Clues along the way that Mormonism was all a fraud

by Nancy Rigdon June 2012

1. The Bishopric called a sister to be the ward Primary President. *Two weeks later*, she was released and called to the Stake YW Presidency. Not only was the ward confused, apparently, the Holy Ghost was too.

2. A man in our ward gave a priesthood blessing to another man so that he would be able to find a job. In the blessing, he said the man would live a long prosperous life and that the Lord had an important work for him to do on the earth, blah, blah, blah. The *next day* the man who got the blessing died unexpectedly of a heart attack...

I guess the HG didn't get the memo that the man's work on earth was finished.

3. A newly divorced mom in our ward was having her baby blessed. She asked one of those inspired men of the Bishopric to do the blessing. He gave the blessing, and afterward, the woman told him he had gotten the baby's name wrong. It was so funny. He had to repeat the "give a name" part and then said something to the effect of "and all the blessings I previously mentioned". The HG must have whispered the wrong name to him.

4. A young girl in our ward was hit by a car. Her mother had such great faith that she would be healed because her patriarchal blessing said that she would raise her children into adulthood. Sadly, the little girl died a couple of weeks later. Of course, the out on this one was that she would raise her in the next life.

5. When Bednar gave his very first conference address, I knew as soon as I saw the look on his face something wasn't right. It was like he knew it was a fraud, or he atleast had expected to see God, but didn't.

6. During Holland's general conference address - the "I didn't give my life for a fraud" tirade - I just kept thinking, is he trying to convince us or himself? Something about it just wasn't right.

7. When Hinkley had the interview with Mike Wallace, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. When the "I don't know that we teach that" and the "they sustain me as such" comments were made, I thought something wasn't right. How could he not know? I knew it and I was a peon. Where was his boldness in standing as a witness of god? His replies were not what I as a TBM had expected a true prophet of the Lord to be.

8. I never could figure out why non-members all around me were living such great lives while breaking so many Mormon rules. They were doing just as well if not better than most Mormons I knew. I had a good life, but I expected to be blessed more than those heathen non-members. Now I know. The joke was on me.

9. I never believed blacks, native americans, and women were as evil or unworthy as white men. Nor did I ever believe that my worthiness as a woman hinged on a sex act. (The teaching that it was better to die than to lose your virginity.) I also never believed that a woman's greatest work was to breed more babies.

10. Polygamy. I never could understand it.

Unfortunately, I still believed for many years despite all of these experiences. I discovered the truth about the "truth" about a year ago. If I were still a TBM, I bet I would be scratching my head about the great and spacious Jesus Mall.

What were some of the early clues that made you question, but didn't necessarily lead you out right away?

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
The 1978 Priesthood Proclamation very nearly stopped me from getting baptized. I've never been racist, and the idea that God's Inspired Church would go along with it for so long really bothered me. Eventually I set the issue aside though, probably because I was too afraid to back down by that point. (Plenty of love bombing by new friends.)
Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
On my mission we ran into a lady who was really interested and looking for something religious.

We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was excited to start reading it.

A couple days later we dropped back by to see what she had thought. She had actually been reading the Book of Mormon. However, she got to the point where Nephi is commanded to chop of Laban's head and stopped. She said she couldn't accept that the Lord would do that and didn't want to talk to us any further.

It stuck with me.

I too noticed such things happening around me and like you, I ignored them or, as many say, put them on a shelf. It's difficult for me to recall specifics anymore.

One of the hardest emotional hits I suffered after my big AHA moment almost 2 years ago, was that I berated myself for not having seen my way out sooner.

I felt alot of anger towards myself, which turned into depression. It still pops up occasionally, but more in the form of "How might my life have been different had I not allowed myself to be fooled for so long?"

I have worked hard however at overcoming the tendency to dwell on or live in the past, and it's been immensely helpful.

I'm a nevermo, but even so
I figured out at a very early age that wooden submarines float.
I had a similar experience
A Catholic lady we were teaching (in France) complained that God would not command anyone to kill someone so brutally, and it seemed to her that it could have been avoided.

In our naive TBM way, we replied, "Well, if you think THAT'S bad, consider that God drowned EVERYBODY except Noah & his family during the flood.

She had ho reply since she believed in the flood.

Boy, talk about the blind teaching the blind.

Stray Mutt
Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
Nancy Rigdon Wrote:
> 10. Polygamy. I never could understand it.

When I read that, it suddenly hit me: of all the things that could possibly be important to the Lord, of all the things that could possibly be necessary to achieve the highest level of exaltation, why THAT? What does the number of wives or children have to do with how good a person someone is? Why not a commandment to spend X hours a week in charitable service or something? Why not a commandment to be nonviolent? So many more things seem more important and beneficial.

Oh, but this sh!t was made up by some man. That explains it. It explains so much about Mormonism.

Re: I had a similar experience
Nephi chopping off Laban's head is completely consistent with the Old Testament.

Which is why I had to throw out the Old Testament too...

