Recovery Board  : RfM
Recovery from Mormonism (RfM) discussion forum. 
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Posted by: danr ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 01:54PM

This is the one big question that I am trying to figure out. Many Mormon's, when shown evidence that the church isn't true, will say that "I've already read all that before and it doesn't shake my testimony. Nothing I ever read will change the way I believe". I do know that a testimony is a feeling, and they can't deny their feelings, but how do they get to the point that they realize their feelings aren't indicators of truth?

I was also of that same mindset many years ago, whatever I heard about the church or read about the church wouldn't change my testimony, I knew the church was true. I'm not sure how I got to the point that I knew the church was a fraud, or that I thought that the church may not be true. One day I was reading about DNA and the BoM and it just hit me, "Joseph Smith made it up".

I have family members that believe--no matter what. How does one go from that mindset--to thinking that there is a chance the church may not be true?

Facts really don't matter to most Mormons. All the information to prove Mormonism is a fraud doesn't mean much if it rolls off the back of a tbm. Maybe the difference between an emotional testimony and a doctrinal one?

So how did you go from "The church is true not matter what", to, "I don't think it's true"?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 02:00PM

You're not going to like this:

People will get from "the church is true no matter what" to, "I don't think it's true", the same way you did!!

ETA (to be completely truthful): ...or some other way...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2018 02:01PM by elderolddog.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Atari ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 03:15PM

The same reason people believe the earth is flat and that global warming is a myth. They believe what they want to. The evidence is a mere nuisance.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: desertman ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 03:21PM

A true believer "Believes" That is what they do.
DO NOT I repeat NOT attempt to confuse the issue with facts.
It is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It is frustrating for the teacher and the pig doesn't give a damn!!!

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: more money ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 03:35PM

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 12:33AM


Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: helenm ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 03:37PM

I asked my ex-mo and closeted apostate friends this question - for some people, they can't handle it mentally so when they hear something that falls out of line with Mormonism, they immediately shut it out rather than entertain the idea of Mormonism being anything but true.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: not logged in today ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 03:43PM

Part of it may be pride and vanity.

Many have it in their heads that "even the very elect shall be deceived." (technically inaccurate quote, but that's how they think of it) As they see others leave the church, they get to congratulate themselves that they are better and stronger than those lesser ex-mormons; their self-image is boosted, and they imagine themselves to be even more valiant than ever. And so the cycle continues.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: helenm ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 12:23AM

Thx for your post - my ex no and closeted apostate friends did mention that some stay because Mormonism "worked out well for them"

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 04:27PM

In my opinion the undue influence or mind control plays a huge role in member retention when members are faced with what I think are very hard to refute facts. (See Steve Hassan's website if you doubt mind control is part of the church).

Members are subjected to behavior control, information control, thought control, and emotional control which are powerful and extensive. Hells bells, I was part of a family get-together where the discussion, if you want to call it a discussion, went on and on and on trying to decide on a movie as there were TBMs and Exmormons who were definitely estranged as to what they would watch. If the movie had an unapproved church rating, the TBMs were self-righteously definitely NOT ON BOARD and no discussion allowed.

We ended up playing games as there (wonder why) wasn't enough time left to watch a movie. Ha,ha.

Yeah, isn't the censored world of Mormonism just terrific!!!???

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2018 04:30PM by presleynfactsrock.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 06:12PM

I think it has a lot to do with your confidence in your ability to live life away from the cult. I believed in it all as a kid and through my young adult years. I think later I believed it was inspired, but men had messed it up. But as soon as solid evidence was available, it was such a relief. I never loved it. I always used to think that it would be so cool if we could find out it wasn't true, but I thought there was no way to ever know for sure and was afraid to throw it away if there was a chance my eternal salvation would be in peril. When there was no question any longer, it was pure freedom. But there are just people who really want it to be true and can't let themselves internalize the evidence.

