Subject: From the Mormon mailbag. It's always nice to hear from those who care . . .
Date: Feb 26 19:03 2003
Author: steve benson

This letter came to me from a TBM [Mormon], who thought it best to type out the entire Chapter 7 of the Book of Jacob, from the Book of Mormon, as well as the chapter introduction, the latter which reads:

"Sherem denies Christ, contends with Jacob, demands a sign, and is smitten by God--All of the prophets have spoken of Christ and his atonement--The Nephites lived out their days as wanderers, born in tribulation, and hated by Lamanites"

The letter writer concluded his complete and unabridged, word-for-word recitation of Jacob 7 with his own parting message of warning:

"Dear Steve Benson,

"The preceding was take from the Book of Mormon, the book of Jacob, the 7th Chapter. I send it to you that your eyes may be opened, that you may understand the thinness of the ice upon which you stand.

"I myself am not so wise as to know as much as you do, nevertheless, I know that GOD lives and that Jesus Christ is my savior. There is nothing, no power or philosophy on earth that can dissuade me from this testimony. Even if I should go down to hell my testimony will go with me.

"Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there by that find it. May GOD bless you and may you find joy in your life.

"All things remaining the same, this is the last letter I write to you.

"Your friend and brother,"
Subject: Some BROTHER, thinking it's his role to damn your soul to hell.
Date: Feb 26 19:10
Author: Archimedes

Where do these people get off. Why does he think it is even remotely Okay for him to have an opinion about your eternal salvation??? From his way of thinking, it's only a step or two to the philosophy of the Crusaders and similar folk who "knew" they were right and others were damned...

Sad days indeed.

Subject: Unless this kind of judgmental poop is too much to bear, I can post others like it . . .
Date: Feb 26 19:13
Author: steve benson

Personally speaking, not only do I find them entertaining, but they provide a revealing window into the cult-mind of Mormonism.

It's up to you guys.

Subject: I actually really like these.
Date: Feb 27 00:02
Author: Wulfen

?They help me gauge my progress away from such a viewpoint and toward sanity. And you’re right: they ARE entertaining.

Subject: Thin Ice
Date: Feb 26 19:16
Author: boyscout

Better to be on thin ice with the truth, than believing God is going to save you when you break through (the ice). I believe in God by choice, not because of evidence, but I value truth and thats where Jacob and I being a truth seeker have to part ways!

Tell him as soon as Jacob comes and tells you that, then you will listen! But as for me, this kind of thinking: "Even if I should go down to hell my testimony will go with me." is very dangerous... they think its been written, it must be true because all mormons believe it. Worse, this shows conviction to the Cult, even if its not true... and they go to hell for that conviction in not being willing to open their eyes to truth and fact. They dont understand their own fallicy and continue to reject the facts and the truth and tell us how wrong we are.

Subject: Wait a minute, I recognize this guy...
Date: Feb 26 19:40
Author: OffTheBackAgain

He's my Bishop! He told me that I was skating on thin ice, too, when I told him Joe made it all up (and left me wondering why that didn't break all the way through the ice).

Rumor is he is now moving to another country. I think he just wants to try out the ice himself.

Subject: You can leave the Church.....
Date: Feb 26 20:12
Author: One Who Knows

but the Church will never leave you alone. You could send him a artistic rendition of the boat described in Ether. I would like to see that for myself.

Subject: A reply
Date: Feb 26 20:14
Author: Bob

Dear Brother,

One of my exmormon friends had a bishop who spoke from the pulpit on one memorable occassion. The bishop said, "The church is true. I testify it is. If I find something truer, I'll do it instead."

Is your dedication to the truth or to the church?


Subject: HA HA, missed me again you *** !
Date: Feb 26 20:59
Author: OU812

From the chapter introduction:
>Sherem denies Christ, contends with Jacob, demands a sign, and is smitten by God.

After an exmo lunch last month, SLDrone told an amusing anecdote about a professor who had realized the dubiousness of the existence of the christian God. When this guy found himself out in rainstorms and lightning would strike nearby, he'd shake his fist at the heavens and shout, "HA HA, missed me again you bastard!"

This is to illustrate one of the things I noticed early in life. It appears from all possible observation that no human being is smitten by God, healed by God, protected by God, blessed by God, helped by God, visited by God or advised by God. In over fifty years of watching I have seen no evidence that any God takes any notice whatsoever in what earthlings do.

In conjunction with the foregoing, I have also noticed that strict obedience to religious teachings does not result in receipt of the blessings promised for such obedience. Acceptance and realization of these observable facts is a big step toward basing beliefs upon truth instead of blind faith.

Subject: Sounds like a very frightened person . . .
Date: Feb 26 21:04
Author: stringbean

who is having problems with his beliefs.

At least he didn't call you names (or did he?). I feel so sad for people like him, who are so...trapped. The ones who act like jerks I don't feel bad for, but the nice and good people who are being exploited.

Subject: Let me get this straight. He knows God lives and that Jesus Christ is his savior, and
Date: Feb 26 21:29
Author: Me

there's no power, etc. that can dissuade him from that testimony, even if he's going to hell he'll take his testimony with him? That struck me as odd. Sounded like all he believes in actually WILL lead him to hell. So, the way I look at it, why the hell would anyone want to return to HIS belief?

