I’ve focused mostly on the Book of Mormon, since I accept that it is the keystone of the religion, just as Joseph Smith, Jr stated. The Book of Abraham and his other translations are close behind. Some of the other topics that have affected my testimony:
- Polygamous marriages of Joseph Smith, use of coercion, several already married
- Council of the Fifty ordained as the governing body over the Earth, with Joseph as King
- Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor press, which was the reason Joseph was in jail
- Questionable restoration of the priesthood, not mentioned until five years after
- Temple ordinance source and changes, including death penalties and oath of vengeance
- Lack of continued revelation and lack of continuing “fruits of the spirit”
- Treatment of blacks
- Treatment of women
- Treatment of homosexuals
There is a surprising amount of credible information available on these topics that show a different history than many of us were taught. Please ask me about any of these or other topics if you are interested.
I’m not really sure where I am headed from here. I recognize that regardless of the truthfulness of the events in the Book of Mormon, there are beautiful and uplifting teachings that we should all take to heart. I no longer take that fact as proof of authenticity, since every other religious and many secular books also contain many beautiful and uplifting messages that can enrich our lives.
Socrates is attributed as saying, “The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know.” I find that applies here. I am no longer as certain about anything as I once was. At first, this was a scary place to be. For my whole life, I had such confidence that I knew the answers to all of life’s important questions. I knew where I came from, why I was here, and what I needed to do to be where I wanted to be for all eternity.
As I worked through this new reality, I came to terms with not being so sure about those questions. I feel that I am now in even in a better place than I was when I had no doubt. It has opened my mind to seeing my neighbors and co-workers not just as members or non-members, but as fellow humans all stumbling through this world, just trying to do our best. I have concluded that all I really know is that we each have a chance in this short life to be good, honest people who help others, thereby leaving the world a little better than when we entered. I plan to keep my mind open to all truth, whatever the source may be.
I would appreciate hearing any comments you may have had as you read this. You can either email me or use the “Comments” button in the top right of this web page.
I appreciated reading these pages concerning your loss of belief in the church. It was concise, respectful, and informative. My “crisis of faith” is relatively new, though I realize now it’s been a long time coming. I’m not sure what to do with all of this information. It’s a lonely road of discovery. As a SAHM I’ve surrounded myself with other LDS SAHM and so I don’t really have anyone to speak with about it all. Where are you on your journey? It’s a year after you wrote these posts. Are you staying in for family sake? Is your wife on board with you? I wish you luck and God’s blessings on your journey in this new reality. I again thank you for sharing your thoughts and discoveries.
Hi Cristy! I am glad to hear that you have found value in my posts and story. When I first started going through my “road of discovery,” I also felt very alone. I didn’t even feel that I could tell my wife. Once I had told her, we continued down that path of discovery together. My wife and I (as well as the kids) have been able to leave together. We also were able to connect with many other disaffected individuals through a local facebook group. I’d recommend looking at Mormon Spectrum to try to find a group close to you. I am so grateful for the support I received from others. From talking with others, perhaps more similar to you, that didn’t have the local support of others, I think I understand just how important it is. Please know you are not alone, and I hope you are able to… Read more »
Thanks Wes, it’s been a long journey hasn’t it. Your posts have reflected what I have gone through for the last 18 months. I can’t believe that others aren’t experiencing these things. Perhaps they are hesitant in sharing with others as I have been because we don’t want to be seen as negative or hurtful to our family and friends. The church doesn’t have answers and they seem to have their fingers crossed in the hope that they come through this period of time with not much damage.
Thanks for sharing, John. I feel the same. Based on the this last conference, they are doubling down on scaring members away from the internet, which I don’t feel is the right approach for them. Still, from their perspective maybe that is the most effective approach to keep the largest number.
When you are up for it, I would love to hear/read your story. Thanks!