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Posted by: skepticalsean ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 04:44PM

Just adding my story to the already massive pile, but here it goes:

My name is Sean Layton (add me on facebook) I went to BYU Provo, served a two year mission from 2008-2010 in Peru, resigned from the church in 2011 and transferred to Oregon State. I've never been happier.

I’m not just picking on the Mormon Church. I think of all religions equally, unlike most religious people. Merely my experience almost entirely consists of the LDS Church. I went on a two year mission and tried to be as obedient and faithful as possible. Other religions discourage the exact thing in which I’m about to do, which is telling the truth. This is why thousands of other religions disagree with your own, yet they all think they know they’re right. They don’t know it, but they’re scared of the truth and conceal the truth under the veil of HOPE.

I loved being Mormon & two years in Peru was a great experience for me. People make the most of things. The reason I left the LDS church is because I realized that the keystone wasn’t the Book of Mormon. The keystone was first, the spirit, and second Joseph Smith. Mormons tell you time and time again the way to know if the church is true is by reading the scriptures and praying about them, namely the Book of Mormon. If it’s “true” it will be manifest by “the gift of the holy ghost”. First of all, I’ll dispel one myth. A man could have easily written the Book of Mormon. In fact Mormons believe Indians wrote it in the first place and not god, yet what is more probable? That many Native Americans wrote a book, or Joseph Smith? The 1800’s was an era where authoring books was more rampant than any other time in history and Joseph Smith was definitely more intelligent than people lead on, whether he had schooling or not. He possessed books on subjects like Hebrew and chiasmus.

The second myth I want to dispel is ‘the spirit’. There is no evidence whatsoever for this thing. A good feeling or a good experience or a thought has nothing to do with a supernatural ghost. It is the processes of one’s brain in the presence of positive reinforcement; it is a common phenomenon manifest in different ways throughout the world. Another thing, anecdotes are the worst way to acquire information. Instead, critically observe and constantly experiment! Just because 5,000 people all had similar UFO sightings doesn’t mean a single one was legitimate.

The billion dollar LDS corporation carefully selects the doctrine and history deemed uplifting for its members and removes parts of the history that would raise doubts amongst the members. Don’t get me wrong, the leaders are good people who genuinely believe it. The members also subconsciously practice this ‘pick and choose’ system, because they have been taught to avoid “anti-mormon literature” because it’s not uplifting. They’re right, it’s not. It’s revealing.

The third myth that I want to talk about is that Joseph Smith was a righteous man. Let’s fast-forward for one second. Hitler used the Catholic Church in order to gain power. Thousands of Germans thought for the longest time he was pushing the Christian cause like he claimed. But why would Hitler have to do that? It is likely that Joseph Smith did indeed play the role of a righteous prophet because most of the population is good-natured in general. However, Joseph Smith’s true nature is almost always subdued under religious dogma. This was a man who made himself a mayor, who made himself a general, who made himself a prophet, and was trying to make himself president of the United States. He was known for often drawing his sword as a sign of power. He became the highest degree mason and merged his religious temple doctrines with masonic ceremonies.

The true reason for the mob at Carthage was because Joseph Smith had sent his army which destroyed a printing press that had shown him practicing polygamy (which he was teaching against publically at the time) and WAS ILLEGAL in the United States. You could say they were trying to “redefine” marriage. All fairlds can say is that they were following “the American tradition of civil disobedience”. The truth was that he was angry, because up to this point he had kept it mostly secret within the temple. Things like the temple penalties of slitting the throat and bowels if they revealed certain temple secrets were enough to silence those who went through about the end goal, which was marriage. These disturbing penalties weren’t taken out until 1990 as fewer and fewer members know. Joseph Smith was likely married to more than 27 wives, many being teenagers. He also wasn’t the martyr he is made out to be. Before he tried to escape out a window and save his life, he shot his smuggled pistol three times killing two people.

Joseph Smith also mistranslated the papyrus scrolls also known as the “Book of Abraham”. Joseph Smith wrote down a plethora of symbols in his own hand-writing with specific translations for each symbol. Any Egyptologist would tell you he completely missed the mark. Not only did he miss the mark but he also drew in a human head into the picture found in the pearl of great price where it is obvious a jackal’s head should be. This is because the papyri he had in his possession was missing the head, so he improvised. Modern church officials now say they simply don’t know what method he used to get the book of Abraham. This is obvious fraud. There are official court documents showing that he was tried for being a conman. He had a “seer-stone” many years before the book of mormon story which he would convince superstitious farmers that gold was on their land for money. This would be good practice for years to come.

