On a mission. How can I leave??

setmefree Aug 2013

Hey guys I've been on a mission for almost a year now and have been secretly researching about the church because even though I've always been a firm believer for some reason i kind of woke up in the mtc. Now i have decided i need to get out. i can't keep lying anymore. i can't keep promoting Joseph smiths scam.

I can't simply go home though or my life will be miserable. i need to start collecting church material that proves the church is lying and hiding history so i can confront my mission president about it and then my parents. unfortunately non official church material as true as they could be, would just be considered 'anti'.

So i need you guys to give me references to where i can find church records of Joseph smiths wives (including 14 year olds) and ridiculous quotes from prophets seers and revelators, proof that the pearl of great price is gibberish, changes in the book of Mormon (I've been thinking of buying an 1830 version and mark Maggie changes). Is there any where i can find all the versions of the first vision?

i would appreciate all the help i can get. the sooner i can find these references, the sooner i can put them together i have a normal life without being manipulated and brainwashed by the church.
Hopefully I'll be able to help my parents and other missionaries see the truth.

Thanks guys!

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Good luck to you elder. Hope you find your way out safely.
Here are a few facts to help you:


Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
The D&C is full of crap you can use.
The BOM as well.

But none of it will do you any good as far as using it or anything else as an excuse to leave your mission. They don't care about any of that. "all will be explained in the afterlife" is what you will hear from them.

Either finish your mission as best you can and come home, get a job / go to school. Either way, move out on your own and live your life as you wish. If you come home early, no reason will be good enough. But if you do, the only way; it seems from what you've said will happen is to have a place to move too, or suffer through until you can move out on your own.

Best of luck..

Take it slow or make a clean break
Frankly, only a year into it isn't enough time to have gotten to the bottom of Mormonism.
Especially at your age your MP and parents won't listen to you even if you had iron-clad bright-as-noonday proof. The whole point of the mechanism of religion is how it deals with evidence...it's been doing it all along.
Religion is anti-evidence by definition. Evidence doesn't work, that's what religion is.
Besides, compiling evidence of a quantity and quality to compete with the church's professional apologists requires attorney-level work and tons of time. The church suffocates many would-be critics with sheer volume, and then they use personal defamation. Your own parents will accuse you of sin and dishonesty. Certainly your MP will only belittle you and patronize you.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Sandra and Jerald Tanner did a lot of good work and you can find it on their Web site at http://www.utlm.org/navonlineresources.htm
If you want to leave your mission now, I'm sure there are people who can help you escape, just let us know.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
I can't meet your requests, because to someone who is not open to Truth there exists no Church approved evidence the Church isn't True. You are right that the Curch is a fraud, and having been through the MTC you have now become a tool for evangelizing the fraud. I don't blame you for not wanting to fill that role anymore. It is one of the darkest things Mormon parents and the Mormon church ask of its' young adults.

I do not know of a way to make it all good. There is a way to make it good for yourself though and that is be genuine and do not forestall being genuine. That will only lead to regret.

The Mormon church is a fraud, it's not your fault. You know this now, you are a missionary for the Mormon church. They would like you to ignore your knowledge and act with indifference or disappear. What are you going to do now? It's your life, it's your problem. You are right to seek allies and knowledge here, it is here, but you have to make your moral and integrity choices, no one can make them for you.

Some Mormon parents love their children more than the Mormon church, not many. Mine did not. You cannot control that though. You can control being a missionary though.

Best. Don't be bullied, it's your life. You are accountable for how it turns out. Don't regret allowing yourself to be bullied. It might be true that you have been bullied, but that excuse for staying a missionary doesn't make you feel good by saying it though.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Leaving a mission is hard. I considered leaving mine, for different reasons, but didn't have the courage to do so. (Fortunately, I became an 18-monther.) I still believed in the core of the church, so only taught that, carefully avoiding anything else (which wasn't hard, considering how few discussions we did.) If you can't do that, then you deserve it to everyone to leave.

