What if it's true?

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  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>by fred Feb 3012</p>\n<p>My wife and I have recently stumbled upon some disturbing things in the history of the church. To name a few, in no particular order:</p>\n<p>The Book of Abraham<br />\nChanges in the early church to \"revelations\" given by God</p>\n<p>Hypocrisy of early leaders of the church<br />\nSimilarities of temple ceremonies and Masonic rituals<br />\nRevealing information about polygamy, things I never heard about.<br />\nProphecies from Joseph Smith that did not come true<br />\nTeachings from early prophets about blacks</p>\n<p>There are many other things that seem to be popping up as we embark on this journey. I must admit that I was very resistant to all of this at first. The church has always been a place of comfort for me. I was told that I was a great young man, that I would be a great priesthood leader even a future bishop.</p>\n<p>After learning some of these things my \"faith\" has been shaken. I find myself making excuses for the early church leaders and defending the church. A lot of this I think is coming from the way I was raised, as my wife puts it, not thinking for my self. We are taught to not speak (think) bad about the leaders of the church and to stay away from anti-Mormon literature. Everything is now in question.</p>\n<p>I keep thinking of all the experiences that I have had as part of this church, all the manifestations of the spirit, all of the times when fasting and prayer have worked out so nicely and the benefits I see in my life through living the principles of the gospel. I think it has to be true. Now I am questioning everything.</p>\n<p>I have two questions to pose to those on this board</p>\n<p>1. What if it is true?</p>\n<p>2. How can I justify in my mind everything that has caused me to believe that it is true?</p>\n<hr />\nsummer<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\n&gt; I keep thinking of all the experiences that I have had as part of this church, all the manifestations of the spirit, all of the times when fasting and prayer have worked out so nicely and the benefits I see in my life through living the principles of the gospel. I think it has to be true. Now I am questioning everything.\n<p>People from other faith traditions have also had these experiences. Does that make each of their faiths true as well?</p>\n<p>Why is it that when something good happens, it is God answering your prayers, and when something bad happens, it is God testing you?</p>\n<p>I see religions as being entirely man-made and an expression of our search for meaning and our search for the divine. I happen to believe in God, but I believe that he is far beyond any one human religion.</p>\n<hr />\nmoonbeam<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\n1. When you have a chance to step back and look at \"the plan\", there are a lot of logical holes. That god, who leaves his \"children\" to guess whether or not any religion is true, requires his own son to be tortured, and sets up a church through a young womanizer con man is kind of a jerk. There are a few million people in the LDS church. There are, what, 7(?) billion people in the world. 1/3 more didn\'t even make it to earth from the preexistence, right? Doesn\'t sound like a very good business model for success, does it?\n<p>2. All of those things that you\'ve experienced to \"know\" the church is true are based on emotion. Warm fuzzies do not truth make.</p>\n<p>Hang in there. Read around the site. It is not always easy to discover the truth but it is important.</p>\n<hr />\nMia<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nThere was a time I could have written that post.<br />\nI fasted, I prayed, I studied. I left.<br />\nI\'m 58 bic and am disgusted that I spent most of my life being lied to either outright or by omission. I\'m sad I spent most of my life never feeling like I was good enough no matter what I did or didn\'t do.<br />\nI set out to read and study the most truthful histories I could find about the church and its leaders. I found out that nothing is what I thought it was. Nothing is what I was taught. The boa was the deal breaker. That\'s when I KNEW I\'d been had.<br />\nThese are not easy things to learn. It will most likely change your life in many ways. It left me feeling lost and shaken for a while.<br />\nI was lucky, my husband and 2 kids left the same time I did, so I had their support. We are doing better as a family than we ever have.\n<hr />\nFetal Deity<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nFirst of all, it looks like you\'re a new poster, so WELCOME to the board!\n<p>My answer to your questions would be:</p>\n<p>1. If the Mormon church is true, then the universe is a pretty messed up place. Most of the objective claims of the church are demonstrably false and many of the values/philosophies taught by it are utterly repugnant to me personally (and to many others, as well).</p>\n<p>2. As far as personal \"spiritual experiences\" you have had? People of basically ALL religions (and even atheists) have similar experiences: \"warm feelings,\" unexplained occurrences (\"miracles\"), even visions and voices that they can\'t account for. So, these things can\'t rationally be used as \"proof\" that any particular religion or philosophy is true.</p>\n<p>My advice to you would be to do a LOT of research on your own. Also, visit and participate frequently on this site; it may take awhile before you feel comfortable leaving the church completely, but you\'ll find a lot of support and comfort here among those who share your plight!</p>\n<p>Best of luck! : )</p>\n<hr />\n<p>enoughenoch19<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nWELCOME ABOARD!<br />\nI know how you feel, been there done that. Please don\'t think you are dumb for believing. JS was one of the BEST CON MEN IN ALL OF HISTORY! That is saying alot. You don\'t get to be known as that for only fooling a few people. I would venture a guess that 80% of the people on this board have been duped by TSCC. Think of the people all over the world who have been duped. The teachings of TSCC keep you from questioning anything which accounts for the length of time you believed. They also keep you too busy to think for yourself.<br />\nTBMs are like the Stepford wives in my opinion - (if you are too young to remember this movie, rent it.) It is really a shame because a mind is a terrible thing to waste. So many TBMs are smart but have been fooled.<br />\nHang in there and keep questioning, keep reading - you need not read anti-Morg sources. TSCC furnishes enough rope to hang themselves.<br />\nKeep us posted.</p>\n<p>As an aside - I get that spiritual experience from music so is music a religion?</p>\n<hr />\nItzpapalotl<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nIf I seem abrupt or cold, I apologize. Let me add something else to your conundrum:\n<p>Facts only matter when you accept them. If you are of the scientific accepting sort, you will understand that DNA trumps everything.<br />\n<a href=\"http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon391.htm\" title=\"http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon391.htm\">http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon391.htm</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon</a></p>\n<p>My ancestors were not some made up \"loathesome, evil, and dark skinned Lamanite\" people. They were the ancesters of ancient Siberian peoples, with an amazing history beyond what you think the BoM and your leaders want you to believe.</p>\n<p>How can a belief system be true if so many truths and facts were hidden from you in the first place?</p>\n<hr />\nhollensnopper<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nHi Fred,<br />\nWelcome to the board.<br />\nTo answer your second question (about everything in your mind that caused you to believe it is true...)<br />\nWhen you think about it closely, wasn\'t it \"feelings\" ie \"the Holy Spirit\" sort of thing?<br />\nYour feelings are not reliable. My feelings have lied more often than not.<br />\nFeelings can be easily manipulated<br />\nThink about sitting in the safety of your home, watching a scary TV show. You KNOW the people in the movie are actors, but when the scary music plays and the guy with the chainsaw is sneaking up on the hero, you FEEL FEAR.<br />\nDid you ever feel like you were driving at the posted speed limit, then look at the speedometer and see you were \"way over\"?<br />\nFacts always trump feelings. Go with the facts.\n<hr />\nTeddy<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nTo a biologist the lifeforms encountered and not encountered in the BoM alone are sufficient evidence of the BoM\'s falsehood. So is it King Jamesy English to others.<br />\nThe lack of supporting archeological evidence, Kinderhook, the Greek Psalter, the BoA indeed, it goes on, there is no way one can even imagine an alternate reality in which even the less odd teachings of the LDS are true.\n<hr />\nMJ<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nI will answer question 1 with several questions:\n<p>What if Scientology is true? What if Islam is true? What if Sikhism is true? There are thousands of religions. You can ask the same question, \"what if it\'s true?\", about all of them. Are you going to join and stay in thousands of religions because you can ask, \"what if it\'s true?\" about all of them? Asking \"What if it\'s true?\" is a trap designed to use fear to keep you from leaving.</p>\n<p>Question 2: I don\'t know what \"caused you to believe\" so I can not answer that question directly. It is likely there are a combination of reasons why you came to the wrong concluding:</p>\n<p>Used flawed logic, like: \"You can not prove the LDS false, so it is true\", or \"15 million Mormons can\'t be wrong\"</p>\n<p>Used subjective evidence rather than objective evidence: Feelings (subjective) rather than empirical evidence (objective).</p>\n<p>Unwarranted attribution: \"I couldn\'t find my car keys, I stopped and prayed, then found them right away, thus the Church is true\"</p>\n<p>Believed what you wanted to believe: \"I really want to be with my family forever, so I will believe in the LDS thing about eternal families\"</p>\n<p>Believing in personal testimonies: \"Last Sunday Sister Criesalot got up and gave her testimony about not being able to find her car keys, praying then finding her keys, wow that proves the church is true\"</p>\n<p>The list goes on and on. They all ultimately go back to a flaw in critical thinking or a flaw in logic. I would bet that if you posted the things that \"caused you to believe\" people here could point out the flaw in the reasoning.</p>\n<p>Oh, and that \"burning bosom\" stuff stuff is just emotional crap that is not at all a reliable proof of anything.</p>\n<hr />\nRegan<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nBeen where you are now. As you continue to search deeper for the holes they eventually become overwhelming. Everytime I tried to reason away one problem another popped up. The truth of Occam\'s Razor theory became obvious in regards to the falseness of the church.