When did you REALLY start questioning?

Elder Berry Jul 2014

So discounting shelving at what age did you start suspecting LDS Inc. wasn't a good truth speaker for your reality?

At 5 or 6 I remember watching the light of the sun playing on some furniture in our house. It was late afternoon and I thought the light show I witnessed was beauty itself. I remember thinking how simple this was. It was something as a child I could comprehend in a very incomprehensible world.

I thought about the things I had learned about the sun and how life giving it was for me particularly and humans in general. That to me seems like an equivalent of a concept of a god. I never could wrap my mind around such an anthropomorphic god. To me a being greater than me and all my human relatives across the entire globe was one that like plants helped us grow in more indirect ways. I thought praying was useless. I still do.

That was the genesis of my questioning. The young simplicity of this epiphany still affects me today. It was simple and beautiful.

Then I grew under the influence of a different life giver with no connection to the sun. And the questions never stopped. All I could do is attempt to pray them away. I never totally succeeded.

Stray Mutt
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

On my mission. What type of God would put lying, bullying @ssholes like my MP and the visiting GAs in charge? And did I really believe the stuff I was teaching?

Doubting Thomas
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

This is one of the reasons I believe the missionary "surge" will backfire and produce more doubters than tithe paying converts.

I began doubting not because of God or some of the whacky teachings of TSCC [this so called church]. I began doubting when I saw the things men in charge could do to other members.

Has nothing to do with being offended. It has everything to do with witnessing offenses and then watching offenders blame God.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

In 7th grade learning about evolution for the first time.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

From the time I first heard the missionary lessons, I had lots of questions. Eventually, I just let them go and went along with it.Live was moving along, I got married,had children, was so busy I hardly had time to think about them.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

Apparently it takes me a while to catch on. I only started questioning after I went through the freak show that is called the temple. I was in my late 20's.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

When I was in 3rd grade. I had an american indian, and an asian classmate. They looked very much alike in many ways.

I was convinced that the indians came from asia. I thought the BoM was wrong about who the american indians are. Turns out, I was right.

I wonder if my Sunday school teacher remembers me telling her that I thought that. That was over 50 years ago.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

I remember being bored out of my mind in SM as a child. I would look at the BoA facsimiles since they were the only pictures in the book. I didn't dwell on it too much, but I remember thinking they had nothing to do with our religion. I wish I had kept looking and questioning, but I probably didn't look closely at those facsimilies for the next 10+ years.

Stray Mutt
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

Passing questions and doubts, but I wasn't seriously rethinking it all until then. My first "wait, what?" Moment was when I realized at about 5 or 6 that the Bible and BoM stories weren't supposed to be just more fairy tales.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

I was certain that a lot of things the church did were only administrative decisions and not from God. I did, however, believe J.S. was a prophet and the BofM was what it pretended to be right up until I discovered a book that proved JS was a liar. I also met Jan Shipps about the same time and knew from her confirmation that what I had read was true. I don't think I ever believed the modern day leaders were prophets. Nothing they ever said seemed prophetic or even logical.

Sorry to say I was over 40 before I saw the full light of day.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

When I was 11 or 12 I started questioning the veracity of TSCC. I had many burning questions such as:

"If God had a father, then who was his father? And his father's father?"

"Eternity is a long time. What am I supposed to do for an eternity in heaven? Is there ever really an end?"

The eternity thing really bugged me. It was as if I was afraid of dying but more bothered by life never really ending as though that would torment me more.

This was the beginning of my testimony. It was one giant shelf where I believed that I must learn everything one step at a time and not worry about the particulars. I believed that they would be revealed to me over time. It's strange to look back and think how I customized my beliefs to fit the worldview that TSCC was providing.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

When I slit my throat (symbolically) and disemboweled myself (symbolically) in the Logan temple just prior to going on a mission.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

late twenties/early 30's, seemed to be a disconnect between what the gospel promises and delivers. After quite a few years of trying harder, I finally considered maybe the problem wasn't me and was actually the teachings themselves.

I expected to find the core principles were correct but that they were being taught incorrectly.

I assumed the by looking at where the teachings came from, who said them originally, etc, that the added context would give clarity and understanding so that I could enjoy living the gospel.

It all fell apart pretty quickly after that. Started with the realization that way too many commandments/policies/revelations had changed and therefore were not infinite and eternal. No amount of context or better understanding those commandments would solve my problem. But it got me started looking into the history and needless to say, I was shocked. Angry. Betrayed. Sorrowful. Sleepless. Confused. But also - Elated. Excited. Hopeful. Validated.

