My Story In and Out of Mormonism

Hi all below is the story of my new friend Chris Ralph and His journey in and recently out of Mormonism, enjoy and please leave any comments and questions.

In order to explain my journey out, I must also explain my journey into Mormonism just over 40 years ago. This is unavoidably long, so I will split it up into four parts:

Part 1: In the beginning…

I might easily commence my account by writing “I, Christopher, having been born of goodly parents…”!!!! My mother was loving, caring, and thoroughly organised in the home, making much of the few worldly goods available to us in austere post-war Britain. My father, who is still alive, (aged 88), was always interested in whatever I did, and spent much of his spare time sharing in my hobbies. Like many others in that neighbourhood, we were nominally Anglican, but not churchgoers. My mother had strong inner religious convictions throughout her life, and shared them with me. My father was reluctantly a self-confessed “agnostic”, simply because he could not quite believe in the face of contemporary scientific evidence, although he wanted to. He kept an open mind, hoping he might someday find reason for belief in something bigger.

At 17 I was lined up to go to university to study horticulture, but a deep inner urge to find God overtook me , and increasingly preoccupied me, causing me to rethink my plan. I knew that without God I was always going to be empty, and so I searched and searched, walking alone night after night on a Somerset hilltop which has become a special place for me. In time God met me there, and gave me heartfelt assurances. I was of course very raw, and without any theology, just a desire to know God.

Soon after that I encountered some evangelists, whose message about Jesus failed to impress me, not so much because of the message itself, but because of the very challenging, almost accusatory way in which it was presented. I rejected them out of hand, and their Christ.

My friends were going off to university at about this time, and I stayed home, without a plan, without a job, and of course without friends of my own age around me to deflect me from more serious reflection. (There was no email, no internet, no mobile phones in those days, and communication was maintained by occasional letter). So I was left to myself in terms of developing the assurances I felt I had been given by God.

At this juncture, two LDS missionary elders knocked our door. I answered and agreed to read the book they gave me, (The Book of Mormon), and some of their pamphlets, and arranged to meet them the following evening. At the resulting appointment they introduced me to the story of the boy-prophet Joseph Smith’s ‘First Vision’, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; they also showed me photographs of ‘modern-day apostles’, who more closely resembled elderly businessmen in my view than disciples of Jesus. I was frankly unimpressed, and said so. I proposed that in any case Jesus was merely ‘a great teacher’, and not the Son of God. Accordingly, they challenged me to enquire prayerfully then and there about his divine status, which I agreed to do, for to have refused, I felt, would have amounted to conceding the argument. So I found myself praying vocally before two strangers, asking this question, to which I felt I already knew the answer.

To my astonishment however, almost immediately I began to pray, I had an electrifying experience which I think paralleled that of Saul of Tarsus. Although I was not struck blind, like stepping out of the darkness into daylight, I instantly understood that my previous assumption had been in error, and that the person history called Jesus of Nazareth was much more than just‘a great teacher’. The question “Why continue to deny me?” seemed to flood through me, and there was no justifiable reason I could offer.

This left me speechless and in tears. I walked out into the night-time, and when I had eventually regained my composure after a couple of hours, I returned home a different person, knowing that Jesus was the light I must thereafter try to follow.

Having received such a dramatic answer, seemingly at the LDS missionaries’ behest, I did what seemed entirely logical to me, and the next day submitted myself to their teachings. It became a formality for them to lead me through their beliefs without further protest, and sixteen days later I was baptised.

Many years later I learned from one of them that he had never before or since witnessed such a conversion. It is now clear to me that on that autumn evening in 1971, I experienced the ‘born again’ experience familiar to Christians throughout time, but not a regular component of typical Mormon conversions. I have learnt during my years in the LDS church that only a small minority of the members have ever experienced such a witness as I received that night.

I will pass over many of the less important details in order to keep this manageably brief. In 1980 my wife Diana and I were married, and ‘sealed for eternity’ in the London Temple. We both found the temple rites emotionally challenging, but accepted verbal assurances given to us by others with more experience, that we would one day understand them, and that this was one of God’s mysteries. Looking back on my own experiences in the temple, I always had a difficulty in equating the God as portrayed there, to the God who had met me on the hilltop, and the Saviour who had witnessed to me in answer to my prayer. I learned to put those concerns to one side however, until I could develop sufficient spirituality to see that connection… but I never did.