<br />\nhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam\'s_razor\n<p>I found this quote helpful in understanding the true Joseph Smith.</p>\n<p>\"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet...When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.\" (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409)</p>\n<p>Not sure if you are familiar with these problems below as well. Wiki is surprisingly pretty accurate and indepth. Any of these issues is damning evidence against the church. People generally believe what their parents believed. If you took all the Provo Utah babies and adopted them into Roman Catholic families they would end up being true believing Catholics.</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Witnesses\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Witnesses\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Witnesses</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_Latter_Day_Saint_polygamy\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_Latter_Day_Saint_polygamy\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_Latter_Day_Saint_polygamy</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauvoo_Expositor\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauvoo_Expositor\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauvoo_Expositor</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Egyptian\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Egyptian\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Egyptian</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinderhook_Plates\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinderhook_Plates\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinderhook_Plates</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/AF/individual_record.asp?recid=7762167&amp;lds=0\" title=\"http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/AF/individual_record.asp?recid=7762167&amp;lds=0\">http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/AF/individual_record.asp?recid=77...</a><br />\nhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penalty_(Mormonism)<br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon</a><br />\n<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_Book_of_Mormon\" title=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_Book_of_Mormon\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_Book_of_Mormon</a></p>\n<hr />\n<p>Rebeckah<br />\nThis is my take on it:<br />\n\"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.\"</p>\n<p>Stolen from someone but I don\'t know who. :)</p>\n<hr />\n<p>frankie<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nof course the gospel is true. just because the mormon part is made up, the jesus part is what really counts. the jesus gospel is what I believe in. If you look at that way, there is no reason to feel bad, mabey mad that LD$ INC is made up.</p>\n<p>alot of mormons feel that if you give up the mormon part of christianity that you are in outer darkness. But that is part of the brainwashing that mormons are subjective to.</p>\n<p>It is a whole new world for me to think this way and it is wonderful. Get rid of \"the church is the only true church\" idea</p>\n<p>this is just my 2 cents, you don\'t have to think this way</p>\n<hr />\nMarkJ<br />\nSifting out the truth<br />\nCongratulations on starting your journey of discovery. Some thoughts that have helped me on mine:\n<p>Let what you learn guide what you believe, not the other way around.</p>\n<p>Truth is bigger and more amazing than the human capacity to understand or explain it. We are only scratching the surface of reality.</p>\n<p>Anybody who claims that they\'ve got everything figured out should automatically be viewed as dubious. Stay on the hunt, and know that there are a lot of other seekers out there - friends you haven\'t met yet.</p>\n<p>Because of our human limits, faith will always be necessary if you want to ponder the limitless.</p>\n<p>The church is not all bad, and there are some really good people in it. Take what\'s good from it and build from there. The church isn\'t necessarily a bad start, but it is a bad end.</p>\n<p>Be brave! Be patient! Be tolerant! Be generous! Love!</p>\n<p>The church keeps God and Jesus in a shoebox. Let them out! God is bigger than the church, any church. Don\'t confuse the shoebox for the real thing.</p>\n<p>Don\'t panic! God still loves you and will always love you.</p>\n<p>Don\'t worry! God\'s got everything under control. His plan won\'t fall apart even if you do make a mistake.</p>\n<p>The ultimate authority over your life is you.</p>\n<p>We can always do more as part of a team than we can do individually. Maybe some other church will meet your needs. Just keep in mind that churches don\'t go to heaven, people do.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>atheist&amp;happy:-)<br />\nHonestly analyzing my spiritual experiences, including answers to prayer,<br />\nwas one of the main reasons I went straight to atheism. At the time I did not know about the fraud of TSCC, was very sincere in my belief, and a member in good standing who regularly attended the temple, etc. Religious culture trains us to subjectively interpret events as spiritual experiences or answers to prayers, and conveniently forget about the ones that went unanswered. We are taught to blame ourselves: not worthy or \"in tune\", you agreed to get shafted (just another trial) in the pre-existence, or maybe we asked at the wrong time (and shame on you for asking amiss or not knowing the right time, since you are supposed to be a mind reader...). It is all mind games, and mental gymnastics, and stopping the cog-dis is the best thing I ever did in my life. It was a huge weight lifted, and left my mind free, and clear.</p>\n<p>I found it dangerous to my well-being to put my trust in an imaginary being like TSCC says to. When I went through traumatic events, people often said they would pray for me. I repeatedly told them not to pray for me, but to please actually do something. The results were as if they had not prayed at all i.e. did nothing, which is exactly what they did... nothing (quotes I like: \"Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.\" &amp; \"Nothing fails like prayer.\" Annie Laurie Gaylor). After coming to this conclusion I prayed to my cat as an experiment, and got the same results - but by doing this it helped me notice the rationalizations, and excuse making, which seemed \"normal\" with gawd, but silly with a cat.</p>\n<p>My so-called spiritual experiences were subjective interpretations of events. Also our brains can do amazing things that we would interpret as supernatural. We have been taught to attribute them to the supernatural, because we had no other explanation, but just as we now know there are no deities making the sun rise or the rain fall, we know there are logical explanations for these things. Neuroscientists can duplicate these \"spiritual\" experiences in the brain.</p>\n<p>Gawd is supposed to be good, but why does he need defending, and why does JS need defending? Ultimately all religions need this type of defending. That alone is a huge problem.</p>\n<p>This explains the many ways prayers are rationalized. Chapters 5-11 are on prayer.<br />\nChapter 5 - Why won\'t God heal amputees?<br />\n<a href=\"http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm\" title=\"http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm\">http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm</a></p>\n<p>This might sound harsh to someone just learning about the fraud, because it is about religion in general, but the perspective is valuable.</p>\n<p>How do we know that Christians are delusional?<br />\n<a href=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVuw1wEuaAQ\" title=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVuw1wEuaAQ\">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVuw1wEuaAQ</a></p>\n<p>A short answer by Richard Dawkins to the question \"What if you\'re wrong?\"<br />\n<a href=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg&amp;feature=related\" title=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg&amp;feature=related\">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg&amp;feature=related</a></p>\n<p>You were programmed to be obedient, and to think it was the highest virtue. Our programming kicks in when we leave, and can take a while to dissipate. It was a few years before I could tell people out loud that I no longer believed in gawd, because of what I had been taught about denying the holy ghost (and I was not indoctrinated as a child). There is no punishment for thinking, and reasoning for yourself, especially when the ones telling you to get in line, and conform, are based on a fraud.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Cheryl<br />\nI suggest you step back &amp; study it the way you\'d research a scientific supposition.<br />\nClear your head and emotions and start fresh.</p>\n<p>Think about mormonism as a belief system unconnected to your youth and your personal experience.</p>\n<p>What questions have you put on the shelf and felt unwilling to investigate? Follow each one to its logical end.</p>\n<p>Don\'t be afraid of what you\'ll find and don\'t be surprised if the result is personal freedom and enlightenment.</p>\n<p>I think our thinking is muddied up by church explanations and warnings about protecting fragile testimonies and respecting leaders. This baggage manipulates our thinking and curbs our ability to problem solve.</p>\n<p>Time to man-up and face wherever the facts lead. If they prove that mormonism is God\'s way, fine. If not, howerver, that might have to be faced with courage and that isn\'t all bad. Better to know the reality now than later.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Lucky<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nthen the MORmON god is such a hateful @$$ hole there is no chance for mortals anyway.</p>\n<hr />\nMia<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nIf it\'s true, there should be more love and way less hate, lying, stealing, controlling, manipulating, abuse, and deception.<br />\nI don\'t see God anywhere in the mix.\n<hr />\njessica<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\n1. What if it is true?<br />\nwhich version of it are you referring to? Joseph Smith had 9 different first visions, he married at least 33 women. If you had a ground breaking experience like the first vision, directly from God would you try to join another religion right after he told you none of them were true? Women had the priesthood in the beginning--why isn\'t that still true? What determines what is or what isn\'t true, the past? Current prophets? What is current revelation? If past prophets aren\'t speaking for God, and the current prophet is, why does he quote past prophets? Why would Joseph translate an important book like the BOM with a rock in a hat and his head in the hat, and the golden plates not even in the same room? How is that translation? Why would God have him translate that way?\n<p>2. How can I justify in my mind everything that has caused me to believe that it is true?