I think those are the people for whom the mormon life and social circle would be too hard to give up. I guess I'm lucky that I didn't have a close knit family, I really believed inside that the temple was a farce from the first time I went and was thrilled to see the evidence of where it came from, and mormons, especially shallow mormon women annoyed the hell outta me. Sure there was some disappointment, anger, all that, but once you know, that is going to be there whether you admit the truth to anyone else or go on pretending for social reasons.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 06:28PM

And if you are surrounded by family, friends, and a society that believes and thinks as you do you are much less likely to change your beliefs -- even when presented with direct evidence.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: adoylelb ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 12:27AM

That's true, especially for those who were raised Mormon, and whose entire families are TBM, plus other than a mission, they've never lived outside the Morridor. Mormonism really is a subculture like the Amish and other groups, it's difficult to leave because it's all those people have ever experienced.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: sunbeep ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 06:32PM

There is a scripture somewhere that says something along the lines of; They have eyes but cannot see, ears that cannot hear. Of course, when I was a TBM, this scripture was for those who wouldn't listen to the missionaries or some crapola like that.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: 64monkey ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 09:40PM

Emotions are powerful weapons used against reason.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Whiskeytango ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 10:01PM

People who have a lot of time and money invested in something are less likely to walk away from it. If you have gone on a mission, paid ten percent of a good income, married somebody based on a church ideal rather than your own and used the church to influence every decision you make, there really isn’t anything that will make you look elsewhere.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Anyomous ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 10:24PM

Have you ever written a program? If - while -then- Loop-
LDS -and I am technically still one of them - are in a programmed loop. Run program - Loop. Run program - Loop.

I was doing research for a talk to defend the church. I was in a - I am going to prove the nay sayers that were inactive...but.but..but...I couldn't. Literally, all my shelf fell in 48 hrs..I was sick - seriously for 3 weeks.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 09, 2018 10:44PM

Since your remarks regarding programming have reached a brain unable to understand them in the context, I would be pleased if you'd explain in layman's terms how that all went down. It portends to be fascinating and I want to understand it.

Thanking you in advance, I remain a humble serpent,


Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Cpete ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 12:23AM

They are invested.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 01:00AM

They’re in denial because they don’t want to know, but more importantly it doesn’t make sense to them to want to know. How could there be anything other than obedience?

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. If you’ve dealt with bloated bureaucracy much, you’ve seen stupidity. And those are fairly competent people. Now if you apply that to an organization where everyone is in this same state of programmed denial, you really amp up the stupid. Dieter really could believe in texting rocks. Those guys really could believe the BoA is magically true. They aren’t data-driven, they’re emotion-driven. Feeling trump facts. More facts, more denial.

But it’s not a cult.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: baura ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 02:16AM

A testimony is not a feeling. It may be based on a feeling, but
a testimony is this:


When someone says they have a "testimony" they mean they've
decided to believe no matter what. The "no matter what" part
covers any evidence that may be forthcoming--basically is says
that it doesn't matter.

Gaining and strengthening a testimony is what Mormonism is all
about. It's not, in any way, about a search for truth. The fact
that the evidence you present may be true is immaterial because
the decision has already been made to believe no matter what.

Biographies of great scientists always center on the truths they
discovered, often overturning the prevailing scientific
consensus. But the articles on "great Mormons" (which grace the
ENSIGN, the New ERA, and the FRIEND always center on how they
believed as they were taught no matter what--their unshakable
testimonies. The fact that the doctrine they had an unshakable
testimony in may have been changed later on is not material (nor
is it mentioned in said articles).

Truth to a good Mormon is of no import.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 03:33AM

The evidence doesn't assuage emotional and social needs.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 05:28AM

Gordon Hinckley really understood that, while it was something that I and my MORmON family had missed. I had been schooled, trained and indoctrinated that MORmONISM was a LOGICAL and REASONABLE and APPROPRIATE divinely directed outcome, THE great restoration as God's response to THE great apostasy, God being THE all time greatest employer of INTELLIGENCE, LOGIC, REASON.

The problem is that MORmONISM (just as with all religion) does NOT hold up as LOGIC and REASON is actually employed. Gordon Hinckley attempted to avoid that terminal problem by just falling back on Faith (FEELING) and then just endlessly turning in the same circle of being so busy believing (FEELING) just for the sake of believing (FEELING) that a person could NOT be bothered with nasty distractions and detraction of Faith and believing (FEELING) like THINKING and ANALYZING.

A person is supposed to just BELIEVE (FEEL) because its a gratuitous, wild, carefree, freewheeling thing to do, as opposed to getting bogged down in tedious reasoning and analysis.

Believing in MORmONISM is a big party, just like a continual blow out crazy out of control CABARET !!!!!! ....just not so out of control that people can forget to pay tithing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and a person can be sure that they are believing in the right thing as they follow MORmONISM because it feels so good just as MORmON leaders said that it would.


when the creepy hand comes up and starts wagging that is the sure sign that a person just has to believe !!!!

