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Posted by: Ex-CultMember ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 04:51PM

I think I was fairly unique in that I actually WANTED to read what the critics had to say. I just assumed it would be easy to rebut their arguments or see through their lies or misconstruing of the truth. I realized pretty fast that the Mormons not being honest.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 04:53PM


Honestly, I never even heard of anything "anti" until I was 16 or so, and then only from my bishop (go figure!).

Sort of like when a bishop asks a 12-year old if he masturbates, and the kid replies, "what's that?," I didn't know "anti" literature existed until, expressing some doubts one day, my bishop asked me if I'd been reading that nasty "anti-mormon" stuff. I asked, "What anti-mormon stuff?" He mumbled something and walked away.

Of course, then I went looking for it...(this was pre-internet).

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Posted by: liesarenotuseful ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 05:29PM

I completely avoided anything anti.

After I read the essays, I read everything I could find, anti or not.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 05:31PM

No, I read whatever I chose to read. I still do.

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Posted by: overit ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 05:49PM

I was so indoctrinated I was too scared to read anti.Even after I was out, a total non believer I was too scared to write on this site. It took over a year of lurking to pluck up the courage. Now I am happy to announce that I am wearing my heathen wings on a daily basis.

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Posted by: Pariah ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 05:51PM

I refused to read anything about Mormonism, period. Enduring that awful BOM seven times, and dreary Sunday school classes and seminary classes and BYU religion classes soured me on anything else Mormon. Enough already!

I loved to read, and read as much great literature and poetry as I could get my hands on, plus the best sellers. Reading was my great escape from abuse.

I, also, was ignorant of any "anti-Mormon" writing, as my parents kept me protected from that. I was obedient. I wasn't interested in reading those French novels, that my friends read, or gory war stories. It's a matter of taste.

Mostly, Mormon literature was boring to me, and the writing was very bad. My grandfather wrote a book, that was good, and I enjoyed "Jesus The Christ" and some of CS Lewis's stuff--but the BOM was the worst book I ever read. I never read the Ensign.

Anti-Mormon writing, to me, would be just more boring drivel, and, in my narrow-minded opinion, probably angry boring drivel. I wasn't interested in doctrine that made no sense, and I figured that the arguments against it would make no sense, either.

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Posted by: scaredhusband ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 05:56PM

I asked a question about horses in seminary and then it got real. I learned that there are some things that you just don't ask. Except that I kept asking questions and got sick of the non-answers. Eventually asking questions lead me to others asking the same questions and even more questions.
There was a moment that I decided that I would be alright reading critical information of the church. I discovered the church was hiding information.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 06:10PM

No. I always wanted to know what they were saying ever since I heard of The Godmakers and that was many years ago. I wanted to be able to refute it if I had to.

That's what I was doing when I found out about some of the things the church denied 15 years ago but has to admit now. When I read about the different versions of the first vision, I went looking for what TSCC had to say about it. FARMS and FAIR were the big apologetics then and after reading the "anti" stuff and then the FARMS stuff, I was like, "Is that all ya got?"

The essays they have now still wouldn't have helped because I read the "anti" (i.e. "honest") stuff first. They only help people who have heard about it and then go to the essays and go "oh, it isn't all that bad and they got it handled." But if you actually read the source material, you know that the real problems are not addressed in the essays.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 06:24PM


I was always curious. I just had a flashback to a lds play that was being offered for free at an older cinema. Of course, there were many folks passing out flyers and I just accepted them when offered. The literature didn't scare me, but there were some real kooks on the sidewalk. How many folks go around dragging a cross then slit their hands with a pocket knife to spill their own blood? I was 9 at the time and I still have nightmares about that.

As a teenager, I discovered the god makers on PBS one night. I really didn't understand the weirdness of what awaited me in the temple.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 06:55PM

I don't classify information as pro or anti. Reliable and relevant are useful classifications that I use for judging information.

Godmakers film is anti and is second rate bull****. Hugh Nibley's articles on the BoA papyri were supposedly pro, but turned out to be unreliable. The CES letter, Richard Packham's website, both turned out to be reliable and relevant.

I'll read anything I think is reliable until it's content convinces me otherwise. When I was Mormon, I hoped and expected Nibley's information to be "pro" and reliable. I was wrong. That did not stop me from continuing to investigate BoA claims.

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Posted by: adoylelb ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 07:29PM

No, I read whatever I wanted, and still do today. It's no wonder I didn't last long as a member, as one way to get me to read something is for someone to want to ban it.