<br />\nThe spirit (Holy Ghost) is real, it is your own moral compass you were born with. You have been manipulated with your own moral compass, it\'s ok though many people are. The bosom burning feeling is real and many people use it to determine their religion is real. Miracles happen all over the world, but that doesn\'t mean the Mormon church is true. Statistically it is likely a sick person could get better, this has been proven in scientific studies when testing medications. The placebo effect is very real and if someone believed that priesthood blessing would heal them, it very well could but it was their own will not the priesthood that did it. Think of all the times the priesthood didn\'t work, because that is very real too--you block it out because you want it to be true, so you only remember the times it did work (through placebo effect).</p>\n<p>Check out this website:<br />\n<a href=\"http://www.mormonthink.com/firstvisionweb.htm\" title=\"http://www.mormonthink.com/firstvisionweb.htm\">http://www.mormonthink.com/firstvisionweb.htm</a></p>\n<p>This is also good:<br />\n<a href=\"http://goodnewsforlds.org/video.html\" title=\"http://goodnewsforlds.org/video.html\">http://goodnewsforlds.org/video.html</a></p>\n<p>and this about the BoA<br />\n<a href=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE\" title=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE\">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE</a></p>\n<hr />\nsaviorself<br />\nThere isn\'t a snowball\'s chance in hell that it is true<br />\nYou were scammed by the master scammer Joseph Smith. And you have been lied to by Church leaders, starting with Smith and continuing to this day.\n<p>An excellent website for reading information about the Mormon scam is here: <a href=\"http://mormonthink.com/\" title=\"http://mormonthink.com/\">http://mormonthink.com/</a></p>\n<p>Try to calm your emotions and proceed with your study of Mormon history in a rational logical way. That study will lead you to the real truth. And it will allow you to reclaim your life from the Mormon cult.</p>\n<hr />\nDNA<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nI didn\'t really enjoy my LDS experience. I was born into a very TBM family, and it worked for many of my siblings, but even as a little kid, I didn\'t like it much. It was always a burden that I had to do in order to not go to hell. I really believed that God talked to JS, so now I have to do it all or go to hell.\n<p>So finding out that it was all false should have been a great relief. But it wasn\'t at first. I didn\'t want forty something years to have all been a big waste of effort. I remember saying things like, why don\'t they just tell the truth? It would still be a pretty good church, even if they told the truth.</p>\n<p>Then I went through a period of thinking, what if JS was like Whoopee Goldberg in the movie Ghost? What if God used a con man to do his work?</p>\n<p>Then I feared a few times the same, \"But what if I\'m wrong and it is true?\"</p>\n<p>Then I got to the point of being so relieved that it wasn\'t true. I didn\'t have to ever go again! But still a few times I got a sinking \"what if\" feeling.</p>\n<p>It was all a normal human response to being conditioned to be scared. The LDS church is very good at making a person be afraid to be without them. Otherwise, why would people give so much of their money to them for a lifetime?</p>\n<p>Once the conditioning softened, it was so much easier to not worry about what ifs. I suspect that yours will go away also with time. You\'re going through a completely normal reaction to being programmed.</p>\n<p>Once it goes away, life is so good without the church!</p>\n<p>Some of your comments were describing mind tricks. The part of your mind that has been trained to fear keeps popping up things that might make the dissonance go away. So it reminds you about things that worked or felt good in the church so that you can return to a comfortable normalcy again. Your mind has to either get you to go back to church so that things will return to normal psychologically, or it has to accept the new information and let go of all the programming. Once the programing goes away, the mind can stop trying to protect itself, and will stop coming up with the crazy what if\'s.</p>\n<p>Life is so good when the programming goes away, and you can just enjoy the new knowledge.</p>\n<p>Best of luck to you.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Greyfort<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nThere is not one particle of my being which wonders if it\'s true. After the amount of studying that I\'ve done, the evidence is overwhelming that the LDS Church is not what it purports itself to be.</p>\n<p>The testimony that I had when I thought it was true was founded on emotion. It felt right. It made sense, at the time.</p>\n<p>The testimony that I now have, that it is not true, is based on a rock solid foundation of evidence. This time when I say, \"I KNOW that it is NOT true,\" I really mean it as a knowledge.</p>\n<p>As an active member, \"I know,\" used to mean more like, \"Oh, I know it\'s true. I just know it! It just has to be.\" It was all based on emotion. Big difference.</p>\n<p>I never imagined that there was actual tangible evidence out there which proves the Church to be founded on a fraud. But there is, and I\'ve studied it, and now I know that it\'s simply not true. Plain and simple. There are no more doubts at all in my mind.</p>\n<hr />\nzeezrom<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nWhat if it\'s true?\n<p>1. You\'ll get to see the non tithe payers BURNED! Should be a right barbacue. :)</p>\n<p>2. You\'ll get to see (if successful in CK and done your BEST?) Joseph Smith with all his teen brides and other mens wives. Not sure who Zina Huntingdon Jacobs will be with unless Joseph and Brigham Young share her in CK. Maybe you\'ll get to chat with a distraught Henry Jacobs who is the real husband. :)</p>\n<p>3. You\'ll get to see all the faithful Mormons travelling to the lesser kingdoms to visit their broken up families and returning back to CK without them. :)</p>\n<p>4. You\'ll get to chat with all those young teen girls who were threatened with Hell into marrying old Mormon righteous Leaders and bearing their righteous white skinned offspring and ask them if life got any better?</p>\n<p>Lots to look forward to if it\'s true. And if you are really lucky you might even get to hand over any unmarried daughters to Smith and Young\'s collection and maybe your wife also.</p>\n<p>PS Forgot to add</p>\n<p>5. You\'ll get to see all the negroes in their new white skinned bodies! lol</p>\n<p>If LDS Apostle Marke E Peterson is right then they will be servants to the chosen righteous ones like himself.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Just browsing<br />\nWhat if it\'s true? --What if it\'s NOT --Truth does not change!!<br />\nSome people *NEED to be mormons because it is the air that they breathe and their identifying mark to show thay ahve accomplished something ..You ask them the question \"WHAT ARE YOU\" and the answer always comes back MORMON.</p>\n<p>Take a look at the doctrinal changes from the time of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young right up to today -- and you will see the watering down of nearly all the key principles of Mormonism.<br />\nA sliding scale of doctrine is a slippery slope to stand on.<br />\nWhat about all the changes in the Temple Endowment in 1990 ??</p>\n<p>**What was once true will always be true --What is not true now never was true to begin with**</p>\n<p>Good luck with your search and may the force be with you .</p>\n<p>JB</p>\n<hr />\n<p>cl2<br />\nIf you stick around here long enough<br />\n(it can be rough at times, so just remember that)--but you will find that most of the people on this board were as stalwart as you were.</p>\n<p>I lived mormonism to the very best of my ability and I listened to the leaders. I married my gay husband on their direction. My life ended up being the biggest mess you can imagine. Of course, it must have been my fault for not saving him.</p>\n<p>My friends and family stood back in absolute shock--as I was the most devout of all of them--and watched my life fall apart.</p>\n<p>When I asked a good friend (he was a bishop at the time and someone who promised me my husband would never leave if I married him--because this is what God wanted) why I should go to the LDS church, he said, \"I have no answers for you, just that I know it is the right thing to do.\" He also said, \'Life is a crap shoot--the GAs wouldn\'t agree with me on that one.\"</p>\n<p>I have A LOT of negative experiences--but had positive experiences, too. It was very difficult to balance those. I went inactive first so my husband wouldn\'t be called as bishop while cheating on me (as I had been told he would be by the bishop at the time).</p>\n<p>Those experiences you have--the experiences I have now are more profound, more genuine, and I trust my own intuition now more than I had in the past (I was told the leaders knew better than I did).</p>\n<p>My life is in a much better place now--BY FAR.</p>\n<p>This is a tough journey--in losing the church, I lost pretty much everything--but I already had. All my hopes and dreams--thanks to them.</p>\n<p>I\'ve asked myself many times over the years, \"What if it is true?\" I no longer believe it is, but if you think long and hard about it--that is the worst possible thing. I was always freaked out by the idea of polygamy, by the idea of the CK being like the temple. I already shared my \"ex\"--why would I then want to share him with other women? There were so many aspects of mormonism that didn\'t appeal to me--but I believed. Step back and really think about the \"darker\" aspects of mormonism and would you really want your \"forever\" to be what they paint it as?</p>\n<hr />\ngracewarrior<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nFred, I think you are going through a normal stage in your search for truth. As others have said, you have been conditioned by years of indoctrination and programming. TSCC uses fear as the primary motivator... Pay your tithing or be burned.. stay faithful or lose your family... are just a few examples.\n<p>If Mormonism were really true.. why would God leave so many contradictory evidences to its claims? Don\'t you think it is a little silly to think that God would go around tampering with evidence to try peoples faith?</p>\n<p>Also, take a broad view of Joseph Smith. There are so many evidences showing he was a fraud... BoA, Kinderhook Plates, Greek Psalter, Multiple accounts of 1st vision, etc. One or two mishaps might be able to shrug off... but Joseph Smith has so many smoking guns.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>raisedbyjackmormons<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nSuch an excellent answer, Summer... and my feelings exactly. I\'m saving your answer on my iPad for time and all eternity.</p>\n<p>Religions are man made -- an are oftentimes a clumsy human attempt to make sense of it all. They attempt to banish our fear of death and may help us navigate life. Ask yourself if it makes sense for God to punish you in the hereafter for drinking a cup of coffee, or to bare your shoulders in the supermarket. The creator of the universe does not have a special place for those who pay a certain church lots of money.