I oppose these myths because while they do much good, they don’t describe reality, which I believe is negative. The Mormon Church is known for being one of the leading opponents to same-sex marriage. They discourage free-thought by suggesting that obedience is the first law of heaven. Within their fence, they encourage free-thought, but I thought we were supposed to think outside the fence? It bores me now to think about. Extraordinarily, I’m happier now than when I was a member. I have been able to dispel these myths yet hang on to the good things I choose to hang on to.

It’s a greater act of love to be honest in the basis of what you define your love as being, than being dishonest in the foundation of what your love really is, even if it seems like a step in the wrong direction. Believe me it’s not. You went too far in wishful thinking to begin with. The remarkable thing is that understanding reality makes the world come alive. It has for me.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” –Christopher Hitchens.

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Posted by: holistic ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 07:04PM

beautifully written and great points. I knew a lot about the scrolls that were supposedly written by the hand of Abraham and then turned up in the Smithsonian in the 1970's.. that was one of the biggest deal breakers for me when I finally researched the Mormon cult a little over three years ago. I didn't know JS drew the head on though. That's super funny to know now. I wish more people would connect the dots like us(even tho there are a lot of us out there-shout out to the exmos!).

I think all exmos need to be a little more vocal and public about their reasons for leaving to get the word out despite the repercussions..be frank and straight forward.(could be the start of the downfall of all religions- parents need to step up-screw their heads on straight- religions don't need to raise children)

I am 26 and won't stop fighting for truth- because it has freed me. I just believe in the golden rule. I worry about my family and old friends.. the thick walls I am putting up. Anything too fast and excessive can be detrimental- I've noticed. I am trying to find that balance... I want to help but feel like I am hurting people more by telling the truth, it's annoying that people don't want to hear facts. They place way too much on feelings, emotions, and say, "Well it's a good life to lead, and we'll know in the end. I just have faith that it's true." uggg... vomit... and let's send our babies out into the world to preach a false cult gospel. - When JS sent men out on mishies sometimes it had to do with stealing their wives. "The lord gave me revelation that I am to marry your wife." -- what a load of BS.

I am anti all religions but think people need to give themselves structure, goals, love for self, and concern/appreciation for others.

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Posted by: S. Tissue Trotter ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 07:34PM


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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 07:40PM

It was the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Abraham

Easy to get mixed up with the Smithsonian letter disavowing and evidence found for the Book of Mormon.

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Posted by: holistic ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 11:07PM

gotcha and thank u for the clarification
It has been over three years since I heavily researched it and now it fades a little... and that's probably for the best. I don't go back and read the bs over and over again... but man am I glad it is printed on the net so I was able to discover it.

Thank you people for doing the research, drawing connections, and scientists for discovering- proving scientific truths! I need to move on-- yet it's hard for me to leave people behind me that don't know the truth. I want to help so badly- free people. I am very happy this support website is up and running. I can only imagine how many lives it has changed for the good.

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 11:09PM

It makes me happy when I find some of my Mormon memories fading :)

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Posted by: crowbone ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 02:31PM

bc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It makes me happy when I find some of my Mormon
> memories fading :)

I'm in the same boat. It's been over 7 years since I heavily researched Mormonism and a lot of it has since faded into the recesses of my mind.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 07:30PM

Welcome, Sean! Thank you for sharing your reasons for leaving the Mormon church. I'm glad to know that you have found happiness outside of the church's confines. You must be having a great time at Oregon State!

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 07:31PM

Well said.

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Posted by: flyboy21 ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 07:35PM

Good for you for realizing it and getting out. I hope Corvallis proves way more fun than Provo!

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Posted by: canadianfriend ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 07:35PM

Welcome to reality Sean. It's not always easy out here, but it sure beats living a lie your whole life.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 08:21PM

Your generation will be the undoing of the mormon church. I firmly believe that.

While it may never go completely away, I think it's biggest and best times are over.

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Posted by: skepticalsean ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 02:19PM

To MIA RE:"Your generation will be the undoing of the mormon church. I firmly believe that. While it may never go completely away, I think it's biggest and best times are over."

