|Subject:||What was the final, over the edge thing?|
|Date:||Oct 09 14:58|
|Because I have a TBM wife, I am trying to figure what is the one
most common thing that led you to know the Mormon church wasn't true so I can help her
learn the truth. She doesn't listen to much.
I always had a problem figuring out the BOM. I couldn't see how an uneducated kid could contrive that book without inspiration. Even hearing the inconsistantsies didn't make me believe it was false. There is no way a young, uneducated man could make all this stuff up, at least enough to fool so many smart people. I couldn't get past that.
When I found out about Solomon Spalding and his manuscript that Sidney Rigdon had access to, it finally added all up. I know there are people who don't go along with the Spalding theory, but for me it put all the pieces in place. People who knew him said he had the same names in his manuscript as what Joseph S did in the BOM,(Nephi, Lehi etc.). Like I say, there are controversies as to how JS wrote the BOM, but for me everything clicked when I read the Spalding theory.
What finally did it for you, or was there any one thing?
|Subject:||Book of Abraham nt|
|Date:||Oct 09 15:13|
|Subject:||Temple change 1990 (the start) ... and Gordie's "I don't know that we teach that." n/t|
|Date:||Oct 09 15:33|
|Subject:||This is an excellent question.|
|Date:||Oct 09 15:34|
|I have many reasons for not accepting Mormonism. I have had numerous
bizarre and painful experiences as a result of Mormonism, but there was one specific
concept that acted as a final catalyst in my case, motivating me to finally take action
and leave, even though I was only seventeen at the time of my departure.
The act of choosing a lifetime romantic partner is extremely personal and individual. But virtually all Mormon-based factions assert that this choice MUST be made based on criteria issued by the religious leadership. Mormon organizations, among many other religious disciplines, define explicitly a set of criteria by which every member must select a partner. These organizations specify the gender, race, behavior and accomplishments required for a prospective partner's eligibility. Deviation from this explicitly stated set of criteria is unacceptable to members of these organizations, and brings angry disapproval from those who hold the most power. Threats of excommunication or disfellowshipment are often used to coerce members into compliance. In short, the church decides who its members are allowed to form lifetime partnerships with. This brings enormous unhappiness and depression into the lives of the adherents to these religious systems. Suicide is sometimes the result of this deprivation of romantic freedom; which is something every human being deserves.
The selection of a loving partner is an individual endeavor which should never be tampered with by outside influences such as religious organizations.
When Mormonism interfered with this extremely personal and individual choice within my own life, I reached my breaking point and I rebelled ferociously. This was the catalyst that initiated my ultimate departure from Mormonism. Had I complied with the directives issued by Mormon Fundamentalism, I never would have been allowed to marry the woman I have now been married to for sixteen years.
|Subject:||For me, it began with little things...|
|Date:||Oct 09 15:41|
|After 40 years of association with the Church, I had nagging questions and doubts that I always managed to put on the back burner. Finally, there were just too many. As a movie buff, I was never comfortable with the ban on R-rated movies. It just didn't make sense. The petty nitpicking on Word of Wisdom stuff, like my daugher-in-law complaining that my drinking near bear was a violation. Judgmental attitudes on the part of some members. The proclamation on family that we received framed that my wife put on the wall bothered me. It came to the point where I just decided to back off and look at the Church objectively, as I should have done 40 years ago. Twenty minutes on the internet was all it took to shatter four decades of programming.|
|Subject:||Re: What was the final, over the edge thing?|
|Date:||Oct 09 15:41|
|i am in the same boat that you are in dan. I have come to the conclusion that no matter what i say to my wife it doesnt matter. there is possibly nothing that can change the mind of a TBM unless they approach with an open mind. that is hard to do when they are always on the defense. anything joseph smith did can be justified as part of gods plan. i sill atend church because i dont want to hurt my wife, however it is getting very difficult.|
|Subject:||Lots of stuff never added up or made sense ..but it was the realization|
|Date:||Oct 09 16:06|
|that JS made it all up! No golden plates?! NO visions, no
translations, NOTHING! A total, complete fabrication from the get go~ !!!
I was reading a web site ..I think it was Dr. Shades when it HIT ME like a load of bricks.
I spent from 1961 to 1998 or so ..thinking there had to be some truth to it but there was none!
I started shouting and laughing! YES YES YES! I was RIGHT all along, this does not make sense because JS was a great LIAR and FABRICATOR! He told a whopper (and that ain't no hamburger) and got away with it and people are paying 10% of their income for LIFE for the privilege of going to that silly temple! Hot damn, this is the funniest thing ever pulled on people!