Subject: I get these every day...sigh
Date: Feb 26 22:12
Author: Eric K

Here is one that claims Jesus told him the Church is true. LOL




I have for a long time read the ins and outs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I almost left the Church two times, but I know with a conviction and a solid promise from Jesus that The CHURCH IS TRUE! I pray the day will come when this website [] is removed for good. But since we have opposition in all things, I see the path is long one before the Glory will come.

your brother,

Mike Castillo

Subject: I think it's interesting...
Date: Feb 27 00:09
Author: Wulfen

?...that a very common element in these TBM letters is the claim that, “I was once where you are, believe me.”

What an assumption. And following quickly on its heels, a judgement. First they project their experiences, behaviors, and conclusions on you, and then tell you what trouble you’re in for being them!

Subject: what a wonderful way to SHOW LOVE- tell you that you are wrong
Date: Feb 27 00:06
Author: SusieQ#1

The arrogance of those sanctimonious, self-righteous TBM's is nothing but despicable bad manners!

They have no idea how absurd, bizarre, and weird they sound. I think it is some kind of borderline mental disorder to impose their call to repentance on someone they don't even know.

I love to hear how they belittle people who they claim are smarter than they are. They try to say, that even though they are a dumb nutz, they are smarter then you cuz they know their imaginary, mythological deities, demons, characters, prophets, etc., are real! OK!

Subject: From MY Mormon Mailbag
Date: Feb 28 17:54
Author: Will

Steve Benson invited others on this board to offer specimens of "chastening" correspondence received from TBMs. Acting on that invitation I offer the following excerpts from a letter written by my Mother-in-Law to my wife, Korrin.

After reciting all of the supposed reasons why my wife should leave me, Mom-in-Law (MIL) advised her:

"Come home for some rest and relaxation. You need some time away from Will to get your thinking sorted out and your head back on straight." Here's the p.s.:

"Please write and call back. Don't show this letter to Will, and write back to me in your own words and handwriting. I've been worried for some time that you are being held there against your will. We will help you in whatever way you may need us to.... If Will says he'll bring you out
[to Nevada] say, `No, I need some time to sort things out without you. I need some time to make sure I'm leaving the church on my own or if I'm being too greatly influenced by you and your aspostacy [sic]."

Here are some other tidbits from this thoughtful little missive:

"Korrin, I just want you to know that we love you so very much. You've always been such a good person and daughter to us. We've been proud of the way you lived your live [sic]. You're a good mother and you've tried so hard to be a good wife to a very difficult man. Your marriage was built on a lie. That being the fact that Will was not temple worthy. He
had already been writing to the prophet and he had issues with tithing and with Joseph Smith."

The REAL problem here, according to MIL, was the fact that Korrin had betrayed her heroic "pioneer heritage" by marrying someone from an accursed lineage:

"Will is far too much like his Lamanite ancestors [American Indians according to Mormons] who were full of hate and disbelief. Whereas, you Korrin, have poweful pioneer heritage. Your ancestors gave all they had to give for the Church. Some of them were even handcart pioneers."

(If the latter is true, it's a miracle Korrin is even here.)

MIL also related the supposedly inspiring story of Korrin's maternal ancestor who was the first of his family to be lured into Mormonism: He was "a doctor and a Lutheran Minister (far more well educated than Will)" who joined the Mormon Church and purportedly received death threats from his congregation in retaliation.

Apparently, unless Korrin repudiates me and our marriage and embraces the Morg with full purpose of heart, she dishonors her saintly, fair-skinned ancestors:

"Korrin, don't deny your grandfather's and your parent's [sic]testimonys [sic] because you have been carefully and craftily lured away by a spiritually lazy husband. It's so much easier for him not to go to Church and wrestle the kids. It's so much easier to vegetate in front of the TV. Your ancestors suffered greatly in order that you might have the gospel, and their testimonies were strengthened by it. Will's a fat self-serving slob. He's too lazy to even clean his own car up in order to take you to church. I'm disgusted with him, and you should be too."

Here's another sample of MIL's ice cream-laced-with-cyanide confection:

"You are a very good girl Korrin. I've always admired your bravery and your strength of character. You've been treated badly by a disrespectful, unworthy, ungrateful husband and you don't need to tolerate his abuse any longer. Don't succumb to it either. I know you are sick and pregnant and you feel like giving up, but don't do it. Don't give up. Get touch and show us what you are made of. Get back to church. Apologize to anyone you may have offended.... Say `Get thee
behind me Satan' [I guess that would be her husband]. Forge ahead with a happy heart as your pioneer ancestors did. Look forward to happier times and block out the evil, griping, ne'er do weller [I guess that would be -- ME, Korrin's loathsome, dark-skinned "apostate" husband]."

Previously on "From Will's Mormon Mailbag" -- My MIL had all but presented by wife Korrin with an ultimatum: Leave her dissolute, apostate, wretched "Lamanite" husband, go back to Nevada with the kids, and revert to your status as a docile Morg drone. Failing to do this, Korrin would essentially be considered a hostage to an abusive husband, and MIL would consider some kind of intervention to "rescue" her. (Some of this was told to Korrin through telephone calls, rather than in letters.)

MIL specifically asked Korrin to write another letter in her "own words and handwriting," on the assumption that this would prevent her apostate husband from dictating the content of the letter. Korrin promptly did so, and her letter prompted the following reply from MIL, which is liberally sown with lurid falsehoods:

Dear Korrin,

We received your letter and I was a little worried at the deterioration of your handwriting and I believe that letter was written with Will's coaching and under duress.