Elder Berry
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?
oldspeak Wrote:

Same thing happened to me before I hit puberty. I was probably younger than you maybe around my baptism. I tried one night to imagine time that never ended. It frightened me badly. I remember thinking that I couldn't conceive of something that never ended. It drove me crazy. I kept looking for permanent things in my life that I would want to last forever.

I didn't have any family relationships that I wanted to last forever. I didn't understand what I was taught was God could be forever and be a man. I thought that I had changed so much in my short life that staying the same forever sounded more like Hell than a form of Heaven. I liked change.

When I was older I remember talking to kids my age in the ward about how cool it will be to have your own planet and what you could make. Forever started looking like a game that never ends. With that perspective I thought I could handle forever but then I imagined all the horror and pain I would be the ultimate cause of and didn't want to think about playing that game forever. Sounded like a sadistic kid I knew who tortured animals.


I've also thought about this before with the same effect. It really drove me crazy and in a way scared me... I know that everyone wants to live forever, but have you really thought about there being no end? Whenever I got to that line of thinking, I'd just have to put it in the back of my mind and think, "hey, we're all in this together" knowing that no matter how much I thought about it or tripped myself out, the end result would be the same for everyone. So I just figured I'd strap myself in and enjoy the ride :)

missionary blues
on my mission
While diligently reading the Book of Mormon in another language, I realized something was really wrong with it.

The first thing that came to my mind,

and I think of it often, is being 5 years old and looking at the jar of coffee on the counter and worrying that we wouldn't be a forever family. I can still see that little girl. My dad drank coffee most of my life, chewed tobacco, and drank alcohol. I knew my dad. He was a good man, so this didn't make sense to me at age 5.

Short shorts
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

In 1997 when I read gordo hinckley in Time magazine deny that his church teaches that god was once a man and that we, too, can become gods in the afterlife. Since I had been taught that very thing every Sunday of my life I could only conclude that Gordon was either lying or completely derelict in his capacity as prophet in knowing what his church teaches. Neither answer reassured me that Gordo was god's mouthpiece on earth. I was 30 years old.

Elder Berry
Re: The first thing that came to my mind,

What a great story. I guess I would have to have had more love for my family to be that conflicted at a young age. As it was I was one of ten - easily ignored and still am.

Elder Berry
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

This was when questioning started to bubble up a bit again in my life. I was newly married and I had been recommitted to the cause for about 6 years, 2 being on a mission.

Hinckley got my past questions percolating again with this denial of Mormon Doctrine.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

When Mark Hoffman started setting off bombs, and the GAs didn't have a clue. Finally, when Dallin Oakes, esq. claimed the church was also a victim. Yeah, a victim of its own leaders, secrets, and lies.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

I was in primary (it was after school back then) and very close to my baptism. A thought came into my head, "I don't belong here." That thought scared the b'jebus out of me. I really wanted to be a good Mormon and be worthy etc.. Even though I tried, I was never able to fully shake the feeling.

I think a large portion of it had to do with being mixed race. It is not easy to be the child of a mixed race couple in the church. It was further compounded by the fact that it was during the '70's and '80's and I grew up in predominately Caucasian neighbourhoods (So Caucasian that our family was the only non-Caucasian family in the ward.) I knew from quite early on that I wasn't looked on as the most desirable of members. It's extremely painful to grow up always feeling that the people you are told to value the most, look at you as "less than", just by virtue of your birth.

I remember people saying in (my presence) things like, "Mixed marriage isn't right because it just confuses and hurts the children." I can tell you that I have never been confused about who I am. I am both parts and yet entirely me. The only people that are confused, are other people that want to shove you into a box of their making.

Sorry, I went on a rant-y tangent. But I was just shy of 8 when I knew something wasn't right. :-)

Carl Pagan
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

I realized at a very early age that praying does not work. I've always wondered why everyone else doesn't figure this out almost immediately as well.

I also found that the story of
Noah's Ark was not only horrific, but made absolutely no sense. Likewise for the absurd favour that Jesus-God died to make God-himself forgive me for something I never did. The list goes on...

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

In the MTC. In high school I stopping being the really strong TBM that I was in junior high, but I couldn't bring myself to consciously question it.

It wasn't until I started reading the BoM seriously during the MTC and my first thoughts that if I were to try to copy the Bible, this is the type of book that I would write. (Not that I could, but it just seemed to be written by someone.)