In the LDS church, almost imperceptibly ‘faith’ grows to mean faith in the institution, rather than faith in God. Indeed, for many, the institution and God become completely blurred in their thinking, and the church organisation becomes a great Golden Calf to be revered and worshipped. That is the reason, I suspect, that so many who eventually learn the truth about LDS origins, and leave the church, are left either agnostic or atheistic in their beliefs, because their God has been overthrown.

Diana and I subsequently raised five children in the LDS gospel. In 1987 we were instrumental in converting my parents, whom I personally baptised and confirmed, and later we supported our oldest son financially while he served a successful two-year proselyting mission in the north of England. In other words, we did what was expected of us, followed our leaders, and generally played the part of ‘good soldiers’; for thirty-five years we happily volunteered our time, effort and means in church service, and were considered faithful, knowledgeable and capable members. I served at various times on bishoprics, as ward mission leader, elders’ quorum president, high priest group leader, and on the stake high council, among other callings. Diana served as Primary President and YW President, and RS teacher and as Stake Family History Consultant.

Part 2: The unravelling

In 2000 a trusted priesthood leader in another ward defrauded us and others out of a significant sum of money. When we caught him out in his deception he was initially very apologetic for his “mistake”, and was prepared to address the matter with the help of priesthood leaders. At the time we did not know that he had done this sort of thing before, and intended telling the leaders another story which made him look like he was our victim. The undiscerning LDS leaders, (including members of the Area Presidency), believed his story when he falsely represented that the losses had been due to failed business transactions, and refused to support us in our attempts to work out a fair outcome.

It was a very unpleasant episode which dragged on for 4 years, but with the help of the fraud squad the man was eventually brought to trial, found guilty of crimes of theft and deception and was jailed for 3 years. Meanwhile local priesthood leaders, all the time being manipulated by the perpetrator, advised us to conduct ourselves in such a way as would have stopped the case proceeding. A complaint was made to the police about this unwelcome interference in the judicial process, and at one point all three members of the Bristol Stake Presidency were warned to butt out, leave witnesses alone, or face a police enquiry themselves. It was the sad and dangerous fallibility of such men which caused me and others to start questioning how they could be acting for God when they used their position to give such worthless advice; advice which could well have resulted in several of us losing our homes in paying off the defamation lawsuits which we knew would follow if the case collapsed. One member of the stake presidency was unrepentant and suggested at a later date that it would have been better for us to have followed the inspired advice which had been given, and lose our homes if necessary, rather than to report our priesthood leaders to the police for witness interference!

Such warped thinking led a friend of ours, who was a fellow victim of these crimes, to question whether such arrogance and ineptitude was endemic at higher levels within the Mormon hierarchy. He soon began to discover a great deal of information about the church and its history, which he had never been taught in Sunday School. Believing that I had a thorough doctrinal grounding, he confided in me his innermost concerns about certain historical issues. Thereafter I spent many late nights attempting to find answers for him in Mormon apologist literature, but the answers frankly fell far short of credibility. It proved deeply unsettling, and during three years of intensifying cognitive dissonance my identity steadily metamorphosed from ‘true believing Mormon’ to ‘would-be Mormon apologist’ to ‘post-Mormon realist’. My last defence was breached when I scrutinized evidence concerning the Book of Abraham, and found that there were no honest defences available. That book was demonstrably a fabrication, the product of Joseph Smith’s imagination. If that was the case, then how could anything else he revealed be trusted? It was only then that I finally conceded that one whole side of that old tub “SS Mormonism”, in which I had been sailing since 1971, was completely missing, blasted entirely away by reason, and I had only a thimble to bail out the water which was relentlessly pouring in. By the middle of 2009, I was able to say with a clear conscience and without flinching for the first time in over 37 years, that I knew Joseph Smith had not been a true prophet.

It afterwards became challenging to hear LDS friends ignorantly perpetuating what I knew to be historical untruths. At church I faced a painful choice: counter the many false statements and risk causing general upset, or maintain dishonest silence. My bishop refused point-blank to discuss any of my concerns, told me I was on the brink of apostasy, and urged me to take the latter of these courses, and become, as he put it, ‘a wise old bird’; one who presumably would just sit on his perch in silent suffering; then he warned me not to speak outside of my family about these matters, upon pain of facing church discipline.