Korrin I love you and I think you have been badly mistreated and used by your husband. He has no consideration for your mental or physical or spiritual health. He has lied to you, cheated you out of family money, destroyed your confidence, stolen your youth and virtue, and has treated you like a caged animal. He has kept you far away from your family and isolated from the outside world in order to brainwash you.

He has stolen from the Lord and he's a tax evader, thereby jeopardizing your spiritual and temporal safety. He's lazy and careless in taking care of the meager possessions he's provided for you. He told you that you would never have a home of your own. This is because he's too damned lazy to fix anything or keep up the repairs on a home. We gave
you two good cars which would have lasted a long time but again, he was too damned lazy and ungrateful to take care of them.

Don't you get a little tired of people feeling sorry for you and always giving you things only to have him be so slothful and ungrateful as to just let them to to hell and not fix or
keep anything up? He thinks of no one but his own selfish lazy butt. He should be ashamed of himself and you should be ashamed of him also. These are just a part of the things that you have told me about Will and also things that I have observed myself, and I hate him for them. You deserved so much better.

You were such a beautiful daughter, so full of enthusiasm and promise. In my mind, Will is an arrogant, selfish, lazy liar and cheat.

I will do whatever it takes to help you and to protect you Korrin. Don't leave the Church and don't drive your Dad, Mom, brothers and sisters away, because when Will is through with you, you're going to need some backing. You're a good person Korrin, with a good heart, but following Will blindly out of the Church will destroy you and your children. I've seen so many people leave the Church and they just have no spirit or energy left and the light in their eyes is gone. Such a sad legacy to leave your children.

Korrin, [your sister and her husband] are coming out [to Nevada] next week on the 1st of August. They are coming in their truck but your could drive your van along with them. [Another sister] said she could fly out and help you with
the kids if your wanted her to. Please come home for a while. Your need some rest and restoration and I miss you and the boys so much. We'll help you any way you need.

Much much love,


Okay, a few comments would be appropriate here.

The most important point is that the "tax evader" canard reflects the fact that I was "randomly audited" a few years ago (coincidentally, just as I took a fairly high profile position in the movement to impeach Bill Clinton). I've never cheated on taxes or tried to evade them, although I candidly admit to paying income taxes out of prudent fear, rather than because of a supposed moral duty to do so. But in any case I obey the law, or try to (it's quite literally impossible NOT to violate some provision of the tax code).

It's obvious that MIL simply doesn't like me and feels her daughter could have done much better (I'm the first to admit that's true -- she was eagerly pursued by guys much wealthier and more accomplished than I). MIL dreamed of Korrin snagging a fair-haired, blue-eyed "Youth of the Noble Birthright," and she was actually dating a member of the sainted Benson family (let us pause for a moment of awed reverence) at one point. So when Korrin (gasp!) married an over-age, not terribly photogenic "Lamanite," and (shock!) started having children, and (horror!) put on a few pounds, that dream rudely and abruptly died -- only to be resurrected as a nightmare when Korrin and her hubby APOSTATIZED from the One True Holy Perfect Restored Church.

Subject: From the Mormon mailbag (#2)
Date: Feb 27 14:11
Author: steve benson

More Mormon Cult response to those of us who choose to leave (feel free to add your own comments and experiences):


"I was saddened to read about you and your wife asking that your names be removed from the records of the Church . . .

"I'm sure you recognize that the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are two distinct things. Though you have lost your faith in the Church, I hope that you have not lost your faith in the Gospel, which first tenet is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Imperfect as the Church may be, it is still the means by which the Lord disseminates His Gospel. This is reason enough to support it and its leaders.

"Everyone on the earth is imperfect, including the leaders of the Church, therefore it is only natural that the Church has flaws. They are not the flaws in the Gospel, but are flaws of men trying their best to live the Gospel. Though your grandfather [was] infirm . . . he [was] still the Prophet of the Lord's Church. The Lord certainly [had] the power to raise him from his sickbed to perform any work that He would desire. . . . Perhaps it [was] a trial for the membership of the Church to maintain our faith in your grandfather, and his position, even though he may [have been] gravely ill or physically incapacitated. . . .

"My point is this: the Church is an organization for mortals. Though the organization is not perfect and its mortal leaders are not perfect; though it will surely not exist in the same form during the Millennium, its head is still Jesus Christ. I believe that for this reason, you should put your faith in it. It is a manifestation of your faith in Christ, which is the first principle of His Gospel.


12 October 1993



". . . I wanted to write you immediately, lest I allow the moment to pass with no comment. . . .

"I am neither a critic of the Church nor a doctrinaire or reactionary member of the Church. I see the leadership of the Church as neither perfect individuals elevated by their lofty callings nor as sinister, power-hungry despots. I believe that the work of the LDS Church is the Lord's work in the last days to prepare the earth for the Second Coming of the Messiah, that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Restoration, and that the Church is led by imperfect individuals, nonetheless used by the Lord to further his work. . . .

" . . . [You are] a rather bitter, humorless critic of the Church, who [has used] his position as a well-known cartoonist and descendant of Ezra Benson to air his personal grievances with the Church. . . .