</p>\n<hr />\nnolongerin can\'t login<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nI think the \"What if it\'s true?\" stage is a common one, for both those converting and deconverting to/from Mormonism.\n<p>From my own experience, and from my observations of this board, a pre-convert will often move from:</p>\n<p>\"It can\'t be true\" to \"what if it\'s true?\" to \"I think it might be true.\" to \"I believe it\'s true, but what if it\'s false?\" to \"I know it\'s true.\"</p>\n<p>Similar stages exist on the way out:</p>\n<p>\"It can\'t be false.\" to \"what if it\'s false?\" to \"I think it might be false.\" to \"I believe it\'s false, but what if it\'s true?\" to \"I know it\'s false.\"</p>\n<p>I stayed in the \"I believe it\'s false, but what if it\'s true?\" stage nearly as long as I stayed a believing Mormon. For me, it was the hardest stage to move beyond, perhaps because of the ingrained training that if we leave, we are sons/daughters of perdition, cast into outer darkness (without our families, no less), forever.</p>\n<p>Awareness of the stages can help, I think, in the recovery process.</p>\n<hr />\nWiserWomanNow<br />\nIt is a huge shock to discover that church leaders deliberately misled us.<br />\nAt first, the anguish and sense of betrayal are overwhelming!!!\n<p>Something that helped me deal with those feelings was this 3-minute video of Eric, the man who founded this website. I highly recommend it!</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS58S-xPdzI\" title=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS58S-xPdzI\">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS58S-xPdzI</a></p>\n<p>Welcome to the board, Fred. Keep posting!</p>\n<hr />\nEric K<br />\nNice to have you here<br />\nYou are at a point many of us were at just a short time ago. The feelings can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath and take your time. There is no rush to commit to any thing as you learn.\n<p>Since you are just starting to learn about Mormonism, you might want to take a look at the Watchtower and Bible Society - the JWs. Charles Taze Russell was the founder of the Watchtower. He was followed by Joseph Franklin Rutherford. The parallels to Mormonism are striking. Rutherford was nearly as ruthless as Brigham Young in building the JWs. Russell was involved in numerous cons of which one of the most famous was his miracle wheat. From wikepedia \"Many critics insisted that Russell had deceived and defrauded many by selling the supposedly advanced strain of wheat for $60 per bushel, far above the average cost of wheat at the time.\" That was similar to Smith\'s scams such as the Kirkland bank. The failed prophecies of the Watchtower such as the world ending in 1914 and later in 1975 (I observed thousands of JWs in Finland in 1975 quit their jobs, pulled their kids out of school and preached on the streets while I was a Mormon missionary). Today\'s Watchtower publications do a complete whitewash of that event just like the Mormon church on the denial of blacks having the priesthood or changes in the temple endowment.</p>\n<p>The only reason I mention the JWs is that you might be able to read up on them a bit and be dispassionate about the evidence. You will discover how scams are created and perpetuated despite overwhelming evidence against them. Mormonism is no different.</p>\n<p>Good luck and hang around.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Tauna<br />\nIf it\'s true, then God chose a very messed up way to bring his Gospel to the earth<br />\nIf I found out today that it was true, I wouldn\'t want any part of a religion or a God that operated in the manner that they do.</p>\n<p>1. I don\'t want anything to do with a God that believes that women are 2nd class citizens.</p>\n<p>2. I don\'t want anything to do with a God that chose an adulterer/pedophile/thief to restore his Gospel.</p>\n<p>3. I don\'t want anything with a God that supposedly gave me a brain to think critically, but then tells me not to use it when it comes to thinking about religion.</p>\n<p>4. I don\'t want anything to do with a God that tells his prophet to build a 4 billion dollar mall in lieu of helping the poor.</p>\n<p>5. I don\'t want anything to do with a God that expects us to figure out truth by warm fuzzy feelings. I have felt those same warm fuzzies when my 2 sons made it to state in wrestling and came out with the \'parade of athletes\' with the song, \'We are the champions\'.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Greyfort<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nnolongerin can\'t login Wrote:<br />\n-------------------------------------------------------</p>\n<p>Yes, so true. I stayed in much longer than I should have because of the fear they instilled in me. The scriptures saying that it would be better if a millstone be tied around my neck and I be drowned in the sea, rather than walk away from their truth, sort of stuff.</p>\n<p>But once I\'d studied enough to realize 100% that it simply wasn\'t true, that\'s when I was ready to walk away with confidence and without any fear. Next came the thankfully short-lived anger stage at realizing that I\'d been duped.</p>\n<p>Keep studying. You\'ll get there.</p>\n<hr />\nimaworkinonit<br />\nIt helped me to read online exit stories and ex-JW discussion boards<br />\nwhen I was going through my \"what if I\'m wrong\" stage.\n<p>Because I already knew THEIR religion was pure baloney. And yet they had the same fears and insecurities that I did about leaving Mormonism. I was sure THEIR fears weren\'t evidence that THEY were making a mistake. And yet they thought that might be the case.</p>\n<p>Nope. Those fears were evidence that they had been manipulated and indoctrinated that if they ever left, they were doomed.</p>\n<p>One other thing that helped me was to realize there are two areas of the brain I was dealing with: The logical, thinking area, that analyzes information and decides what made sense.</p>\n<p>And the more primitive area that senses danger and fear. Mormonism gets into THAT area, and it takes a while to retrain it. It took me 9 months to get over the fear of leaving. And I did it by addressing those fears rationally every time they came up (talking myself down), and addressing every concern/loophole I could think of in my studying. But taking off my garments was when I stopped hedging. And then the fear vanished.</p>\n<hr />\napatheist<br />\nWhat if it\'s true?<br />\n\"What if it\'s true?\" Well, we found the loophole, like the mormon equivalent of the movie \"Dogma\". I guarantee no matter how much I protest while I\'m alive, I\'ll be necrodunked by my relatives within a year or two of my death. Bam! I\'m back in the game. If Hitler has a second chance, then surely I will..\n<p>My mother raised me almost as a single parent - dad was on the road all the time, truck driver, and he had been ex\'d for past sins so there was no priesthood to protect our house. One thing she was always fanatic about was the importance of temple work. She had to wait until she was 40 years old to go through the temple by herself, because the rule had been that you could only pass through if you had a worthy husband.</p>\n<p>I think she was convinced this was her only way to make it to one of the better kingdoms in the afterlife. What about all the single, divorced, or otherwise women who died before that time that never got their endowments because they didn\'t have a worthy mate? Answer - baptisms/endowments for the dead.</p>\n<p>My mother taught me fanatically that visiting the temple was the most crucial thing for us to do here on earth. These ordinances transcended time and space. Your eternal salvation depended on it.</p>\n<p>When I was 22, and discovered the changes in the temple endowments over the years I was stunned. I never went through because I got married at 17, but I could read the rituals online and when I saw that sections had been modified - not simple grammatical changes or corrections, I mean whole paragraphs had been taken out or severely modified from their prior model - my already cracking testimony shattered.</p>\n<p>If some poor teenager has to repeat the sacrament prayer four times because he stuttered halfway through, how could you dramatically modify the most important, fundamentally necessary religious rite in the history of man multiple times?</p>\n<p>Once I understood this, I found more and more hidden truths, like the BoA origins, Mark Hofmann, the rocks in a hat, racism, MMM and so on, and there was no putting things back in the box. You can\'t will yourself (I don\'t think anyway) to believe in Santa Claus again, and you can\'t pray yourself into believing that the most basic tenate of existence was changed because god changed his mind about stuff almost 150 years after first introducing it. God\'s unconditional love is conditional - that horrified me as well. I could go on and on about the things that slam into my mind like slivers from a weathered board. It\'s been eight years since I resigned and every time I wonder if it\'s true, these slivers sting me again. You can\'t unlearn the truth.</p>\n<p>I love history. My father forced me against my will to begin to appreciate history at a young age. I\'m glad now that he did. My mother taught me that honesty is one of the most basic virtues. So perhaps above all else, what I find disgusting was BKP\'s comment \"Some things that are true are not very useful\".</p>\n<p>No, some things that are true are STILL true despite whether you want to pretend they didn\'t happen. Anything else is self-serving manipulation.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>rodolfo<br />\nRe: What if it\'s true?<br />\nFYI I have re-written Pascal\'s Wager:</p>\n<p>If there is no mormon god, then leaving the church was the right thing to do.</p>\n<p>If there is a mormon god, he will know that I labored for many months and years working in the most sincere good faith to harmonize the obvious problems with doctrine. He will know that I spent many hours in terrified prayer and loneliness pleading \"where at thou?\" and seeking for guidance and assurance. He will know that I beseeched esteemed mormon scholars and leaders for guidance and answers to no avail. He will know that I read and studied thousands of pages of doctrine and history and science and philosophy seeking to both honor my testimony and also be able to survive as a person of integrity. He will know that I did all of those things in wide-eyed devotion, nothing wavering. He will know that after this grueling and exhausting journey he will know that I presented myself before him with the results and pleaded for any reason not to deny what every fiber of my being was screaming at me: that the church is a cult and a lie, and that he did nothing.</p>\n<p>And the mormon god will not condemn me.</p>\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1493018815, expire = 1493105215, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:778d7ce595d5a1073ec7632d1be06f34' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