I still cannot stop laughing at all the stone sober faces testifying to a hoax, fraud, scam! HAHAH!
That buzzer in my head that when off was accurate all the time. No problem with my BS detector after all!
|Date:||Oct 09 16:30|
I learned a bit more about how to reason things through. Part of this was from Sagan's "Demon Haunted World". I dared use the same reson to debunk other faiths/scams/etc. on my own faith.
Then I learned about the Book of Abraham. The walls came down fast! I thought I had a brick home built on a stone foundation. Turns out I had a house of cards build on shifting sands.
By the time I had "No Man Knows My History" in my hands (that was on 8/15/97) I knew the church was a fraud. I just wanted some details to see what I had missed in semniary! :-)
|Subject:||Re: What was the final, over the edge thing?|
|Date:||Oct 09 18:56|
|Same here. My wife is so close-minded whenever I choose to talk
religion, usually Mormonism, and it so bad that I have seen fit to label her, or anyone
like her as simply being ignorant.
I too used to attend church with her, simply to try and keep her happy, but I found an easy way to get around that by choosing to work on Sundays.
Even though she has a few issues with the mormon church, she still accepts everything blindly that comes from mormon leaders, and she is never willing to verbally challenge anything, or at least let me know when she doesn't agree with mormon church stuff....and it has always been like that since day one of our marriage, not just after she found out that I didn't agree with mormonism.
Like someone mentioned previously, the only your wife will change, is if she wants to change. Don't get your hopes up though. Some people are just born to be sheep.
|Subject:||That J.S. coerced girls into marriage, hid it from his wife and others, the church today ignores this and continues to honor him|
|Date:||Oct 09 16:01|
|Oops, I guess that was more than one thing.
Basically, it was while reading the book, "In Sacred Loneliness", I thought, "there is no way I can be OK with this". I honestly don't know how some people are.
|Date:||Oct 09 16:52|
|My next plan is to have my tbm wife read "In Sacred Lonliness". I am happy Todd Compton is still in good standing with the church, if he were exed there would be very few tbm's who would pick the book up since it would be "anti". After writing that book I have wondered how Mr. Compton has stayed in the church, but I think he is a NOM type. I just hope he stays in.|
|Date:||Oct 09 16:39|
|It is obvious that spiritual truths are available to anyone. This
like the truths of physics, music, math. There are not secrets. You have to be able to
unedrstand them--you have to try to figure them out, and care about them. There are
various levels of understanding. But that is because of the individual, not because he
secrets are inherent in the subject.
For example, I am not a physicist and do not understand all about gravity. I BELIEVE in it, but I can't explain it scientifically. This does not mean that only physicists can know the secets of gravity. All humans soon learn enough about gravity, for example, not to step off of high buildings, and that's enough to get by. Others gain an educated about the physical laws and learn more about gravity.
Likewise with spiritual matters. Anyone who wants to, can know them, at various levels of complexity. Children might believe that God is a "Heavenly Father" or person-like spirit, because that is as far as a young mind can reach. A more evolved person will come to see God as something less concrete, more philosophical, universal. Not that GOD has changed, anymore than GRAVITY has changed, and not that SECRETS have been revealed. How could they be kept secrets if they are actual facts about the spiritual nature o ther universe?
When I went thru the temple at age 21 and learned the tokens I knew at that moment it was false. There is no possible way that the afterlife is open only to people who know the secret handshakes. I don't know what the afterlife, if any, is like but I do know that access to it is available to all--some may say it ("heaven") comes through grace, others through works, other don't think it exists in anyway, others think it is a state of conciousness (inner peace) achieved in this life, --that is a matter of opinion, unprovable, but I know for sure it is NOT through knowing the secret handshakes, wearing special underwear, not drinking tea, folding you arms in a certain way when you pray, being male, being white, being married in a certain building, etc etc. etc.
The whole thing blows my mind. How can adults believe in this?
|Subject:||Church Growth through reproduction|
|Date:||Oct 09 16:49|
|I came from a big family and hated it. Big families lead to
financial distress which leads to disfuctional families.
It allways stuck in my head that the only reason that the church stresses big families is that it is a scam to grow the church. The one and only "True" church should be able to sell its self and not have to resort to underhanded tactics.