"By your pointed criticisms of the Church and its leadership and your lack of any positive statements, you indicate that you see nothing of value in the Church. You do not speak of any belief in the Church's divine mission, that the leadership (despite the present errors) is or was inspired, or that you ever received anything of value from your Church membership. Since you feel you have been inappropriately reprimanded and asked to curb your public criticisms of the Church, your response [was] to make a public spectacle of quitting the Church. The coin of your membership means no more to you than you spend it making a public protest of the Church leadership. The enemies of the Church will make much of your statements.

"As a non-member, you will be free to voice your criticism of the Church without fear of retaliation from the Church or its leaders. The worst they could do to you was take your membership and you have voluntarily given the up. You will be free to purse intellectual and spiritual truth without the burdens of your covenants of baptism and the Temple, the hinderance of the gift of the Holy Ghost and the responsibilities imposed by the priesthood.

"For a time you will be the hero of the dissenters, cynics and opponents. Your words will be sought after, quoted, spread, and discussed. Some will use your criticisms to argue there is nothing to the Church except lies and repression. Some will believe those arguments. But as a outsider, your voice will never again carry the force it did as a member. In time, the Church's opponents will find someone else to use in their never-ending battle. The public furor will die down and one day you will awaken to realize that you are just another excommunicated member bearing a grudge.

"I wish you well in your search for truth. A person certainly does not need membership in the Church to be led by the spirit. But I hope you are not so full of the certainty of your cause and of the mistakes of the Church that you find the subtle enticings of the spirit too hard to recognize. The leaders in the Church, as well all, must be responsible for our mistakes and sins. The principal of repentance, through baptism, is open to all Church members and leaders alike, and allows for the leaders you criticize to be forgiven of their sins and mistakes. Having repudiated your baptism, you will have no such avenue.

"I truly wish you well.

"Very truly yours,"

13 October 1993



"Speaking for those of us who are converts . . . and for my ward and stake, we are highly disappointed in your recent actions.

"As a seminary teacher, your actions conjure up memories of the Missouri period of the Church, when certain members were just as treacherous as those without the Church. The enemies of the Church will have a royal 'hay day' over you.

"As I recall, not too long ago, there was a period when both President Kimball AND President Romney were incapacitated. President Hinckley won the admiration of all of us when he single-handedly guided the Church, or so it appeared. I don't recall any Kimballs raising their hand to smite the Church in those perilous times. BUT NOW A BENSON HAS!

"Most of us would give an arm or a leg to say we were a Benson. It will never be our privilege. And you, who were born with the honor, choose to 'stain' the name. If you are doing exactly as your grandfather trained you (to quote the old arch-enemy of the Church, the Salt Lake Tribune), then why hasn't your father done the same?

"You have disappointed him, too, and in the process, failed to honor your father as the scriptures require. He must be extremely sad at this time. Is he any less a man than you? Did he listen any less closely to his father than you did as a grandson? I say that your father's way is the right way and that Steven Benson is a liberal rebel caught up in the ways and spirit of the world! Has your Pulitzer gone to your head?

"Some of your cartoons could never have been drawn by a man who really had the spirit of God in him. You have even attacked fellow Mormons in your cartoons. You have attacked your brethren. If I remember your cartoons correctly, you have even besmirched the Church. . . .

"Feminists! They have dealt a severe blow to my missionary efforts with my non-member relatives. They already felt we were a little 'kooky.' Wait til they hear that a bunch of women in the Church back in the Church want to pray to Heavenly Mother. My efforts will really be set back then, but these are the same out-of-step loudmouths that you are supporting. As for the intellectuals, how could you side with them when one on the University of Utah campus predicted if your grandfather took over, he would '. . . split the Church right in half'? He didn't! Which furthered our disgust with the intellectuals. And your grandfather wasn't senile then.

"I fear you do not understand the procedures of the Lord's Church. When did Christ ever announce that the calling of 'prophet' was no longer for life? Would you please inform me
when and where this was announced? Would you have President Hinckley and the others break with 163 years of procedure? Would that not take a revelation? How do you assume to make policy for the Church?

"Is it hurting your grandfather one iota to sit in his apartment and direct the Church from there? How does that hurt him? I fail to see it! He knew there was a possibility that he could become incapacitated when he accepted the job. Why didn't he decline it then? Because it was not the will of the Lord for him to decline!

"The 14 men leading the Church are NOT the Church! I know you realize that. We members are the Church. If a poll were taken now, the vast majority of the members would support the LEADERS and not Steven Benson. We would say that THEY are in line and Steven Benson is out of line! Just when the leaders call in Conference for unity and loyalty, Steven Benson comes up with disunity and disloyalty! As an 80-year-old lady told me yesterday, 'I am glad he is out of the Church.' She represents far more members' opinions than your little group of squeaky liberal feminist intellectuals. Most members are repulsed by these groups.

"In closing, I feel you are presumptuous. If you think of the leaders as a whole--marvelous orators, one of the leading jurists, one of the world's leading heart surgeons, business geniuses, military leaders (Haight), community leaders, a man so brilliant he makes up words (Maxwell), an insurance genius, etc., etc. You presume to be wiser than that combination of leaders. You have let emotionalism interfere with your lack of good common sense. President Benson belongs to us all. He made that choice 45 years ago. He does not belong just to you. But that is how you make it sound.

"Sorry, Benson! But you blew it! We will succeed nobly and well without your myopic input. If I had taken a course similar to yours, my wife would not have backed me! She would have remained loyal to the Church. Imagine! Asking one's name be removed from the records. Unthinkable! Where is testimony?"