by fred Feb 3012

My wife and I have recently stumbled upon some disturbing things in the history of the church. To name a few, in no particular order:

The Book of Abraham
Changes in the early church to "revelations" given by God

Hypocrisy of early leaders of the church
Similarities of temple ceremonies and Masonic rituals
Revealing information about polygamy, things I never heard about.
Prophecies from Joseph Smith that did not come true
Teachings from early prophets about blacks

There are many other things that seem to be popping up as we embark on this journey. I must admit that I was very resistant to all of this at first. The church has always been a place of comfort for me. I was told that I was a great young man, that I would be a great priesthood leader even a future bishop.

After learning some of these things my "faith" has been shaken. I find myself making excuses for the early church leaders and defending the church. A lot of this I think is coming from the way I was raised, as my wife puts it, not thinking for my self. We are taught to not speak (think) bad about the leaders of the church and to stay away from anti-Mormon literature. Everything is now in question.

I keep thinking of all the experiences that I have had as part of this church, all the manifestations of the spirit, all of the times when fasting and prayer have worked out so nicely and the benefits I see in my life through living the principles of the gospel. I think it has to be true. Now I am questioning everything.

I have two questions to pose to those on this board

1. What if it is true?

2. How can I justify in my mind everything that has caused me to believe that it is true?


summer
Re: What if it's true?
> I keep thinking of all the experiences that I have had as part of this church, all the manifestations of the spirit, all of the times when fasting and prayer have worked out so nicely and the benefits I see in my life through living the principles of the gospel. I think it has to be true. Now I am questioning everything.

People from other faith traditions have also had these experiences. Does that make each of their faiths true as well?

Why is it that when something good happens, it is God answering your prayers, and when something bad happens, it is God testing you?

I see religions as being entirely man-made and an expression of our search for meaning and our search for the divine. I happen to believe in God, but I believe that he is far beyond any one human religion.


moonbeam
Re: What if it's true?
1. When you have a chance to step back and look at "the plan", there are a lot of logical holes. That god, who leaves his "children" to guess whether or not any religion is true, requires his own son to be tortured, and sets up a church through a young womanizer con man is kind of a jerk. There are a few million people in the LDS church. There are, what, 7(?) billion people in the world. 1/3 more didn't even make it to earth from the preexistence, right? Doesn't sound like a very good business model for success, does it?

2. All of those things that you've experienced to "know" the church is true are based on emotion. Warm fuzzies do not truth make.

Hang in there. Read around the site. It is not always easy to discover the truth but it is important.


Mia
Re: What if it's true?
There was a time I could have written that post.
I fasted, I prayed, I studied. I left.
I'm 58 bic and am disgusted that I spent most of my life being lied to either outright or by omission. I'm sad I spent most of my life never feeling like I was good enough no matter what I did or didn't do.
I set out to read and study the most truthful histories I could find about the church and its leaders. I found out that nothing is what I thought it was. Nothing is what I was taught. The boa was the deal breaker. That's when I KNEW I'd been had.
These are not easy things to learn. It will most likely change your life in many ways. It left me feeling lost and shaken for a while.
I was lucky, my husband and 2 kids left the same time I did, so I had their support. We are doing better as a family than we ever have.
Fetal Deity
Re: What if it's true?
First of all, it looks like you're a new poster, so WELCOME to the board!

My answer to your questions would be:

1. If the Mormon church is true, then the universe is a pretty messed up place. Most of the objective claims of the church are demonstrably false and many of the values/philosophies taught by it are utterly repugnant to me personally (and to many others, as well).

2. As far as personal "spiritual experiences" you have had? People of basically ALL religions (and even atheists) have similar experiences: "warm feelings," unexplained occurrences ("miracles"), even visions and voices that they can't account for. So, these things can't rationally be used as "proof" that any particular religion or philosophy is true.

My advice to you would be to do a LOT of research on your own. Also, visit and participate frequently on this site; it may take awhile before you feel comfortable leaving the church completely, but you'll find a lot of support and comfort here among those who share your plight!

Best of luck! : )


enoughenoch19
Re: What if it's true?
WELCOME ABOARD!
I know how you feel, been there done that. Please don't think you are dumb for believing. JS was one of the BEST CON MEN IN ALL OF HISTORY! That is saying alot. You don't get to be known as that for only fooling a few people. I would venture a guess that 80% of the people on this board have been duped by TSCC. Think of the people all over the world who have been duped. The teachings of TSCC keep you from questioning anything which accounts for the length of time you believed. They also keep you too busy to think for yourself.
TBMs are like the Stepford wives in my opinion - (if you are too young to remember this movie, rent it.) It is really a shame because a mind is a terrible thing to waste. So many TBMs are smart but have been fooled.
Hang in there and keep questioning, keep reading - you need not read anti-Morg sources. TSCC furnishes enough rope to hang themselves.
Keep us posted.

As an aside - I get that spiritual experience from music so is music a religion?


Itzpapalotl
Re: What if it's true?
If I seem abrupt or cold, I apologize. Let me add something else to your conundrum:

Facts only matter when you accept them. If you are of the scientific accepting sort, you will understand that DNA trumps everything.
http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon391.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon

My ancestors were not some made up "loathesome, evil, and dark skinned Lamanite" people. They were the ancesters of ancient Siberian peoples, with an amazing history beyond what you think the BoM and your leaders want you to believe.