That was my first doubt, and it was all downhill from there.
|Subject:||Strangly enough it was 9/11 that did it for me...|
|Date:||Oct 09 16:52|
|After 9/11 I kept think how could somebody be so brainwashed
that they could do such a horrible act of terror? The more I thought about it the
more similarities are saw between the Mormon church and brainwashing. I even went as far
to ask in a priesthood meeting how many of you would kill somebody if the prophet
told you to? I was surprised how many people answered yes. Now, I know these men
would really not kill somebody, but based on Mormon theology this is a sound answer.
Well from this I was astounded at how my eyes just opened up and I am seeing clearer now than ever in my life. I am just starting my painful journey out of the church. I also have a TBM spouse and, as you know, this makes our journey so much harder. We want to keep our families intact and leave the church. Good luck on your journey.
|Subject:||It was 9/11 for me too!|
|Date:||Oct 09 18:16|
|Not for exactly the same reason though. In my case I went to church the following Sunday expecting, no doubt in my mind, that the prophet would have some revelation or inspiration on the subject. Nada, Zilch. I now see that it was probably an unreasonable expectation, but because I really believed all that shit, I thought God cared about the good ole USA and was going to speak to us on the subject. It's been all down hill from there.|
|Subject:||Scripture alterations & Egypt.Alphabet & Grammar n/t|
|Date:||Oct 09 16:53|
|Date:||Oct 09 17:01|
|The church demonstrated that it was more important to look good than
to do right. It was more important for members to follow than to lead. It was more
important to impose a belief system than to let someone believe on their own.
|Subject:||Book of Abraham - my godsend|
|Date:||Oct 09 17:12|
|I had been raging and fuming for years over doctrinal and policy issues, starting at about age 15. The exclusivity was the first thing - how could I believe in and honor a god who would withhold the secret and complicated way back to him from all but a tiny, miniscule handful of people?? Then the church's sexual hangups; the status of women in the church - all those talks on the evils of women working outside the home, formal RS participation in the anti ERA demonstrations, the temple covenant women in those days made to obey their husbands, being forbidden to speak to our about heavenly mother; SWK's treatment of rape in TMoF, the position on blacks and then homosexuality, hte whole church court concept and system, but I just figured I was a malcontent. I wrote letters, talked to folks about my feelings, etc., but still couldn't bring myself to leave the church, even though 8 of my 9 children had (I TRIED, I REALLY TRIED!) Then my husband referred me to this website and I learned about the Book of Abraham and read enough about JS to finally get the courage to read "No Man Knows My History" and I have a testimony of the untruthfullness of the gospel. A way deeper and better one than I ever did about its truthfullness. And I am FREE!|
|Subject:||I finally saw Mormon spiritual abuse when ...|
|Date:||Oct 09 17:47|
|I was interviewing a sister for a calling.
I was in the Bishopric at the time, and I really respected this sister for her personal integrity, service, and real desire to always do the right thing.
She had just "burned out" from a calling as a seminary teacher, and we were in the process of calling her to teach a really sweet group of five year olds as we really felt that she would enjoy that calling.
It was during this interview that she told me how "awful" she felt about herself, and she was sobbing while telling me that she did not want a calling. She explained the pressures she felt in Mormonism to always perform perfectly. Her reaction completely caught me off guard as she always seemed so "perfect" and "happy" on the outside.
(Believe me, she was not "anti-Mormon"; she was as faithful as one can get.)
All the time she was trying to talk to me about how she felt, her husband kept coming in the room to get home for lunch (but it appeared that he was really trying to end the interview to keep the perfect picture in tact). Of course, I told her that she did not have to accept the calling.
It was almost like the husband wanted to keep the perfect family picture, but underneeth there was far too much family turmoil and unnecessary pain caused by the Church.
I am not knocking the husband or the wife as this is the frail condition many wonderful Mormons find themselves. In fact, I dearly love them.
Because I had great admiration for both of them, this helped me see for the first time the abusive and incidious nature of Mormonism. After that experience, all the Mormon spiritual abuse became crystal clear.
In the Temple, members commit their time, talents, and money, and everything that the Lord may bless them with to the Mormon Church. It is this blind obedience, sacrifice, and consecration that leads members to never say "no" to callings or to "never speak ill of the Lord's annointed" even when Mormon leaders like Scott or Packer or Haight spiritually abuse people.
I guess it was my deep respect for them, her blatant honesty, and her discussion of suffering that caused me to first see the spiritual abuse.
That was not the final thing. But it had a huge impact on my beginning to re-think what I was doing and what Mormonism in general was doing.
