FAQ - Frequently asked questions or comments about "Recovery from Mormonism"

If this is your first visit to the site. You can explore archived topics by clicking on the menu items above, in particular - "Recovery" and "History". There are sub-categories for each topic. The "Previously Published" is an excellent quick resource of popular archived topics on Mormonism and Recovery from Mormonism.

Note: Paragraphs starting with a * were sent in by others.

These are the list of questions or comments:

Your site is mostly about emotions and not history
You are creating confusion
I have a friend who is a Mormon. How do I tell her it is false?
Why are you bashing Mormons?
Do the general authorities (the most senior Mormon leaders) know the truth?
What do you say to a parent whose child has joined Mormonism?
What do you say to a person who is dating a Mormon?
What do Mormons think about apostates?
What are all these abbreviations I keep seeing in the forums?

Your site is mostly about emotions and not much about historical problems with Mormonism, therefore it is not very convincing that Mormonism is false.

Your site is mostly about emotions and not history.

The people, including me, who contributed stories have found out that Mormonism and the Watchtower are based on false claims from our own personal studies. This site is intended to help with the emotional aspects of leaving an authoritarian organization. This site lets former Mormons, and current Mormons struggling with their belief system, see they are not alone in their feelings and experiences. It is not intended to convince a current believing Mormon to change his or her beliefs. It has though affected many.
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The people who leave Mormonism go off in many directions. Mormonism must be true because everyone believes the same way. You are creating confusion.

One of the wonderful things in leaving Mormonism is the world is now opened up for exploration. Rigid orthodoxy is gone. The mind is free to learn. Former Mormons discover their individuality. This site is intended to show we become human with all the weaknesses and frailties of being human. We don't have the simple canned answers anymore. We no longer aspire to become gods.
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My friend or co-worker is a Mormon. How can I convince her it is false?

There is no magic bullet that will reach a Mormon or a JW and get him or her to think. If you are willing to invest a great deal of time in study and build a relationship, which could take years, you may be able to make a major change in that person's life. There are links on this site to take you to books that you can order and other sites which have significant historical and archeological information. To be serious about helping your friend, you must make a major commitment of your time and resources. You will need to understand the mind set of an individual who is an authoritarian group. If you can not do those things, at least love the Mormon as she is under a lot of stress because she is trying to become the "perfect" mother, church member, meeting attender etc. Love can work miracles.

* Ask them in the beginning if they would even want to know if the church was a hoax. Many members would rather not know. If you pursue a course in attempting to get them to leave the church, you may ruin your friendship and/or work relationship with them. Is that really worth it when you have a good relationship with them and they are perfectly happy with the church to begin with?
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Why are you "bashing" Mormons?

This site hardly bashes Mormons. We are talking about ourselves and what we have done with our lives. We are moving on with our lives after having been Mormons. This site is not intended to be disrespectful of individual Mormons. Its intention is to help Mormons and former Mormons deal with the deceit of the Mormon church.
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Do the general authorities (the most senior Mormon leaders) know the truth?

There is no question that most of them do. A good example to show they know is the revised temple ceremony. The secret Mormon temple ceremony was heavily modified in 1990. The supposed revealed from God ceremony is vastly different today than in 1989. Gordon B. Hinkley, the current prophet and president of the church, along with several other senior Mormon leaders, went through the temple ceremony and red lined parts members of the church were troubled with and removed them. A portion removed was the portrayal of a Christian minister who was shown to be a hireling of Satan. Another portion removed was the 5 points of fellowship at the veil. Knowledge of how to do the 5 points of fellowship was previously a requirement to get into the Celestial kingdom. It was removed because the intimate contact between men and women at the veil troubled many women. If something is supposedly sacred and revealed by God to be eternal, why does it keep changing?

Another example is the suppression of church history. We found the actual Mormon history to be quite different than the official versions. Church leaders knowingly publish materials that are "faith promoting" and terribly misleading. The rationale for justifying such deception is common to any authoritarian organization. The protection of the organization and its continued growth are of utmost importance. Study the origins of Scientology, the Unification Church by Rev. Moon, the Watchtower, and many other organizations and see identical methods of deceit.
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What to say to a parent whose child has joined Mormonism?

* This situation is a fairly tricky one. First and foremost, the parent should not "cut the child off" from the family for such a decision. This will essentially kill the most important relationship any of us can have. No parent-child relationship should be thrown away for something as ridiculous as religion. Most Mormons that get cut off from family for joining the church immediately become a "martyr" for their perceived finding of the "truth". This does nothing but convince the child that they have indeed made a correct decision when nothing could be further from the truth.

