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.

Series Nav­i­ga­tion: My Search for Truth — Wes Trexler« Oth­er trans­la­tions by Joseph Smith, Jr

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Cristy Witney
Cristy Witney

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.

John Krok

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.