he is a prophet.
Eric's note: What do I say to Jehovah's Witnesses who write the same exact thing to me, "I am persecuting HIS CHURCH"?
In both cases, one is still left to use other senses and other witnesses to ascertain the "truth" of things. We depend on the fruits of our experience in the Mormon Church and the delightful Spirit that settles on us and our children as we serve using the principles of the restoration as guidelines.
I left off the rest as it was quite disgusting
I hope you humble yourself and discover that you are fighting against the truth and work of God before you cause great harm to the Christ's work. Don't believe the lies you heard from others or create for yourself.
Poking around on your internet pages: I understand you a little better. An intellectual or social conversion to Mormonism is apparently not good enough to endure a lifetime. You need to know that it's true. You cannot know that it's false, but you can know it's true, because it is.