I quietly withdrew from all participation shortly thereafter, as it had become intolerable. Truth by this time had become much more important to me than supporting discredited dogma.

I felt both saddened and grateful to be able to see through the façade. There was a feeling somewhat akin to bereavement, having lost the faith community which had become the ever-present backdrop to my life, but at the same time it had been instructive to confront the realities of my espoused religion. My spiritual understanding had been steadily refined by this process. Despite all the shock and disappointment of “losing my religion” in terms of outward performances, I knew absolutely that my original conversion experience to the Saviour had been real. That was the rock I was holding onto, and I continued to trust in his teachings, which offered all real hope.

Part 3: Our family.

Our resolve to follow a life of faith outside of Mormonism, was tested in September 2010, with the unexpected death of our son, Emmanuel, aged 28. Amazingly from that traumatic experience we have learned a great deal about ourselves, Emmanuel, our faith, and God’s tender love for us, and feel we have been blessed with some special personal insights, which we know we would not otherwise have had.

Our other children, except for our oldest, Edwin, have also seen through the delusion of Mormonism. Edwin is an outstandingly good person, and we wish that he could understand that it is faith which has brought us to the point where we presently are, and not a lack of it.

Our children are as follows:
[1] Edwin, our TBM son, now almost 31, who is married, with three children aged 1, 3 and 5. He suffers enormously over our withdrawl from the church, as he grew up always knowing we were actively involved. If you want to help us, pray for him that he may have his heart opened to understand that we are only doing what God has led us to do.

[2] Emmanuel, (or Manny for short, it means “God with us”). He is now with God, having died accidentally in 2010 aged 28, just four days after announcing his forthcoming marriage. He was both very special and very challenging at times, and his death has left an aching in our hearts, for part of us has died with him. We sense he is never far from us though. He turned away from the church a few years ago, because of hypocrisy he encountered in it.

[3] Martha, 27, who has shared our journey out of Mormonism, along with her husband. They have three small children aged 3, 4, and nearly 6. She has been invited into this group.

[4] Sophia, single aged 22, just embarking on a PhD in Criminology. She has also shared our journey, and has been invited into this group.
[5] Joseph, aged 11. He is our miracle boy, a blessing out of season. He has brought great love and stability to our family, and greatly enriches our lives.

We have always been a close family, and were featured in the official church magazine, “The New Era”, 1999. This is found online at the following link: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=d13c19b3fe4fb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

After Manny’s death, we uploaded to YouTube footage of him, Sophia, Joseph, Diana and my father. It is found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBP7M0cA4wQ

Part 4: Some conclusions to date.
Since Manny’s death we have realised that the truth about the life to come is much richer than any doctrine taught by the LDS church. Following his loss of faith in Mormonism, Manny turned to Eastern religions for spiritual answers, and was enquiring into religion in general in his quest to fill a void. He and I talked about a year before he died about being born again, and he said he wished he could have a personal witness of Christ such as the one I had received. Meanwhile he spent much of his time helping others.

He appeared through LDS eyes to be something of a rebel, but we were amazed to learn later from people in his social circles of all the good he had done. So many people spoke about him sharing his food, or his money with them, and they talked about voluntary work he had done visiting prisoners, or raising awareness about drug abuse. That part of his life was often not visible to us. He wanted to believe in Christ, and even wrote me a letter to that effect in 2009, thanking us for giving him the upbringing he had within a family in the church setting, because it had made him aware of spiritual dimensions, which otherwise he would never have known.

When we pondered it Manny had done what the Lord requires of anyone to qualify for eternal life, as outlined in Matthew 25. At his funeral I was able to describe him as “a sheep in goat’s clothing”. We have since had several remarkable assurances that all is well, and he has his wish. We now understand that families, (and friendships), indeed do have the potential to be eternal, not according to the LDS formula, (i.e. because two people once upon a time knelt at an altar in a stone building and had an incantation spoken to them), but because love itself is eternal, and binds us to one another. That is a message found woven throughout the fabric of the true gospel of the New Testament. Failure to understand that this kind of eternal reward is freely available to all followers of Christ, enslaves many LDS who fear they will lose their families by turning away from their temple covenants. The LDS temple is used effectively by the Mormon hierarchy to control the minds and behaviours of those indoctrinated in Mormon fables. When I think of that distorted LDS version of the gospel, and see how people are constantly left fearful and guilt-ridden, over-busy and stressed out in their futile efforts to accomplish perfection through a never ending list of works, I come close to anger. The LDS gospel does not produce the eternal families advertised on its packaging, but often leads instead to family division and disintegration.