How can a belief system be true if so many truths and facts were hidden from you in the first place?


hollensnopper
Re: What if it's true?
Hi Fred,
Welcome to the board.
To answer your second question (about everything in your mind that caused you to believe it is true...)
When you think about it closely, wasn't it "feelings" ie "the Holy Spirit" sort of thing?
Your feelings are not reliable. My feelings have lied more often than not.
Feelings can be easily manipulated
Think about sitting in the safety of your home, watching a scary TV show. You KNOW the people in the movie are actors, but when the scary music plays and the guy with the chainsaw is sneaking up on the hero, you FEEL FEAR.
Did you ever feel like you were driving at the posted speed limit, then look at the speedometer and see you were "way over"?
Facts always trump feelings. Go with the facts.
Teddy
Re: What if it's true?
To a biologist the lifeforms encountered and not encountered in the BoM alone are sufficient evidence of the BoM's falsehood. So is it King Jamesy English to others.
The lack of supporting archeological evidence, Kinderhook, the Greek Psalter, the BoA indeed, it goes on, there is no way one can even imagine an alternate reality in which even the less odd teachings of the LDS are true.
MJ
Re: What if it's true?
I will answer question 1 with several questions:

What if Scientology is true? What if Islam is true? What if Sikhism is true? There are thousands of religions. You can ask the same question, "what if it's true?", about all of them. Are you going to join and stay in thousands of religions because you can ask, "what if it's true?" about all of them? Asking "What if it's true?" is a trap designed to use fear to keep you from leaving.

Question 2: I don't know what "caused you to believe" so I can not answer that question directly. It is likely there are a combination of reasons why you came to the wrong concluding:

Used flawed logic, like: "You can not prove the LDS false, so it is true", or "15 million Mormons can't be wrong"

Used subjective evidence rather than objective evidence: Feelings (subjective) rather than empirical evidence (objective).

Unwarranted attribution: "I couldn't find my car keys, I stopped and prayed, then found them right away, thus the Church is true"

Believed what you wanted to believe: "I really want to be with my family forever, so I will believe in the LDS thing about eternal families"

Believing in personal testimonies: "Last Sunday Sister Criesalot got up and gave her testimony about not being able to find her car keys, praying then finding her keys, wow that proves the church is true"

The list goes on and on. They all ultimately go back to a flaw in critical thinking or a flaw in logic. I would bet that if you posted the things that "caused you to believe" people here could point out the flaw in the reasoning.

Oh, and that "burning bosom" stuff stuff is just emotional crap that is not at all a reliable proof of anything.


Regan
Re: What if it's true?
Been where you are now. As you continue to search deeper for the holes they eventually become overwhelming. Everytime I tried to reason away one problem another popped up. The truth of Occam's Razor theory became obvious in regards to the falseness of the church.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

I found this quote helpful in understanding the true Joseph Smith.

"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet...When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go." (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409)

Not sure if you are familiar with these problems below as well. Wiki is surprisingly pretty accurate and indepth. Any of these issues is damning evidence against the church. People generally believe what their parents believed. If you took all the Provo Utah babies and adopted them into Roman Catholic families they would end up being true believing Catholics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Witnesses
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_Latter_Day_Saint_polygamy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauvoo_Expositor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Egyptian
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinderhook_Plates
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/AF/individual_record.asp?recid=77...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penalty_(Mormonism)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Book_of_Mormon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_Book_of_Mormon


Rebeckah
This is my take on it:
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

Stolen from someone but I don't know who. :)


frankie
Re: What if it's true?
of course the gospel is true. just because the mormon part is made up, the jesus part is what really counts. the jesus gospel is what I believe in. If you look at that way, there is no reason to feel bad, mabey mad that LD$ INC is made up.

alot of mormons feel that if you give up the mormon part of christianity that you are in outer darkness. But that is part of the brainwashing that mormons are subjective to.

It is a whole new world for me to think this way and it is wonderful. Get rid of "the church is the only true church" idea

this is just my 2 cents, you don't have to think this way


MarkJ
Sifting out the truth
Congratulations on starting your journey of discovery. Some thoughts that have helped me on mine:

Let what you learn guide what you believe, not the other way around.

Truth is bigger and more amazing than the human capacity to understand or explain it. We are only scratching the surface of reality.

Anybody who claims that they've got everything figured out should automatically be viewed as dubious. Stay on the hunt, and know that there are a lot of other seekers out there - friends you haven't met yet.

Because of our human limits, faith will always be necessary if you want to ponder the limitless.

The church is not all bad, and there are some really good people in it. Take what's good from it and build from there. The church isn't necessarily a bad start, but it is a bad end.

Be brave! Be patient! Be tolerant! Be generous! Love!

The church keeps God and Jesus in a shoebox. Let them out! God is bigger than the church, any church. Don't confuse the shoebox for the real thing.

Don't panic! God still loves you and will always love you.

Don't worry! God's got everything under control. His plan won't fall apart even if you do make a mistake.

The ultimate authority over your life is you.

We can always do more as part of a team than we can do individually. Maybe some other church will meet your needs. Just keep in mind that churches don't go to heaven, people do.


atheist&happy:-)
Honestly analyzing my spiritual experiences, including answers to prayer,
was one of the main reasons I went straight to atheism. At the time I did not know about the fraud of TSCC, was very sincere in my belief, and a member in good standing who regularly attended the temple, etc. Religious culture trains us to subjectively interpret events as spiritual experiences or answers to prayers, and conveniently forget about the ones that went unanswered. We are taught to blame ourselves: not worthy or "in tune", you agreed to get shafted (just another trial) in the pre-existence, or maybe we asked at the wrong time (and shame on you for asking amiss or not knowing the right time, since you are supposed to be a mind reader...). It is all mind games, and mental gymnastics, and stopping the cog-dis is the best thing I ever did in my life. It was a huge weight lifted, and left my mind free, and clear.

I found it dangerous to my well-being to put my trust in an imaginary being like TSCC says to. When I went through traumatic events, people often said they would pray for me. I repeatedly told them not to pray for me, but to please actually do something. The results were as if they had not prayed at all i.e. did nothing, which is exactly what they did... nothing (quotes I like: "Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer." & "Nothing fails like prayer." Annie Laurie Gaylor). After coming to this conclusion I prayed to my cat as an experiment, and got the same results - but by doing this it helped me notice the rationalizations, and excuse making, which seemed "normal" with gawd, but silly with a cat.

My so-called spiritual experiences were subjective interpretations of events. Also our brains can do amazing things that we would interpret as supernatural. We have been taught to attribute them to the supernatural, because we had no other explanation, but just as we now know there are no deities making the sun rise or the rain fall, we know there are logical explanations for these things. Neuroscientists can duplicate these "spiritual" experiences in the brain.

Gawd is supposed to be good, but why does he need defending, and why does JS need defending? Ultimately all religions need this type of defending. That alone is a huge problem.

This explains the many ways prayers are rationalized. Chapters 5-11 are on prayer.
Chapter 5 - Why won't God heal amputees?
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm

This might sound harsh to someone just learning about the fraud, because it is about religion in general, but the perspective is valuable.

How do we know that Christians are delusional?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVuw1wEuaAQ

A short answer by Richard Dawkins to the question "What if you're wrong?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg&feature=related

You were programmed to be obedient, and to think it was the highest virtue. Our programming kicks in when we leave, and can take a while to dissipate. It was a few years before I could tell people out loud that I no longer believed in gawd, because of what I had been taught about denying the holy ghost (and I was not indoctrinated as a child). There is no punishment for thinking, and reasoning for yourself, especially when the ones telling you to get in line, and conform, are based on a fraud.


Cheryl
I suggest you step back & study it the way you'd research a scientific supposition.
Clear your head and emotions and start fresh.

Think about mormonism as a belief system unconnected to your youth and your personal experience.

What questions have you put on the shelf and felt unwilling to investigate? Follow each one to its logical end.

Don't be afraid of what you'll find and don't be surprised if the result is personal freedom and enlightenment.

I think our thinking is muddied up by church explanations and warnings about protecting fragile testimonies and respecting leaders. This baggage manipulates our thinking and curbs our ability to problem solve.

Time to man-up and face wherever the facts lead. If they prove that mormonism is God's way, fine. If not, howerver, that might have to be faced with courage and that isn't all bad. Better to know the reality now than later.


Lucky
Re: What if it's true?
then the MORmON god is such a hateful @$$ hole there is no chance for mortals anyway.