I actually don't know about that. I baptized over a hundred people in Peru. It's one of the fastest growing cults. Think about Jehovah Witness's. Russell predicted that in 1914 the second coming would happen. When it came and went a ton of members fell away but time covers up the absurdities.

What I do agree with is that internet will be the downfall of all "religion" eventually. No longer can children be kept in the bubble of ignorance.

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Posted by: romy ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 08:28PM

Very well said!

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Posted by: fidget ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 09:11PM

Hey welcome to the club! Okay it's not 'really' a club, but you'll like it here :)

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Posted by: suzanne ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 11:08PM

No, its a secret combination

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Posted by: Tango-1 ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 09:39PM

Excellent!! I want to add this for all the LDS folks that might be watching:

In the LDS publication "Gospel Principles", Chapter 31 entitled "Honesty" we read:

Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.

--This last part is standard Mormon practice, telling folks only PART OF THE TRUTH---

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Posted by: Mormoney ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 10:33PM

You are very fortunate that you discovered this so soon after your mission. It took me around 10 years after my mission. People are getting smarter and smarter these days

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Posted by: hilary ( )
Date: July 26, 2012 11:39PM

Welcome to freedom, Sean!

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Posted by: atheist&happy:-) ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 02:03AM

You mentioned concealing truth under the veil of hope. It is not just hope, but deferred happiness. This is a deceptive promise given to the sheeple, a promise for something for which they have no proof of, and they exploit the sheeple with their "authority" from gawd. By doing this they steal people's lives from them. How many of us would have loved to have known the truth about the cult earlier? We would have lived our own lives differently. This is the worst deception.

You said:

“Don’t get me wrong, the leaders are good people who genuinely believe it.”

When I first left, I believed the GA's were sincere, but misled by generations of sincere believers. I was very wrong. You admit JS was not righteous. The more you read the more you will find disturbing things in TSCC's history. For example, the Reed Smoot hearings will disgust you. The more closely you examine the ever-changing doctrines you can see how they have systematically set out to deceive the members. They know members would flee if they knew about polyandry or 14 year old "wives". They write a sanitized version for the sheeple, and thanks to correlation, and control of what's taught now, many will never know the facts, and true history.

And:

“I oppose these myths because while they do much good, they don’t describe reality, which I believe is negative.”

Likewise, the more you read on TSCC's finances, and humanitarian funds, the more you will likely change your mind on this.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2012 02:10AM by atheist&happy:-).

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Posted by: toto ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 01:00PM

Your statements about the myths of the morg reminded me that shortly after leaving the church I read Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth". His insights gave me a greater understanding of our religious culture.

Welcome to the board and congratulations on your exit.

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Posted by: southerngal ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 01:13PM

Excellent points and well-written.

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Posted by: marriedtoexmo ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 01:45PM

Make sure to post your story here:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/list.php?3

The more people on that list the better :)

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Posted by: onendagus ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 01:59PM

Great concise explanation! Loved it.

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Posted by: rationalguy ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 02:07PM

That almost mirrors my experience with becoming disaffected with LDSCorp. Thanks for putting it down so clearly.

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Posted by: zeezrom ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 06:27PM

Sean,

What about family and friends in the LDS church? How have they reacted?

You seem to be very open about your disbelief and resignation.

I think I've just been on your missionary blog? If thats you then I must say what a dramatic turn of events for you.

One of my missionaries (I was an investigator) came out openly to fellow members and family of his post mission change to disbelief. I found him to be the most educated and mature missionary at the time. We would debate issues and he loaned me a Hugh Nibley book! lol

I did read it and got a headache though managed to highlight in penscil some of Hugh Nibleys nonsense before giving it back to him.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 12:14PM

skepticalsean Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> The billion dollar LDS corporation carefully
> selects the doctrine and history deemed uplifting
> for its members and removes parts of the history
> that would raise doubts amongst the members.
> Don’t get me wrong, the leaders are good people
> who genuinely believe it. The members also
> subconsciously practice this ‘pick and choose’
> system, because they have been taught to avoid
> “anti-mormon literature” because it’s not
> uplifting. They’re right, it’s not. It’s
> revealing.
>

>
> “Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much
> more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will
> come to you that way.” –Christopher Hitchens.


Sorry, LDS leaders KNOW they're running a Corp, NOT receiving revelations:

Have they 'revealed' the text of the 'revelation' that allowed Black Men to have the PH? NO!

People who use-maximyze deception 'good people'?
NOT IN MY BOOK.

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