(NOW write out a big fat tithing check to LDS Inc for all the great FEELINGS that they have provided to you !!!!!)

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: baura ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 01:29AM

"I feel in my heart that Mormonism is logical and reasonable."

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: alsd ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 08:41AM

I honestly think there are many who do not believe, but feel pressure to claim they do, or they overlook the evidence because of the need to maintain their social and family relationships.

Stepping away from something you have been a part of your entire life can be scary, so it may be easier to overlook the evidence and talk yourself into believing it is true just for the comfort and security of maintaining the status quo.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 09:06AM

oh, btw, who said that they (MORmONS) have read anything the last umpteen years. My TBM MORmON mother will defiantly insist that MORmONISM is valid, just like Brother Packer and Brother McConkie say/testify that it is, the only two of the "current" MORmON ASSpostHOLES that she could identify by name as she was compelled to do so. Being (Blindly) devout excuses her from the burden of learning any more bothersome details than that!!!

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: GregS ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 09:20AM

Exactly! They are told to actively avoid anything without the church's stamp of approval. I couldn't even get my wife to read the church's own Gospel Essays after I told her that they implicitly admit that at least some "anti-Mormon lies" were actually true. She did try to read a couple of them, but stopped after she got physically ill.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: alsd ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 10:12AM

Wasn't it Ballard who said that church members have a responsibility to read and be knowledgeable about the essays?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: baura ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 01:33AM

"I've read all that before and it doesn't hurt my testimony one
bit." That's a way to stop the discussion--stop you from saying
anything else or stop the TBM from actually having to deal with
the information you're presenting. It's the Mormon version of
putting your hands over your ears and going, "La la la la la!"

And you're right; they don't have to have read anything to use
this line to stop the discussion.

I call them "thought stoppers," and Mormons are masters of them
because they need to be.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 09:58AM

I think a person has to be emotionally primed to take the evidence seriously. Until they can answer with an honest "yes" when asked: If the LDS Church is not what it claims to would you want to know? It's hard to get through.

Looking back, the evidence was all around me in my K-12 education. The earth was more than 7,000 years old. The first Americans crossed a land bridge to get to the Americas. But in those years, I was not emotionally and mentally mature enough to accept the implications.

I had often felt unsettled about many aspects of Mormonism. But I only began a serious and open minded investigation once I was feeling like the LDS Church wasn't working in my life. I was burnt out from my mission, BYU, callings etc., and it didn't seem to be helping in any discernible way. At that point, the possibility that it all may not be true was still difficult, but also provided some relief as well.

I also agree with the observation that many Mormons don't delve deeply enough into the evidence to get to the conclusion that Mormonism isn't what it claims to be. If you were born in the LDS Church, the Plan of Salvation is just as ingrained in your mind as being objectively true as 2 + 2 = 4.

It is not just a matter of study, but thought and reflection about the implications of the evidence and the role of Mormonism in your life. We have to reevaluate many of our basic assumptions and biases. It's a hard thing to do. This generally requires considerable effort, and if you're not primed to think the effort might be worth it--you just don't go there.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 10:37AM

Something deep inside of many Mormons (my family) will not allow them to give up the "fact" that they are special and going to be the last ones standing* in the "Game of Afterlife." Their entire self esteem is based on this and giving it up is too high a price to pay.

My brother is very high in the church. He has to know all the facts. But Mormonism is his talent. He considers himself better at the game of Mormonism than anyone. He is the most extreme case of Mormon arrogance you will ever meet. He is holding on for his lifetime achievement award and nothing is going to get in his way. Certainly not the truth.

*Faith, the ability to outlast, not the ability to progress or seek the truth.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Felix ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 12:13PM

We are fortunate to live in the information age as all the evidence to identify the church as a fraud has been given to us via the research of others before us. Imagine the difficulty of those early converts and especially the women who were forced into polygamy believing it was a command from god. They had no way to defend themselves from the emotional abuse and trauma. I have read their stories and biography's. "Tell it All" Fanny Stenhouse and "Wife No. 19" by Ann Eliza Young. Both are available free on line. I know I'm a little off topic but my mind wanders a bit so try to excuse me.

The church is built upon lies that have become myth. I have posted this description of Myth here before but it describes the Mormon Church so well that I am including it here again.