13 October 1993
Subject: from the Mormon mailbag (#3)
Date: Feb 28 00:50 2003
Author: steve benson

In the mouth of two or three Morgbots shall every Cult be established.

Continuing with the fantastic voyage inside the indoctrinated minds of devout Mormons, below are more responses from true believers to the decision by Mary Ann and me to bolt the Cult (Please add your own insights, as well):


"I choose to address you as Brother Benson because the brotherhood of man is not a choice but a condition and I am writing to you as brother to brother.

"I was greatly saddened to hear of your decision to publicly renounce your rich Mormon heritage and leave the Church or, as you stated, 'allow the Church to leave you.' Knowing your father and mother and the sadness this will bring them, I wonder if you have examined your motives.

"If you have lost your faith, why make a public announcement? Why not just quietly stop participating? Perhaps you now intend to make a profession of attacking Mormonism, giving your political cartoons a purposeful anti-Mormon twist, or writing books extolling your superior powers of discernment above your relatives and those who love you. I sincerely hope not. Whether we like it or not, we are all tied together and our actions affect those around us.

"Perhaps now your grandfather, President Benson, is not now capable of fully understanding the actions you have taken. If so, I rejoice because I know how close the Benson family was to each other and the gospel that was the cornerstone of their solidarity; he is being spared the sorrow of your splitting the family and abdicating your heritage.

"The purpose of human existence is to find joy and happiness. Do you feel joy in what you are doing?

"Your brother,"

15 October 1993



"I was disturbed to read of your decision to resign from your membership in the Church. Realizing that this Earth of ours is the only habitable planet God created in this vast universe (thus far discovered), and that He does not want to leave His children without a Guide, I fear when you express yourselves that He has done this.

"If you have been following your grandfather's . . . advice, you have been reading from the Scriptures every day. . . . [T]he Lord has told us what happens if the prophet is unable to lead due to illness, absence, foreign assignment, etc. . . . Now, recently your grandfather has frequently been absent, but there are two others with similar authority to lead the Chruch. God has not left us alone!

"I fear also for your children. Without the stabilizing influence of the Sunday School and the Primary associations to help us parents, the evils of our society are most difficult to counter. Drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and lack of respect of elders are all rampant and I'm sure you realize this. We need the Church and its teachings to assist us.

"I join with the countless friends and Church members who are praying for your happiness, inspiration and decision.


15 October 1993



"Poor Steve Benson:

"Did not God part the Red Sea? Turn the earth itself back 10 degrees? . . . Make the sun and moon to stand still? . . . Make the light to stay two days even at the 'going down of the Sun' when Christ was born? (on the Western Hemisphere) Cause THREE DAYS of darkness on the Western Hemisphere when he died? Make a new star? Did he not arise from the dead? Heal the sick? The lame? The blind? The leper? Didn't Sariah . . . have a child . . .when she was NINETY years old?

"Why, then, is it a big deal for OUR Beloved Prophet to be his MOUTH?

"And didn't the Council of the Twelve carry the government of the Church for quite awhile after the death of Joseph Smith and before Brigham Young was appointed Prophet?

"Have you never heard HIS voice? Have you never seen HIS gospel in action?

"Poor, poor Steve. Do you not know OUR God and Lord? Poor, poor Steve Benson.

"I pray for you every morning and night. May you KNOW THE REAL TRUTH.

"Your Grandfather told you to go with your dreams and you would deny him his dream. The one he lived his whole life for, WILLINGLY. How will you feel when you meet him after this life is over?

"Poor, poor Steve Benson. Please remember Christ died so we sinners could repent.


15 October 1993
Subject: from the Mormon mailbag (#4)
Date: Feb 28 02:07
Author: steve benson

By the mouth of two or three Morgbots shall every cult be established.

The bleat goes on. More robotic response to Mary Ann and me leaving the LDS Church (Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on this kind of crud from the Cult):


"Don't you think Heavenly Father is a being of supreme integrity? Don't you think Heavenly Father is aware that the Church is being 'run' by the remainder of the First Presidency, along with the Quorum of the Twelve? If Heavenly Father has expressed His disapproval or rejection of this Church, somehow I missed it. . . .

"Do you actually believe that the heavens are silenced by your Grandfather's infirmities? Don't you understand that if revelation needed to be given, Heavenly Father could restore your Grandfather to receive it? . . .

"Those of us all over the world who know that the Church is true are not concerned about Heavenly Father's business. I don't think He needs us to clarify issues for Him. I don't think He needs counsel on how to run His Church, or who should hold His priesthood, or any other doctrine. How audacious can we be? Is Heavenly Father concerned about your Grandfather's infirmities or about his being 'used'? Apparently not! If He is not concerned, I am not concerned. The fruits of the Church are good. That indicates truth.

"You and Mary Ann have not harmed the Church by leaving it. You may bruise some tender testimonies as you appear on TV shows and write articles, but the Church will continue on as though you had never been members. This is not said in a spirit of meanness. It is simply the truth of things. God's work rolls on regardless of what any of us do. Controversy has always worked in favor of the Church. Those of us who care for you feel an overwhelming sadness--but it is your lives that will be altered--and not the Church.

"The core issue seems to me to be testimony. If one believes that the First Vision actually happened to Joseph Smith, if one believed that the Book of Mormon was given to him and translated by him by the power of God, if one believed that this Church was restored through Joseph Smith by the power of God, if one had witness borne to their very soul that it was true, something as insignificant as the infirmity of the prophet would not cause one to resign and deny their testimony by their actions. . . .

