Full Text of Series — Leaving the Church by Eric Nelson

Inter­est­ed in a PDF of this essay — find it here.

Leaving the Church: A Compilation of the Evidence Against the LDS Church

A Com­pi­la­tion of the Evi­dence Against the LDS Church Eric Nel­son Click to Down­load PDF of Entire 13-Essay Series “The man who can­not lis­ten to an argu­ment which oppos­es his views either has a weak posi­tion or is a weak defend­er of it. No opin­ion that can­not stand dis­cus­sion or crit­i­cism is worth hold­ing. And…

Post­ed in Ques­tion­ing, Series | 18 Com­ments

Leaving the Church, Part 2 — Book of Abraham

1. Back­ground Per­haps the most prob­lem­at­ic issue under­min­ing the Church is the Book of Abra­ham. In July of 1835, a trav­el­ing show­man named Michael Chan­dler brought an exhib­it con­sist­ing of four Egypt­ian mum­mies and papyri to Kirt­land, Ohio, then the home of the Lat­ter-day Saints. The papyri con­tained Egypt­ian hiero­glyph­ics, which intrigued Joseph Smith. Joseph…

Post­ed in Book of Abra­ham, Series, Trans­la­tion | Leave a com­ment

Leaving the Church, Part 3 — Kinderhook Plates

1. Back­ground: On April 16, 1843, Robert Wiley began dig­ging a deep shaft in the mid­dle of an Indi­an mound locat­ed just out­side of Kinder­hook, Illi­nois. The Quin­cy Whig news­pa­per report­ed that Wiley began the exca­va­tion project after dream­ing of buried trea­sure beneath the mound. He ini­tial­ly under­took the exca­va­tion process alone before engag­ing the…

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Leaving the Church, Part 4 — Book of Mormon Translation

1. Book of Mor­mon Trans­lat­ed with a Peep Stone: Con­trary to gen­er­al Church teach­ings, Joseph Smith did not use the gold plates in trans­lat­ing the Book of Mor­mon. Rather, he used a rock in a hat to trans­late the plates into the Book of Mor­mon. The Church acknowl­edged this fact in its Decem­ber 2013 essay,…

Post­ed in Book of Mor­mon, Series, Trans­la­tion | Leave a com­ment

Leaving the Church, Part 5 — Book of Mormon

1. DNA Evi­dence Dis­proves BOM Claims: DNA analy­sis under­mines the premise of the Book of Mor­mon. Specif­i­cal­ly, DNA evi­dence estab­lish­es that Native Amer­i­can Indi­ans orig­i­nate from Asia and not from the Mid­dle East or from Israel as claimed by the Book of Mor­mon and var­i­ous prophets. The thou­sands of DNA sam­ples from every known Native…

Post­ed in Book of Mor­mon, Series | 3 Com­ments

Leaving the Church, Part 6 — First Vision

Our whole strength rests on the valid­i­ty of that [First] vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did, then it is the most impor­tant and won­der­ful work under the heav­ens.” – Gor­don B. Hinck­ley, The Mar­velous Foun­da­tion of Our Faith 1.…

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Leaving the Church, Part 7 — Priesthood Restoration

1. Overview: Like the First Vision sto­ry, Joseph Smith wait­ed many years before claim­ing to have received the priest­hood from John the Bap­tist and Peter, James, and John. Although the Church teach­es that the priest­hood was restored in 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliv­er Cow­dery made no such claim until 1834. Not even mem­bers of Joseph’s…

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Leaving the Church, Part 8 — Polygamy and Polyandry

1. Back­ground: The LDS Church pub­lished an essay, Plur­al Mar­riage in Kirt­land and Nau­voo, on Octo­ber 22, 2014, dis­cussing its polyg­a­mist past. The essay admit­ted the fol­low­ing, which will be dis­cussed in fur­ther depth dur­ing the remain­der of this sec­tion: (1) Joseph mar­ried girls as young as 14; (2) Joseph mar­ried women who were mar­ried…

Post­ed in Polygamy, Series | 1 Com­ment

Leaving the Church, Part 9 — Book of Mormon Witnesses

1. Overview: The tes­ti­mo­ny of the three and eight wit­ness­es to the gold plates is often con­sid­ered a key com­po­nent of the Book of Mormon’s cred­i­bil­i­ty. How­ev­er, the wit­ness­es, by their own admis­sion, seemed to have only seen the angel and plates in a vision­ary state in their minds (as Joseph Smith sug­gest­ed to them)…

Post­ed in Book of Mor­mon, Lead­er­ship, Series | Leave a com­ment

Leaving the Church, Part 10 — Prophets

1. Overview: Church mem­bers are taught that the prophet speaks for the Lord and will nev­er lead the church astray (even when they are wrong). Pres­i­dent Heber J. Grant said: “Always keep your eye on the Pres­i­dent of the church, and if he ever tells you to do any­thing, even if it is wrong, and…

Post­ed in Lead­er­ship, Series | 10 Com­ments

Leaving the Church, Part 11 — Temples & Freemasonry

1. Intro­duc­tion: Out of respect to believ­ing mem­bers, I will not lay out all of my con­cerns with the LDS tem­ple cer­e­mo­ny. How­ev­er, there are cer­tain aspects of the tem­ple that are spo­ken about pub­li­cal­ly by Church lead­ers that are worth dis­cussing in more detail. 2. Sim­i­lar­i­ties between LDS Tem­ple Cer­e­monies and Freema­son­ry: The LDS tem­ple cer­e­mo­ny…

Post­ed in Church, Doc­trine, Series | 2 Com­ments

Leaving the Church, Part 12 — Miscellaneous Concerns

There are many aspects of Mor­mon the­ol­o­gy that can be sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly dis­proven. More­over, some LDS teach­ings lack plau­si­bil­i­ty while oth­ers are sim­ply bizarre. The fol­low­ing are sev­er­al exam­ples. 1. Death Pri­or to the Fall: 2 Nephi 2:22 and Alma 12:23–24 state there was no death of any kind (humans, ani­mals, birds, fish, dinosaurs, etc.) on…

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Leaving the Church, Part 13 — Testimony, Truth, and the Holy Ghost

1. Back­ground: Despite my doubts and con­cerns about var­i­ous aspects of LDS doc­trine and his­to­ry, I remained in the Church for sev­er­al years due to the spir­i­tu­al and uplift­ing expe­ri­ences I enjoyed as a mem­ber. But those spir­i­tu­al feel­ings and emo­tions have also been a mat­ter of study and inspec­tion. Dur­ing my so-called “faith cri­sis,”…

Post­ed in Ques­tion­ing, Series, Spir­i­tu­al­i­ty | Leave a com­ment