I will never forget her sobbing and telling how she felt about herself from her experiences in the Mormon Church.
|Date:||Oct 09 18:18|
|Not to be mistaken for Pollyannadry, which is the tendency many
Mormons have to be pathologically optimistic... : )
I was leafing through a copy of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith at a friend's house in Charlottesville, VA. I was about 27 or 28. I knew that the book was a bit "out there" but I figured I already knew just about all the dirt on the Church. What could Newell and Avery possibly write that could even touch my testimony?
Then I read that Joseph Smith had sealed himself to other men's wives. And he didn't just seal himself to the wives of "less-active" men, he married himself to women whose husbands were worthy to officiate at the sealings themselves.
I think I actually heard the fabric of the Universe ripping in half.
Suddenly, nothing added up. It wasn't right, it wasn't fair!...I was like Luke Skywalker. "That's NOT true! You're lying! You're not my father!"
And I wondered how such a big, fundamental piece of Church History could have eluded me for so long. After 28 years of Church activity, 4 years of seminary, 5 years at BYU! With religion studies classes nearly every semester...! How did I not know that Joseph Smith was doing that? (well, duh...because I'd spent nearly 3 decades only reading and studying the books THEY'd told me to read. *sigh*)
I kept it together in the church for a few years, but... I WAS SO ANGRY. The truth had indeed cut me to the very center.
I can only thank the Great Rabbit that my husband-- a Mo blueblood so TBM I'd never have thought he'd leave-- was also given a brain. He and I left together in September of 2000.
Neither of us were EVER what you'd call "liberal Mormons." No way.
The Church said it was True. It lied. We left.
|Subject:||The Book of Abraham|
|Date:||Oct 09 18:19|
|was definitely the last straw. Finding out it was a crock prompted me to write my letter.|
|Subject:||The Manual Nazis|
|Date:||Oct 09 18:45|
|Author:||going, going, gone|
|Our stake presidency was live by the manual, die by the manual. The
SP works for the morg and one of his responsibilities is manuals.
I finally lost it one night when a high counselor demanded the return of EQ leadership manuals that were mistakenly distributed to counselors instead of presidents. He demanded that the counselors disregard everything they might have read. It was just like asking people to turn off their brains, which as I discovered, is exactly what they want.
Our old stake was nothing like this. You could get away with all kinds of stuff. I was stunned in this stake when I was to teach a EQ lesson and I got a call telling me to stick to the manual and only to the manual. Don't open it up to personal experience, just stick to the manual.
They can shove the manual.
|Subject:||Re: What was the final, over the edge thing?|
|Date:||Oct 09 19:02|
|Hmm... good question. There were two things in relatively close
succession that tore my universe apart, having been born in the cult.
The first was the inevitable clash between my scientific side and my believing side. The utter dismissal of evolution in paticular struck me as preposterous. On one side you have diligent explorers uncovering fossils, observing specimens, and studying genetics. On the other you quite litterally have a bunch of old guys saying "NO NO! Ignore theories of man! Read what the scriptures say instead!"
One thing that greatly added to this was an article in Scientific American about the "Eventual enlightenment of the mind"... basically saying that teaching how creationism is wrong isn't sufficient, but rather it needs to be explained how evolution is _right_. The bombshell for me was the statement that Evolution is one of THE most proven theories in all of Science, with support from many independent fields. The evidence all points to the same thing... and yet you have old men thumping an ancient book, not even trying to bring up an alternate interpetation of the evidence.
At first, I reconciled this with the BoA wording on how God made the world "bring forth" such and such. Of course, many of you can imagine how long this support lasted.
The second thing was the final bombshell, which came from Steve Hassan while reading about the Cult of Scientology... that the church organization is just like many other controlling cults and the feelings it claims to be the spirit are shared by many other faiths. If there is a Holy Ghost, the Mormon church doesn't have anything resembling a monopoly on it. The realization of the folly of testimony struck me the most, but it was the realization of cultness that made me fell angry and betrayed. The story didn't end there, but that was the breaking point for me.
|Subject:||The breaking point came...|
|Date:||Oct 09 20:40|
|...when I finally realized that I no longer wanted to be somewhere I
It all starts and stops there for me.
I was sitting in an elder's quorum meeeting in the Hollywood ward about 13 years ago amd listening to the guys carry on about how evil and perverted homosexuals are and how they should all be rounded up and slaughtered. I couldn't believe the things I was hearing, even though I'd been hearing the same things from mormons for a long time.
I walked out of that meeting, out the doors of the building and never returned.