"I cannot imagine voluntarily giving up the companionship of the Holy Spirit by severing my Church membership. I cannot imagine putting myself in the power of the evil one by choosing to give up my temple covenants. . . .I cannot imagine having my children's lives altered forever by leaving the Church. . . .

"Without passing judgment, Stephen, I truly cannot imagine what you are thinking! . . . Being a 'Benson' may, indeed, be a blessing but it does not put one above God's laws. Bensons are subject to covenants and held accountable just like the rest of us (perhaps more so. Where much is given, much is required). . . .

"Leaving the Church is not about internal politics. It is not about the infirmity and 'using' of your grandfather. It is about your soul and the souls of your wife and children. . .

"What price glory? . . . You have deserted and caused ridicule to come upon the cause to which they [your grandfather and your parents] have dedicated their lives: the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your forbears also gave their lives, enduring hardships that we can barely imagine, because they knew that the gospel was true. One does not violate those kind of sacrifices and expect understanding, Stephen. . . .

"I do hope that this decision will leave you free to explore and then come to know with humility the truth of the gospel in the very core of your being. Great intellect is wonderful, but a true testimony comes in a much deeper mode than intellect.

"I bear you my solemn witness that this Church IS true . . .

"Sincerely, your . . . friend,"

16 October 1993



"Of course, your decision to label your grandfather as an incompetent has irritated a good many members of the Church. It makes me wonder how much you really know about the structure of the Church, about old age, about revelation, and about yourself. . . .

" . . . I would like to address age in the matter. It has bothered you that your grandfather is experiencing what is now called 'dementia.' Dementia is a deterioration of the physical body that often short-circuits the process/paths of synapses so that things don't always connect in a normal manner.

"My mother is in an Alzheimer's Unit in Denver, Colorado. . . . I call her often and although there are times she is not sure what is going on or seems to be living in another time, there are times when she is 'right on.' . . . She is not a member of the Church; she is not a prophetess of God; she is a CHILD of God. Enlightenment is always there, but not always able to be transferred.

"Because I know these things to be true and because I know the Church to be a true structure for the operation of God's holy mind and will and because I seek to have the charity that is in Christ, I believe that Ezra Taft Benson was foreordained to be a prophet, that he still may receive light and inspiration as long as he lives. You may not see it; you may never see it or hear it; but it IS THERE. . . .

"There is nothing outside this great Church that will offer you the principles, the doctrine, the hope that is in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . .

" . . . I make these statements to help you understand that 'all is not lost,' that you are being deceived by the wrong spirit, and that God does live, Jesus yet lives, and they are the true head of the Church.

"The protection the authorities are offering your grandfather is the pure love of Christ. They wish him not to be burdened, decried, or abused by those who say that he is senile or demented. They are simply holding on until God sees fit to take the prophet home (or translate him, how knows??) They are holy men and will receive the inspiration to hold things together . . .

"I know you have been blessed with talents that have been bestowed the honors of men upon you. Try to remember that these are simply men's honors. You, too, may become unable to hold the pencil or to think in an orderly manner.

"It might behoove you to humble yourself, acknowledge God's hand in all things, and cast off the wickedness that sophistry, pseudo-intellect and educational surfeiting can bring to you. I hope that you will. The angels in heaven will rejoice if you can do that and admit your error before men because you have wrongfully accused the servants of the Most High God.

"A friend."

17 October 1993



"In 1986, I sat in front of what was then called a 'High Council Court' and . . . was excommunicated from the Church. . . .

"During the time period in which I was excommunicated, I experienced much adversity, a lot of heartache and despair beyond anything I can describe or convey to you in words. . . .

"I want you to know FIRST HAND what it was like and the hell I went through, as an excommunicated member of the Church. It was a VERY REAL and LITERAL change in my life, as all blessings of membership and priesthood were stripped away.

"I want you and your wife to know that should you both seek to continue in your desires to be excommunicated, that your lives will be ENTIRELY left to the buffetings of Satan.

"I KNOW just as sure as I'm sitting here and writing this, should you both be excommunicated, your marriage will suffer, if not fail completely, your bright, promising career will go down the tubes and you both will put your very lives, more than physically, spiritually in danger. Your lives will literally be turned upside down and all of this will stand as a testimony to you as to the error of your ways and to the divinity of the Church.

"I am sending this letter out of love and concern for you. . . .You're making the wrong decision and I bear testimony, nothing will be gained through you and your wife being excommunicated, but you stand in jeopardy of losing EVERYTHING!

"Through five difficult years and a long, hard road back, I was re-baptized by my father . . .

"I'm now . . .serving as a stake missionary . . . and have had the opportunity to draw on my own mistakes in helping others, as I'm attempting to do with you. . . .

"It's my testimony that when we begin to intellectually look at the Gospel on our own, without TRULY drawing on the powers of Heaven to have our spiritual eyes opened and enhance our spiritual understanding, we stand on the brink of apostasy. You, my friend, are there! . . .

"This is the Lord's Church. He runs it. And he doesn't allow the Church to be misled! The Church is perfect, we are not, nor are our leaders perfect. Let's cut them some slack! If you'r leaving the Church because of PEOPLE, then your testimony is weak and you've become part of the prophesy which says 'even the very elect in the last days will be deceived'!