I have not requested that my name be removed from the LDS records, although I am definitely post-Mormon now, and could never return, because of what I know. I intend to publish an explanation of our position at some point, and this will undoubtedly lead to a formal charge of apostasy, and a disciplinary hearing being called for me. It is my intention to use that opportunity to bear witness to the truths I have learned, and challenge the leadership to excommunicate me for nothing more than telling what can be shown to be the truth about LDS history. It is also my intention to make them publicly accountable for their actions, by inviting the media to report upon the outcome of that hearing. It may be the best opportunity I have of raising the awareness of my TBM friends and family.

12 thoughts on “My Story In and Out of Mormonism”

  1. Thank you for your inspiring, moving and fascinating post.
    If I may I’d like to make a few comments on it.

    My first encounters with Mormons was at about the same age (mid teens) and I too had wanted to go to college and university, but family circumstances did not permit this, I too choose to attribute this to being my own fault, and the need to fulfils some vague need.
    It is often the case that those denied their freedom to do what they want with life turn to something else, be it a hobby, a career, drink, drugs or God to fill this perceived gap.
    Those who seek God and do not find him often blame themselves and see the failings as being on their part and in themselves. They attribute the lack of something significant in their lives to their lack of faith.
    It is a well known maxim that anyone who looks for trouble will inevitably find it, the same I am afraid goes for religion. Evangelists and missionaries are experts at homing in on this need for meaning and filling it with God or at least the promise of God in the form of a self assuring and self sustaining community called Church.

    Mormon Missionaries use a training manual that was originally developed as a training manual for unethical high-pressure salesmanship.
    It work on the basis of discovering a need, offering to fill it, eliciting commitments (small ones at first) resolving conflicts quickly and assuredly (if this means bending the truth or lying) and then closing the deal with a larger commitment to a higher authority.

    Often the relief of finding understanding, support and someone who is ‘sharing’ the experience of the investigator is enough to bring about a profound sense of relief and this triggers the “coercive persuasion” to bring an end to the doubt and mental uncertainty.
    It might well seem there is no ‘justifiable reason to be offered’ however this is what the church wants you to think, there are secular terms for what you experienced at a young and impressionable age: Stockholm syndrome and cult brainwashing are extreme examples but religious conversions where the missionaries systematically uses manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to their wishes can be seen as subverting an individual’s sense of control over their own thinking, behaviour, emotions or decision making are common practice in business, espionage and extreme religious cults. Have no doubt Mormonism is and extreme religious cult.
    The sudden conversion you experience is utterly typical of the relief and survival mechanism of a troubled emotional state suddenly being thrown a life line, the survival instinct literally switches on with an absolute conviction of salvation.
    It can take years to reverse the effected person especially if the programming is being reinforced constantly from outside authority figures and peer pressure.

    Being “left me speechless and in tears” is the required and expected reaction of a overpowering shift in mental and emotional state being artificially induced resulting in the victim having “ returned home a different person, knowing that (insert required object of obsession here) was the light I must thereafter try to follow.”
    Of course the missionaries would take advantage of this and induce baptism asap.
    Don’t get me wrong most missionaries don’t do this consciously (some do) most are equally brainwashed themselves, in exactly the same way. The modern regime of a missionaries life is based on CIA procedures for turning enemy agents and ensuring the continued co-operation of defectors.
    “I learned from one of them that he had never before or since witnessed such a conversion” They say this to everyone, it was said to me and when I asked to almost every other convert I have ever spoken to it was in some form or another said to them. A special moment of revelation, a special slow coming to understanding, a unique moment of clarity etc. etc. It is designed to make you feel special and unique and it is in the missionary training manual.
    From this point on, everything that happen to you in the church, your progression, your callings, your recommends are all designed to keep you involved and committed, even to the point of taking over your married and family life. All of which is to one end only POWER over you, your family and most of all your assets be they time or money or influence or anything else.
    Temple rituals have always been intrinsic to this, they are deliberately so personal and intimate, that their sacred ritual (for sacred read secret) are withheld from all the ‘profane’. Every Mormon finds them disturbing, because they are at best inherently silly at worst (especially before the reforms in the 1990’s) abhorrent.
    Everyone is of course assured their doubt stem from their personal lack of faith or spirituality.
    “You know we are right, God is right, the church is right, therefore the problems you have MUST be your fault! Sinner!”