Mia
Re: What if it's true?
If it's true, there should be more love and way less hate, lying, stealing, controlling, manipulating, abuse, and deception.
I don't see God anywhere in the mix.
jessica
Re: What if it's true?
1. What if it is true?
which version of it are you referring to? Joseph Smith had 9 different first visions, he married at least 33 women. If you had a ground breaking experience like the first vision, directly from God would you try to join another religion right after he told you none of them were true? Women had the priesthood in the beginning--why isn't that still true? What determines what is or what isn't true, the past? Current prophets? What is current revelation? If past prophets aren't speaking for God, and the current prophet is, why does he quote past prophets? Why would Joseph translate an important book like the BOM with a rock in a hat and his head in the hat, and the golden plates not even in the same room? How is that translation? Why would God have him translate that way?

2. How can I justify in my mind everything that has caused me to believe that it is true?
The spirit (Holy Ghost) is real, it is your own moral compass you were born with. You have been manipulated with your own moral compass, it's ok though many people are. The bosom burning feeling is real and many people use it to determine their religion is real. Miracles happen all over the world, but that doesn't mean the Mormon church is true. Statistically it is likely a sick person could get better, this has been proven in scientific studies when testing medications. The placebo effect is very real and if someone believed that priesthood blessing would heal them, it very well could but it was their own will not the priesthood that did it. Think of all the times the priesthood didn't work, because that is very real too--you block it out because you want it to be true, so you only remember the times it did work (through placebo effect).

Check out this website:
http://www.mormonthink.com/firstvisionweb.htm

This is also good:
http://goodnewsforlds.org/video.html

and this about the BoA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE


saviorself
There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that it is true
You were scammed by the master scammer Joseph Smith. And you have been lied to by Church leaders, starting with Smith and continuing to this day.

An excellent website for reading information about the Mormon scam is here: http://mormonthink.com/

Try to calm your emotions and proceed with your study of Mormon history in a rational logical way. That study will lead you to the real truth. And it will allow you to reclaim your life from the Mormon cult.


DNA
Re: What if it's true?
I didn't really enjoy my LDS experience. I was born into a very TBM family, and it worked for many of my siblings, but even as a little kid, I didn't like it much. It was always a burden that I had to do in order to not go to hell. I really believed that God talked to JS, so now I have to do it all or go to hell.

So finding out that it was all false should have been a great relief. But it wasn't at first. I didn't want forty something years to have all been a big waste of effort. I remember saying things like, why don't they just tell the truth? It would still be a pretty good church, even if they told the truth.

Then I went through a period of thinking, what if JS was like Whoopee Goldberg in the movie Ghost? What if God used a con man to do his work?

Then I feared a few times the same, "But what if I'm wrong and it is true?"

Then I got to the point of being so relieved that it wasn't true. I didn't have to ever go again! But still a few times I got a sinking "what if" feeling.

It was all a normal human response to being conditioned to be scared. The LDS church is very good at making a person be afraid to be without them. Otherwise, why would people give so much of their money to them for a lifetime?

Once the conditioning softened, it was so much easier to not worry about what ifs. I suspect that yours will go away also with time. You're going through a completely normal reaction to being programmed.

Once it goes away, life is so good without the church!

Some of your comments were describing mind tricks. The part of your mind that has been trained to fear keeps popping up things that might make the dissonance go away. So it reminds you about things that worked or felt good in the church so that you can return to a comfortable normalcy again. Your mind has to either get you to go back to church so that things will return to normal psychologically, or it has to accept the new information and let go of all the programming. Once the programing goes away, the mind can stop trying to protect itself, and will stop coming up with the crazy what if's.

Life is so good when the programming goes away, and you can just enjoy the new knowledge.

Best of luck to you.


Greyfort
Re: What if it's true?
There is not one particle of my being which wonders if it's true. After the amount of studying that I've done, the evidence is overwhelming that the LDS Church is not what it purports itself to be.

The testimony that I had when I thought it was true was founded on emotion. It felt right. It made sense, at the time.

The testimony that I now have, that it is not true, is based on a rock solid foundation of evidence. This time when I say, "I KNOW that it is NOT true," I really mean it as a knowledge.

As an active member, "I know," used to mean more like, "Oh, I know it's true. I just know it! It just has to be." It was all based on emotion. Big difference.

I never imagined that there was actual tangible evidence out there which proves the Church to be founded on a fraud. But there is, and I've studied it, and now I know that it's simply not true. Plain and simple. There are no more doubts at all in my mind.


zeezrom
Re: What if it's true?
What if it's true?

1. You'll get to see the non tithe payers BURNED! Should be a right barbacue. :)

2. You'll get to see (if successful in CK and done your BEST?) Joseph Smith with all his teen brides and other mens wives. Not sure who Zina Huntingdon Jacobs will be with unless Joseph and Brigham Young share her in CK. Maybe you'll get to chat with a distraught Henry Jacobs who is the real husband. :)

3. You'll get to see all the faithful Mormons travelling to the lesser kingdoms to visit their broken up families and returning back to CK without them. :)

4. You'll get to chat with all those young teen girls who were threatened with Hell into marrying old Mormon righteous Leaders and bearing their righteous white skinned offspring and ask them if life got any better?

Lots to look forward to if it's true. And if you are really lucky you might even get to hand over any unmarried daughters to Smith and Young's collection and maybe your wife also.

PS Forgot to add

5. You'll get to see all the negroes in their new white skinned bodies! lol

If LDS Apostle Marke E Peterson is right then they will be servants to the chosen righteous ones like himself.


Just browsing
What if it's true? --What if it's NOT --Truth does not change!!
Some people *NEED to be mormons because it is the air that they breathe and their identifying mark to show thay ahve accomplished something ..You ask them the question "WHAT ARE YOU" and the answer always comes back MORMON.

Take a look at the doctrinal changes from the time of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young right up to today -- and you will see the watering down of nearly all the key principles of Mormonism.
A sliding scale of doctrine is a slippery slope to stand on.
What about all the changes in the Temple Endowment in 1990 ??

**What was once true will always be true --What is not true now never was true to begin with**

Good luck with your search and may the force be with you .

JB


cl2
If you stick around here long enough
(it can be rough at times, so just remember that)--but you will find that most of the people on this board were as stalwart as you were.

I lived mormonism to the very best of my ability and I listened to the leaders. I married my gay husband on their direction. My life ended up being the biggest mess you can imagine. Of course, it must have been my fault for not saving him.

My friends and family stood back in absolute shock--as I was the most devout of all of them--and watched my life fall apart.

When I asked a good friend (he was a bishop at the time and someone who promised me my husband would never leave if I married him--because this is what God wanted) why I should go to the LDS church, he said, "I have no answers for you, just that I know it is the right thing to do." He also said, 'Life is a crap shoot--the GAs wouldn't agree with me on that one."

I have A LOT of negative experiences--but had positive experiences, too. It was very difficult to balance those. I went inactive first so my husband wouldn't be called as bishop while cheating on me (as I had been told he would be by the bishop at the time).

Those experiences you have--the experiences I have now are more profound, more genuine, and I trust my own intuition now more than I had in the past (I was told the leaders knew better than I did).

My life is in a much better place now--BY FAR.

This is a tough journey--in losing the church, I lost pretty much everything--but I already had. All my hopes and dreams--thanks to them.

I've asked myself many times over the years, "What if it is true?" I no longer believe it is, but if you think long and hard about it--that is the worst possible thing. I was always freaked out by the idea of polygamy, by the idea of the CK being like the temple. I already shared my "ex"--why would I then want to share him with other women? There were so many aspects of mormonism that didn't appeal to me--but I believed. Step back and really think about the "darker" aspects of mormonism and would you really want your "forever" to be what they paint it as?


gracewarrior
Re: What if it's true?
Fred, I think you are going through a normal stage in your search for truth. As others have said, you have been conditioned by years of indoctrination and programming. TSCC uses fear as the primary motivator... Pay your tithing or be burned.. stay faithful or lose your family... are just a few examples.

If Mormonism were really true.. why would God leave so many contradictory evidences to its claims? Don't you think it is a little silly to think that God would go around tampering with evidence to try peoples faith?

Also, take a broad view of Joseph Smith. There are so many evidences showing he was a fraud... BoA, Kinderhook Plates, Greek Psalter, Multiple accounts of 1st vision, etc. One or two mishaps might be able to shrug off... but Joseph Smith has so many smoking guns.


raisedbyjackmormons
Re: What if it's true?
Such an excellent answer, Summer... and my feelings exactly. I'm saving your answer on my iPad for time and all eternity.