"You and I remind ME of Alma the Younger! He was a born leader with the capability to do much good! You know the story! Although he was intellectually well-versed, spiritually he was dead. He used his talents to thwart the purposes of God.

"Do you think for a moment you have brought about any good in the world, through your stand? I guarantee, Satan loves you and you are gripped tightly in his grasp!

"For Alma, because of the prayers of his father and other faithful members, an angel appeared and changed the destiny of his life.

"I'm not an angel . . . but I do know this: that you possess many great qualities and, like Alma, if you'll humble yourself and repent, you, too, can change the destiny of your life and bring about many great things during your lifetime.

"You know, it really doesn't matter, does it, if your Grandfather isn't well, or if a General Authority makes a mistake!?! It's the Lord's Church and he runs it and the bottom line is either you believe that, or you don't!

"The real issue here isn't about the Prophet or ANY of the Church leaders! The real issue here is do YOU have a testimony as to the truthfulness of the Church and do YOU believe the Lord's running it!?!

"Get down on your knees, my dear friend and brother, repent, humble yourself and strengthen your testimony! I can give you this advice because I know it works. I DID IT!!!

"I bear you MY testimony . . . that I KNOW, I don't just believe it, I KNOW that this Church is the ONLY true Church, that the Lord directs it . . .

"I humbly ask that the Lord will soften your heart and open your mind, helping you to seek forgiveness and strengthen your membership, not lose it! I know if you'll pray for strength and do what is right, you'll accomplish many great things in your lifetime for, and in behalf of, the Lord!

"What a great legacy you come from. How valiant you must have been in the pre-existence. Think about it!!! Don't blow it now, the consequences are Eternal!

"The Lord's blessings be with you!

"Faithfully, your brother,"

17 October 1993
Subject: from the Mormon mailbag (#5)
Date: Feb 28 03:33
Author: steve benson

Continue to bear with, if you can, the bearing of testimony by members of the Cult to those who leave it (Your comments and experiences also welcome):


"Your grandfather is a prophet. His life has been an example of absolute commitment and devotion. . . .

"I say to you that, as a lifelong Democrat, I was deeply concerned when your grandfather became the prophet . . . But the 'Come Home' Christmas message and his sweet, sweet administration have caused me to love him and sustain him with deep affection.

"Indeed, I have told many that I honestly believe that because of his great stature and prestige in the world, he would yet stand and announce that the Angel had returned and that he had translated the remainder of the gold plates.

"None has the integrity in the whole world to make such an announcement and none has expressed a greater love for the Book which he would supplement.

"Please, in all the humility of my soul, I beg you to read the 'Come Home' message of your grandfather and come home.

"Sincerely yours,"

25 October 1993



"Sorry, Steve, the Church didn't leave you! You just don't understand that your wish to have your grandfather removed because of his infirmities is just not the government of the Church. Even little children understand that. The Church still continues with God-inspired Counceils and quorums and will honor President Benson with his infirmities!

"It is so simple and so basic, that most people just don't understand! And this knowledge is truth.

"It is interesting how Steve can poke fun as a cartoonist, and yet with this simple truth of Church government, it has made a cartoon fool out of Steve, and Steve can't take it.

"Steve, instead, reverts to the media to try and bring glamorization and sensationalism to himself. How else can he get notoriety and self-aggrandizement if he's not in the limelight? Some call it ego or being a spoiled brat. The media has always been Steve's scapegoat for protection.

"Steve, we wish you the best. People need to feel comfortable wherever they are. The LDS Church is not for everyone, if they don't feel comfortable in it. It is likewise with any other denomination."

19 October 1993



"It's a good thing Steve Benson didn't travel with the Israelites on their journey through Sinai. He would have witnessed Moses wrongfully crediting himself for providing Israel with water when he smote the rock at Meribah. . . .The headlines would have read, 'Prophet admits not believing God.'

"I wonder what Steve Benson would have done as witness to the contention in the early Church over the question of circumcision? . . . I wonder what his position would have been as a witness to the strife between Paul (the senior apostle) and Barnabas (the junior) over who should join them on their missionary journey through Syria? . . .

"What would Steve have done if, while traveling with Lehi, he had witnessed that great prophet stumble and 'murmur against the Lord his God' because of afflictions? . . . Maybe the headlines would have read, 'Prophet loses faith over broken bow.'

"And then there is the story of Moriancumer being chastened by the Lord 'for the space of three hours . . . because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord' . . . Can you imagine a prophet forgetting to pray (for four years?), and still progressing to the point of conversing with God face-to-face? . . .

"And let's not forget Joseph Smith, to whom the Lord said, 'You have not kept the commandments, and must needs stand rebuked before the Lord' . . .

"Steve left the LDS Church because he witnessed that its leaders are not infallible. His claim: they 'shade' the truth. Interesting thing, truth. I suspect it encompasses much more than silly incidents that bear witness of man's mortality. Steve hasn't learned that it isn't the conflict or the giving of false information that concerns us. It is the fact that our leaders (being even as we are)rise hereafter to spiritual heights where they see visions, receive revelations, and make their callings and elections sure.

"The fact that our leaders have weaknesses bears witness that we, in our weaknesses, can also press forward to a unity and perfection which shall assure us of salvation (see Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary II, p. 145)."