    The reason many people do leave the church as you say is that they discover the truth about church history, Actual church history not the Mormon version of it.
    The history of the church is a tissue thin web of Lies, half truths, con tricks and petty infighting. In more recent time you can add to that shady business dealings, dubious psychology, unethical marketing and intimidation.
    When many do leave the church they as you say “ are left either agnostic or atheistic in their beliefs, because their God has been overthrown.” This is so, I am an example of this. My own search for truth continued deeper than just being sure Mormonism was wrong. I applied the same criteria to other religions and denominations and found them all wanting and in time to the whole concept of faith itself.

    You provide a fine example of a church protecting itself when you were asked to subvert the course of justice for the sake of protecting the church and its high-ranking membership from having their reputation impugned.
    The church would love to contain all scandal and illegality internally to preserve the illusion of perfection and that ‘church courts’ are the final point of authority for church members not the law of the land. This they have in common with Catholic Church courts and Sharia law in Islam.
    You worry about the fallibility of such men, I suggest you should not do so, you should rage against their deliberate deceit and complicity with their superior in aiding and abetting a crook who happened to be a brother Mormon, in exactly the same way as the freemason are infamous for doing.

    Ask yourself that if such relatively low ranking Mormons feel justified in ignoring the secular law to such extent in this case, how far are they willing lie, cheat and steal when protected by the infrastructure of the church on ‘internal matters’.
    Dig as deep as I have and you WILL be horrified.

    Finally, I will advise you to have you to reconsider and have your name removed from the records of the church. I did and it was not easy, they fought me every step of the way.
    If you do not, in the eyes of the church you will still be a member and they will use that membership in official petitions and documents for and on behalf of the church. Be assured your name WILL appear as a member on all sorts of official communication.
    You will be approached in time, as will other members of your family, on the ‘lost sheep’ programme.
    You will not be excommunicated unless you publicly seriously damage the church, or unless they are sure you DO NOT want to be excommunicated and will do all you can to be readmitted ASAP.
    Best to make a clean break as soon as you can, along with a written warning to the church that unless they agree to cease to harass you, you will take out an injunction against them. It wont work, I had two years of anonymous letters and tracts telling me I was damned unless I repented and came back to the fold. This only ceased when I threatened to personally sue my former bishop. But you have to take it one step at a time.

    H. Lions

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    1. As ever some great food for thought there MR Lions, out of interest where do you stand on belief in God in general? I think I know the answer to this but even Christianity aside would you consider yourself an atheist?

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      1. I am by no means an atheist, but nor am I an an advocate or affiliate of any creed, religion or faith. My personal belief, concisely and basically is more in a kind of innate natural dualism, the forces of progress and stagnation acting in a system of checks and balances, universally mathematically based.
        If you want to discuss it further drop me a line and we can chat about it.

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  2. May the Lord bless you richly as you continue to grow in your faith in the only One that can save. I will pray for you and your family.

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  3. Too bad for your newer version of was once a beautiful conversion to the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I feel for your true loss, the abandonment of your covenents made and those sanctious bonds your current loss of faith has brought to your posterity.

    I make no judgements against you my friend, I will however say that men do error in and out of the Church. Forgiveness is key and that is what the gospel is all about. The worst thing I ever did was leave the church and blame others for my pain. It is easy to find fault when it is convienient to do so…especially when we aren´t even aware that we are being lied to by the King of Lies. I am sure there is another side to your story in regards to the “arrogance” you claim your leaders possessed. I am sure the loss of your family was of great concern to them and continues to be.

    I have also heard of terrible accusations concerning Joseph Smith the Prophet…almost believed them too, until I started hearing those other testimonies that spoke in his favor that were much more convincing. In fact in Post WW2 in England, Ezra T. Benson was giving a talk to non members about the Prophet and all those that heard testified of him being chosen to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ. They all were subsequently babtized because of that inspired event having never known of him prior. It is the Holy Ghost that inspired you to know about the saving atonement of our Saviour. Our current Prophet, Thomas S. Monson is the presiding member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles of the one and only Church of Jesus Christ as well as his powerful counselors and the rest of the Quorum of the 12.are in fact the most honorable men on the planet that lead lives that can only do one thing…administer the gospel.