* A much better approach is to gradually and lovingly provide them with logical, reasonable information that will show them that Mormonism is a hoax.
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What do you say to a person who is dating a Mormon?

* This person has a couple of options which based on the Mormon they are dating should be carefully evaluated.

* First, if the Mormon comes from a very active Mormon family, the person should probably just get out of the relationship. Their only other option in this situation is to convert to Mormonism which obviously isn't a very desirable option. Don't try and convert this type of Mormon to your way of thinking. The person may do so, but your relationship to the family you may end up being in-laws with will be severely damaged. If you end up marrying this Mormon (and you don't convert), your marriage will have problems. Remember that there is far more to marriage than simply being in love.

You are threatening your potential spouse's eternal future in Mormons' eyes. This can not be taken very lightly. Mormons believe that they can be families forever if they are Mormons only. You will not be well accepted by your extended Mormon family as you may destroy their hopes for their son or daughter to be "sealed" to them for eternity.

* Second, if the Mormon is a convert (and the family isn't Mormon), the person has a few courses they can pursue. If the Mormon is fairly open minded, recommend they read some of the books listed on "Recovery from Mormonism". Don't approach the situation from the standpoint of "I am right, and you are wrong". Approach the situation with a very loving attitude. Perhaps you should re-evaluate your own beliefs at this point. Make the studying a joint-study. Both parties can study their beliefs and see if the beliefs are reasonable. If both parties are looking for a logical, rational belief system at the same time, the relationship should only grow stronger and both parties' belief systems should improve in the long run. On the other hand, if this Mormon convert has blinders on and is unwilling to study their own beliefs in any other light other than the "church approved" path, you are probably better off to end the relationship.
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You are an "apostate". What do Mormons think of apostates?

I have included a letter from an individual who was never a Mormon, but talks about apostates from the group he was involved with while in college. The feeling Mormons have toward those of us who leave are identical to the feelings of those who are in other authoritarian groups have toward their apostates.

"I was fascinated to read your experiences coming from Mormonism. So many of your experiences mirror my own. My brother's wife is "jack Mormon", and has basically put religion on a shelf - perhaps never to consider it again. Unfortunately, I don't think hers was a realization of truth and exposure of fraud - she just lost interest.

So, this issue is close to my familily. In fact, it is very close to my life. I am not a Mormon, but was involved in what you would call a "marginal" Christian group. Marginal in the sense that they were theological orthodox Christians (for the most part), but were very legalistic and controlling. I spent "the best years of my life" - my college years - with this group.

This group "encouraged" young men or women to live with families of the group. Outside living arrangements (apt., home, fraternity, dorm, etc) were not openly denounced, but it was clear that to be "truly spiritual" you lived together. After my first year in college, I was reponsible for a weekly on-campus bible study, prayer meeting (6:30 am), literature table, outreaches, etc. etc. - then these same meetings (bible study, prayer meetings) were held in the evening at the local church - double whammy. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I probably spent more time in religious activities than on my studies - though I did my best with both, with what time I had left.

I saw many of my friends leave the group. They left innocently. It was the subtle yet vehement attacks on these "dangerous apostates" which began to open my eyes to the truth. Why was the leadership so threatened when someone left? Why the personal attacks? Why the warnings of impending doom on the apostate? Something was wrong and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. After 5 years, I decided to move out of my living situation and get out of the fish bowl - I told them "I needed to re-evaluate my committment to this group" - that is all I said - no slanders, no name calling - I just needed to get a fresh perspective from outside the fish bowl. It didn't take long to realize that I had made the best decision of my life - I felt like a man falsely accused of a crime who finally is released from prison!!! The attacks began on me, friends no longer called me, fellow group members were avoiding me. My "friends" were really not friends at all. My experience after that was not all that easy. It was a psychological uphill battle to relearn love, friendship, grace, freedom, etc. Here's a brief chronology:

1. Escape to Freedom!
2. Anger - if there is a god, why would he let this happen to me?
3. Loneliness mixed with expectation and hope.
3. Disillusionment with All religions, including Christianity; a strong distrust for any spiritual authority...
5. More loneliness - all my "friends" never called; they didn't leave with me. I was really all alone.
6. Help from outside. I received the most helpful encouragement from former members of the group - not ones who had recently left, but those who had been gone for over 1 year."
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What are all these abbreviations I keep seeing in the forums?

There is a comprehensive list assembled here.
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