Religions are man made -- an are oftentimes a clumsy human attempt to make sense of it all. They attempt to banish our fear of death and may help us navigate life. Ask yourself if it makes sense for God to punish you in the hereafter for drinking a cup of coffee, or to bare your shoulders in the supermarket. The creator of the universe does not have a special place for those who pay a certain church lots of money.


nolongerin can't login
Re: What if it's true?
I think the "What if it's true?" stage is a common one, for both those converting and deconverting to/from Mormonism.

From my own experience, and from my observations of this board, a pre-convert will often move from:

"It can't be true" to "what if it's true?" to "I think it might be true." to "I believe it's true, but what if it's false?" to "I know it's true."

Similar stages exist on the way out:

"It can't be false." to "what if it's false?" to "I think it might be false." to "I believe it's false, but what if it's true?" to "I know it's false."

I stayed in the "I believe it's false, but what if it's true?" stage nearly as long as I stayed a believing Mormon. For me, it was the hardest stage to move beyond, perhaps because of the ingrained training that if we leave, we are sons/daughters of perdition, cast into outer darkness (without our families, no less), forever.

Awareness of the stages can help, I think, in the recovery process.


WiserWomanNow
It is a huge shock to discover that church leaders deliberately misled us.
At first, the anguish and sense of betrayal are overwhelming!!!

Something that helped me deal with those feelings was this 3-minute video of Eric, the man who founded this website. I highly recommend it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS58S-xPdzI

Welcome to the board, Fred. Keep posting!


Eric K
Nice to have you here
You are at a point many of us were at just a short time ago. The feelings can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath and take your time. There is no rush to commit to any thing as you learn.

Since you are just starting to learn about Mormonism, you might want to take a look at the Watchtower and Bible Society - the JWs. Charles Taze Russell was the founder of the Watchtower. He was followed by Joseph Franklin Rutherford. The parallels to Mormonism are striking. Rutherford was nearly as ruthless as Brigham Young in building the JWs. Russell was involved in numerous cons of which one of the most famous was his miracle wheat. From wikepedia "Many critics insisted that Russell had deceived and defrauded many by selling the supposedly advanced strain of wheat for $60 per bushel, far above the average cost of wheat at the time." That was similar to Smith's scams such as the Kirkland bank. The failed prophecies of the Watchtower such as the world ending in 1914 and later in 1975 (I observed thousands of JWs in Finland in 1975 quit their jobs, pulled their kids out of school and preached on the streets while I was a Mormon missionary). Today's Watchtower publications do a complete whitewash of that event just like the Mormon church on the denial of blacks having the priesthood or changes in the temple endowment.

The only reason I mention the JWs is that you might be able to read up on them a bit and be dispassionate about the evidence. You will discover how scams are created and perpetuated despite overwhelming evidence against them. Mormonism is no different.

Good luck and hang around.


Tauna
If it's true, then God chose a very messed up way to bring his Gospel to the earth
If I found out today that it was true, I wouldn't want any part of a religion or a God that operated in the manner that they do.

1. I don't want anything to do with a God that believes that women are 2nd class citizens.

2. I don't want anything to do with a God that chose an adulterer/pedophile/thief to restore his Gospel.

3. I don't want anything with a God that supposedly gave me a brain to think critically, but then tells me not to use it when it comes to thinking about religion.

4. I don't want anything to do with a God that tells his prophet to build a 4 billion dollar mall in lieu of helping the poor.

5. I don't want anything to do with a God that expects us to figure out truth by warm fuzzy feelings. I have felt those same warm fuzzies when my 2 sons made it to state in wrestling and came out with the 'parade of athletes' with the song, 'We are the champions'.


Greyfort
Re: What if it's true?
nolongerin can't login Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

Yes, so true. I stayed in much longer than I should have because of the fear they instilled in me. The scriptures saying that it would be better if a millstone be tied around my neck and I be drowned in the sea, rather than walk away from their truth, sort of stuff.

But once I'd studied enough to realize 100% that it simply wasn't true, that's when I was ready to walk away with confidence and without any fear. Next came the thankfully short-lived anger stage at realizing that I'd been duped.

Keep studying. You'll get there.


imaworkinonit
It helped me to read online exit stories and ex-JW discussion boards
when I was going through my "what if I'm wrong" stage.

Because I already knew THEIR religion was pure baloney. And yet they had the same fears and insecurities that I did about leaving Mormonism. I was sure THEIR fears weren't evidence that THEY were making a mistake. And yet they thought that might be the case.

Nope. Those fears were evidence that they had been manipulated and indoctrinated that if they ever left, they were doomed.

One other thing that helped me was to realize there are two areas of the brain I was dealing with: The logical, thinking area, that analyzes information and decides what made sense.

And the more primitive area that senses danger and fear. Mormonism gets into THAT area, and it takes a while to retrain it. It took me 9 months to get over the fear of leaving. And I did it by addressing those fears rationally every time they came up (talking myself down), and addressing every concern/loophole I could think of in my studying. But taking off my garments was when I stopped hedging. And then the fear vanished.


apatheist
What if it's true?
"What if it's true?" Well, we found the loophole, like the mormon equivalent of the movie "Dogma". I guarantee no matter how much I protest while I'm alive, I'll be necrodunked by my relatives within a year or two of my death. Bam! I'm back in the game. If Hitler has a second chance, then surely I will..

My mother raised me almost as a single parent - dad was on the road all the time, truck driver, and he had been ex'd for past sins so there was no priesthood to protect our house. One thing she was always fanatic about was the importance of temple work. She had to wait until she was 40 years old to go through the temple by herself, because the rule had been that you could only pass through if you had a worthy husband.

I think she was convinced this was her only way to make it to one of the better kingdoms in the afterlife. What about all the single, divorced, or otherwise women who died before that time that never got their endowments because they didn't have a worthy mate? Answer - baptisms/endowments for the dead.

My mother taught me fanatically that visiting the temple was the most crucial thing for us to do here on earth. These ordinances transcended time and space. Your eternal salvation depended on it.

When I was 22, and discovered the changes in the temple endowments over the years I was stunned. I never went through because I got married at 17, but I could read the rituals online and when I saw that sections had been modified - not simple grammatical changes or corrections, I mean whole paragraphs had been taken out or severely modified from their prior model - my already cracking testimony shattered.

If some poor teenager has to repeat the sacrament prayer four times because he stuttered halfway through, how could you dramatically modify the most important, fundamentally necessary religious rite in the history of man multiple times?

Once I understood this, I found more and more hidden truths, like the BoA origins, Mark Hofmann, the rocks in a hat, racism, MMM and so on, and there was no putting things back in the box. You can't will yourself (I don't think anyway) to believe in Santa Claus again, and you can't pray yourself into believing that the most basic tenate of existence was changed because god changed his mind about stuff almost 150 years after first introducing it. God's unconditional love is conditional - that horrified me as well. I could go on and on about the things that slam into my mind like slivers from a weathered board. It's been eight years since I resigned and every time I wonder if it's true, these slivers sting me again. You can't unlearn the truth.

I love history. My father forced me against my will to begin to appreciate history at a young age. I'm glad now that he did. My mother taught me that honesty is one of the most basic virtues. So perhaps above all else, what I find disgusting was BKP's comment "Some things that are true are not very useful".

No, some things that are true are STILL true despite whether you want to pretend they didn't happen. Anything else is self-serving manipulation.


rodolfo
Re: What if it's true?
FYI I have re-written Pascal's Wager:

If there is no mormon god, then leaving the church was the right thing to do.

If there is a mormon god, he will know that I labored for many months and years working in the most sincere good faith to harmonize the obvious problems with doctrine. He will know that I spent many hours in terrified prayer and loneliness pleading "where at thou?" and seeking for guidance and assurance. He will know that I beseeched esteemed mormon scholars and leaders for guidance and answers to no avail. He will know that I read and studied thousands of pages of doctrine and history and science and philosophy seeking to both honor my testimony and also be able to survive as a person of integrity. He will know that I did all of those things in wide-eyed devotion, nothing wavering. He will know that after this grueling and exhausting journey he will know that I presented myself before him with the results and pleaded for any reason not to deny what every fiber of my being was screaming at me: that the church is a cult and a lie, and that he did nothing.

And the mormon god will not condemn me.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"