    You of course have made choices with intentions to never turn back to the very faith that showed you the truthfulness regarding the purpose of the saviour. You choose, my friend and long lost brother…I have a similar situation to a brother that has lead his own family away due to bitterness toward local leaders for the very same thing, just a different country. All I can say is your abandonment of the church is eventually never going to bring you the satisfaction of having an eternal family and a renewed understanding of the pleasant sacredness one can find only in the Temple of God.

    You are simply wrong. I know, because for the last 20 years I was there where you are now…the worse decision of my life. All I can say is some day, sooner or later you will find that the saving grace of the gospel comes in full to those who practice the whole gospel, not just parts of it.

    It is my solid testimony that you are wrong and misdirected in your apostasy to the church. Remember these words, because I presume the “half brothers and sisters” to Christ think they know the road to Heaven. May I remind you that “Heaven” just isn´t like that. Deep inside you know, but you are afraid to turn back. I feel for your son who never left the church…I pray that your decision you are making for everyone else in your beautiful family will find its way back to the truth. You have everything to loose if you don´t and everything to win if you find your way back. Listen to last weeks conference to the Saturday session Jeffrey R. Holland….he is talking to you and your family. It is never too late.

    Sincerely, Your lost Brother in Christ-Costa Rica

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  4. Dear Mr. Holley,
    I cannot speak, of course for the original poster of this testimony, but I would, in this public forum, like to address your eloquent reply as, in your words, a lost brother.

    I think perhaps in you attempt to do good and fulfil your obligations to your religion you are unaware of how the answers you have learned or been taught to give as a missionary Mormon actually sound to those who have broken (or as you may see it fallen) away.
    You begin by listing and discussing the consequences of apostasy on the apostate and his family. This smacks of moral and emotional blackmail, designed to induce guilt by threatening their loved ones with the loss of celestial and divine favour because of a ‘choice’ made in anger or pain.
    Hose who apostasies from Mormonism usually do it because they have much to be angry about. It is never easy and any emotional or spiritual pain is always directly attributable to the LDS church itself.
    You draw attention to being fooled by the ‘King of Lies’ without even considering that everyone who has ever lived has been susceptible to lies, even Joseph Smith was fooled by the Kinderhook plates, and if he could be lied to about that, even if he was a prophet, what else was he fooled by?
    You say you don’t judge, but perhaps without your realising it the tone of much of your post is very judgemental, you say arrogance can be misperceived but you show startling arrogance, again perhaps without intent or realisation.
    He whole tone of you post takes the assumption that without evidence or proof other than your own testimony and faith entitle you to simply declare another person “simply wrong” because it does not match with your own experience. Be assured that is not a fact, that is an opinion, to declare your opinions to be facts will be taken by your reader as a sign of judgemental arrogance.

    Almost all of the “terrible accusations” against Joseph Smith have of course been historically, legally and irrefutably been proven to be true. Of course this means nothing for the God of Christianity is all forgiving and Jesus teaches the joy felt in heaven when a sinner repents.
    There is nothing wrong with Joseph having a shady past; Paul participated in the murder of Christians before becoming their champion. The difference is of course that Paul never lied about his past, Paul never continued to sin and call it the will of the Lord, Paul and his followers never actively tried to cover up Paul’s sordid misdeeds but instead rejoiced in his redemption.
    Joseph Smith lied, he lied to his followers, his wife, his plural wives, his confederates, he wrote false and contradictory scriptures as and when convenient, he made felons of his flock and told them they were doing good and continually rewrote even the history of his ‘holy’ mission.
    If he was nothing else, Joseph Smith was a continual, habitual Liar and this is not even denied by the church but is excused with the excuse that he was “Lying for the Lord” as if this makes the end justify the means.

    The modern day leaders of the church know this, and follow in the tradition; this does not make them honourable men, honoured certainly, but not honourable.
    They live like princes, they dress in finery and they practice piety before men. They are each of them rich and each of them has been ‘set apart’ for their calling.
    Jesus commanded rich men to sell all they own and follow him, Jesus said practice not your Piety before men, Jesus derided the Pharisees a title which means those who are set apart. Jesus warned there are many who draw close to me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.
    Jesus warned against the coming of false prophets.