I can remember two specific times when I could have/should have realized the fraud.
The first was on my mission. I was reading through the discussions and thinking they were just a pile of crap. Rather than put two and two together I just knelt to pray and thanked God that I was born a mormon because there is no way I'd ever believe in this One True Church if I hadn't been born into it.

Another time I was driving through South East Idaho going to visit my future wife. I had been reading about Roman and Greek gods as an assignment for one of my classes at BYU. I remember thinking that in a couple of thousand years Christ will probably be considered a quaint myth by most people. He would be like Zues is today.

I was so close to putting the pieces together but just couldn't make the leap. Sadly it took another twenty years before I found sweet freedom.

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
1) hearing about secret handshakes and markings in garments as a young man before going through the endowment. Sounded cultish and not at all aligned to the gospel I was being taught, but I ignored the warning flag
2) learning how human bones have been found dating back many thousands of years and asking a PH leader about it - was told carbon dating was simply inaccurate
3) catching a prominent member smoking behind the chapel one Sunday and realising that some of these folk had a church persona that was very different to reality
4) listening to prominent ward members blatantly gossip and bad mouth other members during ward council - even to the point of debating whether a single sister with a brood of young kids should be reprimanded and exe'd for consistently turning up at church 10 minutes late.
5) seeing the stake PR machine in full swing at helping hands service projects - photo calls with papers, insistence on wearing HH vests, lack of really caring about the service being fulfilled (usually it was done badly and no one was interested in coming back to clean up spilt paint on carpets on a different day etc) in comparison to how it looked to the press
6) eagerly awaiting GC talks from Pres Hinckley only p be disappointed when he just babbled on about how great the church was
7) hearing a stake president make a fool of himself at stake conference (in front of a visiting apostle), proudly proclaiming that he would be guided by the spirit to pick a couple of youth on the spot to bear their testimony. A few minutes later he recieved notice that one of the youth he picked was on vacation a few thousand miles away. Ouch!!
8) being given a PH blessing for an illness that I knew was completely bogus because of some of the reasons stated for the illness - a supposed allergy to something which I just don't have.
9) wondering why a multi-$bn corporation was firing paid church cleaners including a close family member, only to then get members to do this for free
10) visiting Egypt and learning about the canopic jars that are depicted on inscriptions there, but recognising that JS had absolutely no idea what these were when 'translating' the BoA facsimile
Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
Yes similar experiences as mentioned so far.

As I left my first temple session as a new missionary I said to myself that the temple was everthing the church said it wasn't.
Scripted prayers, weird clothing, "the shield", bizzar oaths and death penalties, etc.

Nearly every letter read in Sacrament meetng from SL for years put more work on members and les accountability on the 15.

1990 temple changes. I hadn't been to the temple for a couple of years. The first time I went after 1990 I had no idea changes had been made so at the vail I started to do the 5 points of fellowship and the guy in the vail and the guy helping me at the vail scrambled t stop me.

It is embarrasing how many clues I ignored.

The church today is sooo different than when I was a Deacon.

bona dea
Re: I had a similar experience
CAtholics are not required to believe in a literal flood so I wouldn't automatically assume this woman did

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
My first clues were the terrible behavior of Mormons. As a convert from California, I was treated as "less than" no matter what I did or said. I realized they looked down on me for some reason and that made me determined to prove I was just as good--no BETTER--than they were.

I hated feeling competitive. It didn't feel like the Sermon on the Mount. I didn't like how Mormonism dissed other religions and other groups. Here were some of my *pause* moments:

*Stake President asked me detailed questions about sexual activity between me and my Mormon fiance. Wanted to meet with me monthly and started asking some of the same questions, i.e., "Tell me again how the clothes came off...." Had nothing to do with anything spiritual (but I thought he was just an isolated pervert)

*Temple endowments - Catholic priest is a hireling of Satan? How is this Christlike?

*Member came over to my house and asked me if I had dumped a truckload of trash in their orchard. (mind you I was a recycler even back then and from Berkeley)

*Member who was called to care for one of my children when I was hospitalized forced two of my children to eat chili until they threw up.

*Members spit on my five and six year olds who were distributing pamphlets after the Martin Harris Pageant in Coleville. They thought our family business flyers were anti-Mormon literature. (I was so upset by this that I could not drive home. Had to wait to stop shaking. I thought they might try to shoot me or the kids.)

*Members thought I was a polygamist because I wore long skirts and had no visible means of support.

*Members thought I was a prostitute because I wore long skirts and had no visible means of support.

(these last two were reported to the bishop who was forced by church rules to call me and make "inquiries" --along with apologies)

*Bishop in Arizona refused to help my 14 year old son who got stranded at a truck stop by his buddies who left him there with no money. Said it was a weekend and he could not "deploy resources" until he validated that I was an active Mormon. I understood then that Mormons care nothing about children's safety, only about following the rules and conserving "resources."