20 October 1993
letter to the editor, Daily Herald (Provo)


Subject: from the Mormon mailbag (#8): What Mormonism does TO women vs. what ex-Mormonism does FOR them.
Date: Mar 02 06:41
Author: steve benson

Cult-think is alive and well in Mr. Joseph's neighborhood and doing much to damage the self-esteem and stifle the empowerment of women. As evidence of that fact, below is a letter I received from a TBM victim of the sisterhood:


"I am writing to you because I have great fear for you.

"You see, I am only now returning to the Church, IF they will let me. . . .

"I'm writing to let you know that there is NO woman who was as feminist and liberal as I was. There was NO woman, or human being, as strongly committed to the right of speech and thought as I was. I still am, and I do still believe we all have freedom of choice.

"However, I also know the penalty for making the wrong choices. . . .

"I will tell you . . . that after having the power of the priesthood save my life, not just once, but several times in the last three years, that the power of the priesthood is true.

"It stopped the devil from killing me--me, an unbelieving, rebellious, sinful woman.

"I also have been lucky enough for the spirit of the Holy Ghost to be with me for the first time in my life--and blessings coming to me from having several blessings and my parents placing my name in the temple. . . .

"It saddens me that you, in your public position with a smile on your face, appear in the paper saying you have asked to be released into the world of the Devil.

"The Devil is a very mean person.

"Ask your parents and grandfather to put your name in the temple. It will help you. It will protect you. It has been protecting me.

"The Devil does not want to let go of souls. It truly is a battle--don't you know?

"I feel very strongly that I need to tell you a story . . .

"Back in 1980 or so, I was a wild and crazy lady. I worked in marketing . . . and . . . was lucky enough to receive some finance industry training at the Hotel Utah.

"With heavy makeup and a bright red shirt, I climbed on an elevator. There was only an older gentleman and his assistant on the elevator with me.

"He smiled when he saw me and said, 'How are you today?' He was old, had a NICE, calm voice and he KNEW me. I read people--and he KNEW me. He knew who I was. I could see that he knew me. I had never seen him before in my life.

"I said, 'I'm fine.' I watched him get off the elevator and the man showed him a door and said, 'Here it is.' I didn't see him again until an hour or two later, then I saw him again. I saw his face on the wall in the room I was being trained in. He was the President of the Church. I can't even remember his name. He was before your grandfather.

"It was because of that incident that when the time came that I decided to go to Church after 20 years, that I dared and decided to go back to the Mormon Church. . . .

"I have a suggestion for you that I hope you will follow: Keep your Book of Mormon out. I'm just now reading mine for the first time. I know it is true.

"Read the 'Ensign,' too. That's what got me back.

"I'm going to be writing and publishing some things, hopefully for the Church. I actually intend on making a movie out of the novel I will be writing after January when I return to Utah. It WILL be a best-seller. Want to bet? . . .

"Why am I telling you all this? Because I fear losing my membership. Now, after all these years that I didn't care. Now that I have finally found out that my parents DID know what they were doing. And you're giving yours away. . . .

"Yours truly,

20 October 1993

"P.S.--"My grandfather, Joseph Price, worked with David O. McKay. I believe my grandparents are watching over me now. Yours surely will, too. Maybe it will help you. Don't forget to pray everyday and to say, 'In the name of Jesus Christ.' I do. . . . Please read this to your wife. She is more than welcome to call me . . ."


Now, contrast what you have just read with the following letter to Mary Ann and me from a thinking, intelligent and articulate woman who chose to leave the Mormon Church on her own terms:


"As a former member of the Mormon Church, a graduate of Brigham Young University, and the daughter of an active Mormon family, I want to extend my wholehearted thanks . . . for providing the public voice so many of us ex-Mormons have been hoping to hear for years.

"Soon after graduating from B.Y.U., I made the thoughtful decision to leave the Church against the wishes of my family, my L.D.S. friends and the Church hierarchy. My family estranged me, my Mormon friends gave me their condolences and various members in the priesthood reminded me that as an apostate I would be banished to the 'outer darkness.'

"I was even told by a Church leader that, as a single female, I wasn't 'permitted' to leave [the Church] until I first consulted and prayed with a priesthood holder who would certainly advise me to see the error of my ways or face a possible 'bishop's court.'

"However, I ultimately decided that their PERMISSION and their pious disapproval of my decision to leave were, in reality, of no importance or consequence to me. I left without the formal ritual bestowed upon those who choose to follow Church-sanctioned exit protocol.

"While losing my core social support was initially devastating, I soon discovered the world to be a much bigger, culturally rich, intellectually stimulating and spiritually rewarding place I had ever been led to believe to see through the eyes of Mormon ideology.

"No longer was I burdened to share my 'testimony' with people who didn't particularly care to hear my declarations about the 'one and only true Church.' No longer did I feel pained that I possessed a Truth that would someday get me to a heavenly place that would be home exclusively to faithful Mormons but would be closed to my unfortunate friends who chose not to embrace the beliefs and practices of The Church.

"Without question, entrenched Mormons intolerance to facts, details and intelligent discourse will find [your]article [on leaving Mormonism] extremely disturbing.

"However, . . . this is one expatriot who feels this long overdue and cathartic expose will not only please those of us who have chosen to view ourselves as Conscientious Objectors rather than 'apostates,' but will eventually fully pry open a Pandora's box of information that has, until recently, been systematically suppressed."

23 October 1994


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