“A myth is an idea that while widely believed, is false. In a deeper sense, in the religious sense, a myth serves as an orienting and mobilizing story for a people. The focus is not on the stories relation to reality, but on its function. A story cannot function unless it is believed to be true in the community or the nation. It is not a matter of debate. If some people have the bad taste to question the truth of the sacred story, the keepers of the faith do not enter into debate with them. They ignore them or denounce them as blasphemers.”

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 12:34PM

I don't think you could be more on topic. The myth angle is substantial if not the whole enchilada.

This thread also begs the question, what makes a TBM finally realize it's all a lie built on myth without knowing any of the ugly history, or any of the other supposed "anti" information now available--like you mention with Fanny or Ann Eliza.

That is how I left. On a gut feeling. The strongest gut feelings of all time. It was early seventies and all of my information came from the Mormon church. I knew no "Anti" stuff. And yet I had a breakthrough.

Anyway really appreciated your post.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 01:00PM

Ironically, the strongest evidence is the disconnect between their Claims & what they actually DO.

I Believe that TBM vs. doubter divorces are the most obvious, most significant, at least to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2018 01:00PM by GNPE.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 12:39AM

We all have a drive to survive, or the species wouldn't exist.

Our chances of surviving increase if we belong to a group for protection and helping each other.

The group usually demands allegiance in some form in order to gain strength.

It proclaims itself as special to gain stronger adherents.

Also an us-vs-them attitude to rally the members.

Anyway, for those who are strong tribalists, to be separated from the group means death in their minds. They just can't allow that to happen, or to allow themselves to lose faith.

Has nothing to do with logic and reason, but all about fear.

On the surface, it seems that doctrine and history and reason matter, but they don't.

Brilliant people stay in church and justify it due to their fear of separation or rejection.

I've never been a good herd animal - being a loner allowed me to leave when I realized it was BS. I also committed the ridiculous acts of changing my politics, and views on marriage and my career, etc, etc, which most people can't understand.

Besides religion, people join other tribes and cling to their beliefs regardless of reason:

sports teams
education system
government programs and wars
gender wars

and on and on

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: ProvoX ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 01:22AM

If you were born into a system/family where everyone told you the moon was made out of green cheese, and then one day some yahoo tells it isn't, and he has proof it isn't, who are you going to believe?

Now, Brother Brigham would like to tell you about the inhabitants of said moon...

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 07:23AM

Most TBMs wouldn't go near the evidence. They would never read anything contrary to what they've been taught.

Anyway, in 1998, I got my first computer. The first place I started chatting was an LDS chat room. I very quickly became a Moderator and after that, a Team Leader, where I trained new Moderators.

We would get people coming in from "Ex-Mormons for Jesus," or just people who wanted to confront us with the evidence.

I had to become an amateur apologist. Whenever I was in the chat room, I had a slew of books around my desk. I think one was even called, "How to Answer anti-Mormon Questions."

The leaders of the Church had given me the answers. I believed what they told me. There was an answer to every challenge and problem and I therefore dismissed the arguments made again the Church.

I believed them. It's as simple as that. As long as you're in a place where you "know" the Church is true, then nothing penetrates your armour. It never sinks in.

Even if you just have to resort to, "I'm not worried. I know that Heavenly Father will explain that problem some day," and put it on your shelf, then that's what you will do.

I did not see the evidence for what it was until all I cared about what the truth was, more than I needed the Church to be true. I wanted to know the truth, once and for all, and the answers that I got were not what I expected. I discovered that the so-called antis were the ones holding the truth.

The big difference was that I was ready to hear it. Until that point, they will see no evil, hear no evil, about their beloved Church.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Jersey Girl ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 08:27AM

Same reason people do not believe in global warming. They only hear what they want to hear and believe what backs up their pre-existing prejudices and what they are told by leaders they follow. Mere facts cannot penetrate that shield, and they grasp at whatever straw supports what they want to believe.

Options: ReplyQuote
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In

Screen Name: 
Your Email (optional): 
Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
 ********   **     **  **     **  **     **  **     ** 
 **     **  ***   ***  **     **  **     **  **     ** 
 **     **  **** ****  **     **  **     **  **     ** 
 **     **  ** *** **  **     **  **     **  **     ** 
 **     **  **     **  **     **   **   **   **     ** 
 **     **  **     **  **     **    ** **    **     ** 
 ********   **     **   *******      ***      *******