*When I got a job as a columnist "Understanding Religion" the church assigned the Institute Director to supervise me (I had left the church by this time). I understood that as long as I was a voice, they would never leave me alone even if I left the church. This man signed up for a couple of classes that I was taking at Utah State, even though he already had several degrees. Ironically, he ended up plagiarizing a poem I had written and read it at an assembly--to the horror of all my classmates. First class douche with NO INTEGRITY and a Stake President.

The final blow was the priesthood for the Negro--after all the prophets had said about all white males to be born getting it first, and the change not even being a "revelation."

I asked the question in Sunday School and was told bluntly that God had chosen people. Period. God played favorites and that's why we should count our blessings that we found our way into his chosen people--the Mormon Church. I asked what about the Jews? Were they still chosen? I was told, "No, they forfeited the chosen status when they rejected Christ."

This all sounded more and more contrived. God chose people based on race...then other people based on not-race...then a priesthood based on heritage (priests are sons of Levi) but didn't really mean it because we are from Ephraim....


Re: I had a similar experience
We didn't automatically assume she believed in the flood until she told us she did.

bona dea
Re: I had a similar experience
Okay, some do believe that but many do not.It is definitely not required to be a Biblical literalist.

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
i had a blessing from my bishop ,i cant remember what for but during the blessing i was told (i forgive you of your sins)i remember thinking you cant do that .also i had a little girl who was very ill she had a blessing and was told she would recover and go on to live a normal life , well she never she died a while later i was devastated but was told i would get her back and she would go on in the melenium to live a normal i was to upset to think so i carried on going .but since looking in to the history of the church i realised it was all based on a lie and have left for good and could never go back

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
Great post! In retrospect I had many moments when things should have bothered me more than they did. I literally slap my head in frustration when I think about how some pretty obvious weirdness never stood out to me.

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
This is the one that really got me thinking something was wrong:

My sister was pregnant with her 2nd child and was experincing difficulties, so she called my dad who is temple sealer to drive 3 hours to come give her a blessing, which he did. In that blessing he promised her that her baby would be fine and that it would be born healthy without complications. He sealed the blessing up with his priesthood power, since he has the "sealing" power and all. She miscarried and lost the baby the next week.

I really started to see the forest for the trees after that.

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
A friend's cousin was born with lissencephaly - where the brain doesn't develop folds, so the child has minimal interaction with the world and potentially doesn't ever "learn" anything.

Her parents insisted on keeping her, and when I "met" her she was somewhere around age 6, and basically a living doll. Most children with this disorder don't live at all.

I couldn't understand how God would allow faithful parents to be burdened with a child who would never even react to their presence. And though I didn't completely fault them for not wanting to put her in a care facility, they had other children who were being neglected because the parents spent all their time caring for the girl.

Don Bagley
Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
I was thirteen and had just moved to La Grande, Oregon. My father told me to go meet with the Bishop, behind closed doors. The man asked me about my wiener, and how I handled it.

How I hated my father and the church that day. The trauma scarred me for life. I'd been raised to avoid sexual talk. I'd been told it was evil.

CA girl
Holy CRAP anagrammy
I can't believe the rubbish you had to put up with from members of "God's True Church." Actions speak louder than words and Mormonism can preach all they want - if that's the sort of behavior they inspire in the members, that is all I need to know about Mormonism.

It also explains why, many morning I woke up thinking "But I don't want to BE like you" as my motto for a day I'd have to be dealing with a lot of Mormons.

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
Listening to the LDS Inc BS story about the MORmON battalian from my early MORNING seminary instructor and knowing FULL WELL, despite what she said, that going back across the Mississippi river to abandon MORmONISM and live out life in Illinois in peace with an intact non MORmON family made FAR MORE sense than going on the insane trek that the Battalion Volunteers were duped into just so Brigham could steal their pay checks.

listening to the Utter BS of the LDS temple ceremony, especially the throat slitting CRAP, and thinking IF Jesus whipped money changers out of the temple, then the Christ would have to go ape @#$%& beserk over having this crap attributed to him!

Spending 2 years on a full time mission, right in a pivotal LDS historical area, often trying to defend polygamy to the locals,
only to come home and then hear Gordon BS Hinckley chuckle off the new and EVERLASTING covenant as "not Doctrinal" on national TV. (SO WHAT ELSE LDS DOCTRINE IS ALSO NON DOCTRINAL,YOU PRICK LDS LEADERS? Yah, the joke really was on me on that one! hope you enjoyed that one, you PRICKS! BECAUSE NEVER AGAIN!!!)

Listening to Hinckley insult the LDs missionaries on national TV for the CBS 60 Minutes interview.

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
Big clue for me: Mark Hofmann duping the prophets, seers and revelators.

Re: Clues along the way that it was all a fraud
The very first thing that should have set off some alarms for me was back in 1978 when women were allowed to say prayers in sacrament meeting again. I remember people in my ward making a HUGE deal about this.

My eyes were really opened, though, when I transferred to YBU for my last two years of college. It was a total culture shock for me and I thought the culture was the church!

"Recovery from Mormonism -"