I was in Japan at the tail end of that huge fiasco, although down in Kyushu and it didn't seem right at all. I remember listening to Elder Kikuchi and just shaking my head.

Elder Berry
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

sassypants Wrote:
> Sorry, I went on a rant-y tangent.

That wasn't a tangent but a reason to question and a very good one.

I was told growing up that mixed race couples were bad and when my brother married out of our race my mother slighted her all the time about her race. I don't like my sister in law but she didn't deserve to be treated like she was. Just another example of the "goodness" of Mormonism.

Elder Berry
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?
outsider Wrote:
> I remember listening to Elder
> Kikuchi and just shaking my head.

I remember listening to him in the MTC in this big meeting and having no idea what he was saying. It seemed random and unprepared and the more he talked the confused I got. But this is like a lot of GAs who don't have a bunch of prepared statements that their regurgitate regularly.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

It was around eleven but they were just thoughts floating in my head. Nothing solid. Then I was away as a first year at girls camp and was excited to open the daddy daughter letter.

I never had a good relationship with him and was excited to hear why he loved me. Everything he said was church related. I remember thinking "he only loves me because of how he thinks I follow the church and there is something wrong with the church."

It was the first tangible thought I had that the church was not all it was cracked up to be.

I have since come to realize that my dad does not love me as a person but as an extension of himself to reflect his glory. Seeing as I am a dirty apostate he wants nothing to do with me unless I let an opportunity to brainwash my children arise.

L Tom Petty
Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

As a young boy I remember having a lot of trouble rationalizing the "doctrine" of denying priesthood to blacks. It also made no sense that Mormons were more special than other people. There were a lot of idiots in my ward, what made them any better than anyone else? I highly doubted they had done anything great in the pre-existence.

Re: The first thing that came to my mind,

Agreed. My father drank coffee, and he worked overtime on Sundays whenever he could (to make sure we were fed and clothed). As a little girl, I was afraid these sins of his stood in the way of our ever being a forever family (a thought that is very frightening to a child).

My father, who passed very recently, was the kindest and dearest man who ever walked this planet, IMO. Fortunately, as a result of this experience and other things (like learning of polygamy), I wised up around age 16 and was able to love, honor and appreciate him for many decades (as he deserved).

But, I still resent TSCC for that early programming that made me think less of my wonderful father.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

I was in my 30's. I had lived in a bubble until then - raised in Utah Valley, got married at 19, then was a SAHM until aged 34 and only had Mormon friends. By then I was living on the East coast and decided to go back to work. It was the first time in my life I made gay friends, black friends, and feminist friends. I knew I was supposed to be a member missionary to them, but I knew that the church would be harmful to them. I was embarrassed to be a member of the church for the first time in my life. I could not figure out in my mind how Christ's church could be so racist, judgmental and exclusive. I knew the church wasn't for everyone at that point. It took me 6 more years to get fully out if the church after that.

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

I was three, just learning to read, and I could finally sound out the words on the pretty banner in the kitchen. It was the Christus statue with lots of the blue background, with the common questions that are supposed to be asked by investigators:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
This all seemed very self explanatory to little old me, and I was disappointed that was all it said, especially when my mom put on her faux holy voice and told me these were very serious questions that only the church could answer.
If I'd had the words, I think I would have said "bullshit", but as I was only three I think I just giggled madly at her acting and went off to play with cans of food. (Have I mentioned we were extremely poor? My building blocks were in the kitchen cupboards and always changing.)

Re: When did you REALLY start questioning?

Ok. My earliest doubts that I can remember were why they didn't find the bones/swords/etc at the hill cumorah, that was pretty young.

Also the story of Lot and his daughters was just ridiculous, as was some bald prophet who some kids made fun of and were eaten by bears. Family scripture study... isn't it wonderful.

I remember questioning questioning at age four.

Lying in the bottom bunk bed, I thought about Noah and it didn't make sense. I was also bothered by the forever family idea and imagined families in heaven with thousands and thousands of members bunched around tables trying to eat Sunday dinner together.

One incident stands out when I was four. Two church officials came to our home and I knew they were lying. Their faces and their voices said lie, lie, lie. Their eyes said lie and their bodies twitched with lying. I knew that if these high powered priesthood guys would come to our home to tell us lies, then perhaps the Mormon church could be weighted with other massive lies and be peopled with liars.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"