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Posted by: holycarp ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 07:53PM

I was in my early 20's when I received something anonymous in the mail - it was anti material but honestly I didn't understand it at the time. I was more in to reading the Ensign (skipping the doctrinal stuff and going for the "faith promoting" warm and fuzzy stories, etc.)

I discovered that my mother had it sent to me from someone in her Baptist church. She wanted me to think and act as she did - she could never understand that people wanted and needed to do their own thing.

I remember reading the anti stuff - it was mimeographed on yellow paper and it said something about Adam and Eve, god, Joseph Smith said or did something blah, blah, the time it was as if I were reading Greek and I could not comprehend it.

Found it about 15 years ago and it was a bit weird but had some truth in it about Smith's several wives, some off the wall (more than it really is) temple stuff, and something about them not having the priesthood keys. I tossed it as I had stopped believing a few years before.

It is strange to me now that I could not understand what I was reading even though it was in simple English but that is one of the disadvantages of the church - it keeps you stupid.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: January 11, 2017 11:38PM

Someone handed me some anti-Mormon lit when I was around 19ish and recently moved back to Idaho from California (and reactivated.)

I was eager to read it actually. When visiting with my brother and one of his best friends from high school, both returned mishies, the best friend ripped it out of my hand and refused to give it back. He told me we aren't to read such literature. That was the end of that.

Later, during my college years, the God Makers came out. We were under strict orders from our local lay leaders and all the way to the top @ SLC NOT to watch THAT movie, LOL. Small wonder. :)

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Posted by: idleswell ( )
Date: January 12, 2017 02:33PM

Definite NO.

Read all literature from any source. Debated all comers on the early Internet. Demolished them all. The majority of challengers in that era were proponents of another religion so their arguments were no more sound.

I gained 2 lessons from those experiences:

1. Some people insisted that if I were Mormon I must believe X (insert crazy LDS belief). I never felt I had to believe X. I would research X to find support or not, but the final decision was always mine.

2. I gradually came to a minimal interpretation of Mormonism. At some point, some would argue that it wasn't Mormonism at all.

I would use the same techniques I found with Church critics on the Internet to deal with Mormon zealots at Church. This is my relationship with God to evaluate privately. I don't have to do what you think I ought to because that is what you think being Mormon is all about.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 02:35PM by idleswell.

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Posted by: want2bx ( )
Date: January 12, 2017 03:46PM

My patriarchal blessing tells me not to look at anti-Mormon material. I was good and didn't look at it, at least what I understood anti-Mormon material to be.

I don't know exactly why I thought this, but for much of my Mormon life, my understanding of anti-Mormon material was that it was something like a poorly worded pamphlet full of typos passed out at temple dedications by people standing on the curb. I didn't really understand that whole books full of footnotes had been written on Mormonism by people outside of the church.

So when I came across my first book about Mormon polygamy, I didn't really see it as anti-Mormon material. It was a book with sources and footnotes, not a pamphlet. I read it not even thinking that it was something that the church would consider to be anti-Mormon. To me, it was just history. I read it during my daughter's swimming lessons right out in the open in an area that's 98% LDS. I didn't think anything of it. But the book definitely opened my eyes and I finally "got" what the church means by anti-Mormon material. After that first book, I couldn't stop myself from reading more. But my next anti-Mormon book I read in secret in my closet.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2017 03:47PM by want2bx.

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Posted by: cytokine ( )
Date: January 14, 2017 08:35PM

I naively assumed there was nothing about the church worth reading on the Internet in those days (2000-2005).

Some of you may remember that evolved very slowly, and in the early days, the official site did not have much information. So I almost never looked for church information online in that period when my shelf was collapsing.

The benefit of this is that I can honestly say I lost my testimony mainly because of scripture study, prayer, and church attendance. Only after quitting the church did I read facts and evidence that made me feel like an idiot for not quitting sooner.

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Posted by: lifefromanewview ( )
Date: January 15, 2017 10:23AM

Funny how the very things the church suggests can lead to an end of belief in it. They should add as a condition that you shouldn't use your brain while doing these things.

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Posted by: shannon ( )
Date: January 14, 2017 08:53PM

"Were You A TBM That Refused to Read Anything "Anti?" (YES OR NO?)"

YES....until I did.


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Posted by: LeftTheMorg ( )
Date: January 15, 2017 05:04PM

Yes, I refused to look at anything that criticized the church, or Joseph Smith or any leader, or the scriptures. The church was successful in convincing me such things were of the devil. I was truly brainwashed.

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