    The LDS often invites its members to test the gospel, to test God and to Test the church, I did and I found it wanting. Instead of help I got suspicion, was accused of preaching Devil’s doctrine and told to have faith and stop questioning and testing because all are welcome to ask questions so long as they are willing not to question the answers given.

    I invite you to look deeply in to church history and to see if it makes sense. I challenge you to compare the Jesus of the bible with the Jesus of Mormon scripture and to find them the same.
    Then armed with that knowledge and a genuine desire for truth I invite you to question your elders and bishop, stake president and high priests quorum leader. Listen to what they say and then to question the answers they give you and to see if I am wrong.

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    1. Great comment Mr Lions, one day these LDS people will actually respond to something that is said in reply to their comments. We are getting loads of one hit wonders lately…

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  5. I read your story with a feeling of deja vu, Chris! Our stories have many similarities, from initially finding God on our own, being born of the Spirit through Jesus, (which was an intermediate experience for me) and then the same kind of powerful conversion praying out loud in front of two missionaries… so similar!

    WE also share similar stories of incompetance by our leaders. Different situations, both serious though with terrible consequences for those involved. Then the slow dawning of reality as the tentacles of Mormonism which we have allowed to pervade every facet of our faith are discovered to be based on many deceptions. Not entirely of course. There are many truths in it in places ex mos lose the ability to see. Its like its all true or all false instead of the reality which is a mix! As those pillars of Mormonism fall they try and drag every bit of faith with them. I compare it to the tares which when pulled out, pull out the wheat also, because its roots are so intertwined with the roots of the wheat the removal often removes all connected faith in anything Spiritual. As long as we grow happily alongside the tares we do just fine actually. Its when something happens outside the Mormon bubble that disruption occurs!

    Beneficial to hear a Mormon perspective answer here too which adds understanding of what Mormonism is actually about to the innocent reader. That is the unquestioning faith of Mormons which has some benefits. It means people like you and me, Chris, were able to have a framework of faith upon which to develop our relationship with God, despite the pitfalls we look back and recognise in new light. I had many experiences which I treasure which I don’t think I could have had anywhere else! I guess I’ll never know as there are no rehearsals in life! Still, it is surprisingly frustrating to hear that completely one tracked Mormon view of the world even though I know it so well and try and respect it !! It was always a subdued problem to me but one I overlooked. Now it could be a giant ball of puss on the forhead of all those who regurgitate it for the effect of revulsion it seems to have upon me!

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  6. Chris , I know you posted this in April, I have just come across it. It is really nice to learn more of the man who is trying to change the way that the Lds leaders deal with the early history. It was great to hear that you have a wonderful testimony of the saviour , which you still retain. This is the same for me, the only thing that has changed in my life following my faith crisis, was to find out my faith was intact , just the vehicle to which I accessed my spiritual life had broken.

    Best wishes to you and your family x

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  7. I believe wholeheartedly that the most important thing we do in life is to simply strive to be a good person. I also believe that if we can realize that the only person who dictates our actions, our feelings, and our progress is ourselves it allows us to be free from limited perspective. No matter what religion you investigate there will no doubt be flaws with the people who attend. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I will never be ashamed of that. I do not attend this church because of the people, I attend it for my own self fulfillment, because though there are imperfections with the people (myself included) what the religion itself stands for is something beautiful. It encourages charity, selflessness, hard work, and it emphasizes the importance of family, kindness to all people, and unconditional love. The way this church is set up is the closest that I’ve found to functioning perfection. (Again, nothing is perfect, and I’m not talking about the people) It’s one of the most well organized and selfless churches I’ve ever come across. By no means am I judging anyone who doesn’t attend this church, and I hope that more people can realize that what’s most important is that you are doing what you can to be a good person, and not letting what other people do affect your progress in life.

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    1. Hey there thanks a lot for commenting.

      I can see you are very honest and genuine in your comment and I appreciate that. My concern is that Mormonism breeds comments like yours, it teaches people if they will only do their best and try and be as good as they can then they will be ok. Jesus said the only way to the Father is Me, James 2:10 says if you break one part of the law you have broken it all. No amount of good works you could do would ever be enough, even your book of Mormon says you have to do all that you can to receive grace, which is a total contradiction to what grace really is, which is something totally undeserved.

      thanks for commenting I hope you do again.

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