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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: July 31, 2023 12:58PM

Like so many others here, people accused me of reading "anti-Mormon" publications when I decided to resign my membership. But I hadn't. It's just that, once I had decided to know more about church history, and to rebut what ex-members were saying about this and that, I was shocked to find that the ex-members were right in most cases. So I did things like compare Smith's prequel to the D&C, i.e. the Book of Commandments, where I first noted that the church had applied their own phrases about changing "plain and precious things" to make the supposed dates of early church events jibe with errors in the timelines.

After that, I found a searchable PDF of the complete Journal of Discourses. When you get into all those early conference talks and general sermons, it can spell the end of one's belief. But I still contend that the major and most important anti-Mormon text is the Book of Mormon. The church relies heavily on it, but never has there been anything so easily debunked as the BoM.

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Posted by: dogbloggernli ( )
Date: July 31, 2023 03:20PM

It's hard to tease out what influences may have accumulated along the way.

For me, I lost belief in the Bible first. It became merely a collection of useful inspired allegory. But it was the repeated re-affirmation of the literalness of the most loony parts of the Bible in revealed modern day scripture that broke my faith.

So I can't say I used only church publications for sure. But it was revealed church scripture that made it all fail.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: July 31, 2023 05:48PM

Independent THINKING and common sense leads a person out of the church.

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: July 31, 2023 06:27PM

Two books by faithful MORmONs, In Sacred Loneliness and Insiders View of Mormon origins, pretty much nailed my faith in the coffin and buried it 6ft deep.

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Posted by: madeguy ( )
Date: July 31, 2023 10:45PM

I gave myself permission to read whatever I wanted.

I told the Bishop this, and he winced.

It was worth it. The truth was easy to find.

I'm gone.

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Posted by: blackcoatsdaughter ( )
Date: August 01, 2023 09:15AM

I remember reading A history of Joseph Smith By His Mother and it gave me some ticklings of doubt to set on my shelf. But it wasn't even close to what broke it.

I DID watch an anti-Mormon video called 10 things the missionaries won't tell you. But the person in the video used screenshots from and read from the Gospel Topics Essays. I went straight there to know the truth. Almost every single one of the Gospel Topics Essays was either 1. Complete news to me about the church history and doctrine or 2. Completely contrary to what I had been taught all my life in all my classes at church and BYU-I. And they were so hideously sparse, I felt like I needed MORE information. I needed more explanation. So I went to FAIR Mormon and found essays and articles that contradicted each other. Like, stick with ONE explanation for why the Book of Abraham was not what was translated word for word from the facsimiles printed in the book right beside it. Why do you need to give me 5 different, contradicting theories? Why doesn't anybody know? Why hasn't a prophet come out and set the record straight?

Like, the more I went, the more I kept asking over and over, "This could all be cleared up in an instant if god's messengers just stated it outright what the truth is. That's why the church is better than all the rest, right? Because we can say without a doubt that we know."

I read the CES letter then and kept bouncing back and forth between FAIR and CES trying to find which explanation made most sense to me. Truthfully, it's not so much the facts in the CES letter that burned my broken shelf into ash. But the fact that it kept pointing out, "the waffling and inconsistency of the church doctrine and authority sounds like they're lying. It is behavior someone would do to cover up that they don't really know the answers."

If I am going to be dedicating my life to a deity that isn't present except in an occasional feeling, if I am going to be obeying it without question, you better give me something better than "sometimes the prophet speaks as a man and that means he sometimes says stuff that god doesn't endorse or want". I might as well follow my own dictates with a guarantee like that. At least if I am following myself, I can be sure I'm actually doing what I want 100% of the time.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: August 02, 2023 05:53AM

I came to the same conclusion about religious leaders -- they don't know anything more than I do, and sometimes they know less. So why should I pay any particular attention to their pompous pronouncements?

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: August 01, 2023 11:53AM

the Very Old 'gator pamphlet 'Joseph Smith's Story' (name correct?)

was published as though it was written by Joey, it obviously wasn't.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: August 01, 2023 01:28PM

      The twin circumstances of being the only mormon in my family and being an avid Science Fiction fan conspired to make my first time through the temple the starting point of my divergence from trying to be faithful to what I'd previously supposed to be the "true church."

      I literally convened an all-hands-on-deck meeting and stood at the podium of Self to announce to all of me assembled that no way could an inerrant deity have anything to do with the sh*t show I'd just experienced.

      I don't think I could have grown up better under the available circumstances, but credit goes to mormonism's effect on all the good people of the Las Vegas 2nd Ward.  That was just me lucking out.  It had nothing to do with ghawd; all credit goes to the Bell-Shaped Curve, which thankfully is inarticulate.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 01, 2023 06:15PM

I received a genealogy of Brigham Young from my sister. It had all the wives Brigham inherited from Joseph. Sent me into a quest that ended with a history of Helen Mar Kimball and my great great great grandmother Zina's Nauvoo journal.

I don't know if any of that was church approved but it has never been denied.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: August 02, 2023 05:11AM

I can't say only church publications, but about 95 percent.

First was contradictions between the book of mormon, pearl of great price and doctrine and covenants.

Second, a history of Joseph Smith by his mother. This is technically a church approved publication.

It was originally banned until it was revised by two church presidents and an additional two apostles. Then it was published serially in the Ensign, before being bound into a stand alone book.

Third an address to all believers in christ. Not a church approved publication, but was written by one of the three witnesses, David Whitmer. It can be found online and outlines the struggle abd eventual parting of the was between Joseph and David.

After that the church pretty much did the rest for me. The church talks about pay your tithing even if your kids go hungry or you lose your house. That victims of sexual abuse need to consult with the bishop to determine their punishment for their part of the cause of their abuse.

In was long gone before the internet era and living outside the US meant limited resources.

Of course equally if not more important was the actions and idiosyncrasies of the local leaders.

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