I suggest writing a letter to your parents and then talk to your mission president and ask to be released. Don't make it into an intellectual argument--you aren't going to convince believers that you're justified. Moreover, they will think that your problem is an intellectual one and argue back.

Religion is faith, not proof. I thought I felt the "spirit" when I was young. When I chose to leave the church, I felt a confirmation in exactly the same way. I have found that with few TBMs I have told this to, it shuts the discussion down immediately (I happen to think it was brain chemicals, but to believers it's more.)

I suppose my overall point is that if you leave, you should make it personal. If you attack, they will defend and may even be genuinely offended. Don't make it about them, make it about you and your free will.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
I opted to come home after 8 months on the mission, hopefully I can offer you a few pointers.

Confronting your MP will not do you any good. If anything, it will just put you in a hostile situation. Worse yet, he could wind up confusing you with a bunch of apologist dribble. Be honest and up front. Inform him that you no longer want to be on your mission. You have to be careful with your timing on this one though. Have a plan. I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT come home unless you have a plan put together. Accept the possibility that your family may not accept you when you come home. Have a backup plan. A non-mo family member or friend who can put a roof over your head till you get on your feet.

Get a job, find a place of your own, be as independent as you can, and do all these things as soon as you are able.

I was actually going to sit down and tell everyone here the story of my mission when I saw your post. Keep an eye out for it. Hopefully it can provide you with some insight.


Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Your parents and leaders thought you were adult enough to decide to give up two years for a mission.

You are also adult enough to change your mind about it without having to justify it.

If you try to argue with them over details, it will only end with lots of hurt feelings all around. No one on either side will understand the other.

"It is personal and I dont want to talk about it."

William Law
Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Just leave if you want to because proving the church false won't change anyone, so might as well just go. You're an adult and they can't make you do anything you don't want to.

They make the claims, so they are responsible for backing up the claims. All you have to do is when they tell you that you just need to "feel" the spirit, tell them that you don't think feelings are a valid way to know if something is true.

It doesn't need to be complicated.

It's your life, your time, and your money.

Elder you are wasting your time
If you think you are going to have a meaningful conversation with even the most damning evidence you are wasting your time. Mormon leadership is fairly well inculcated in the dogma, anything you might show them would drive them immediately to denial and rejection of your hypothesis. The source doesn't matter and it doesn't matter how convincing you think your argument might be. It's a waste of breath and your evidence will be rejected and ignored.

My recommendation is that you simply make an appointment to see your president and TELL him you no longer believe the Church is true, that you are sure it's a scam and that YOU ARE GOING HOME PERIOD. If you are in a foreign country and they are holding your passport demand they return it to you immediately. If they do not notify the authorities, (most likely a consulate) You are not asking permission you are giving notice.

The burden of proof is ON THEM. THEY are the ones making extraordinary claims without any extraordinary evidence to back it up. When they bear their testimony and tell you they KNOW it's true beyond any shadow of a doubt be dismissive. Tell them you are glad that works for them but you aren't buying the cool aide any more.

Then pack your bags and go.

Remember the burden of proof is on them NOT YOU. That includes your parents. Confront them and asked them why they feed you this doctrine when a little research could have given them alternative views. Tell them that these issues are things upon which one would base their life and THEY OWED IT TO YOU to give an accurate world view, not a fairy tale to base your life on. The burden is to THEM not YOU. Your parents owe YOU and apology, not the other way around. Never apologize for being a victim, just take your life back.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Just get on a plane and leave.

You never "ask" to be released in the morg, you know they won't let you go.
You just need to do it.

You are an adult for Chrissakes.

If you are in the U.S. walk away.

If you are in a foreign country, go to the nearest U.S. embassy and tell them a cult is holding you and your passport hostage.

Insist on going home and refuse any further interviews with the MP or his reps.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
I wish I had words of advice but I dont really know what to say. All I will say is GOOD FOR YOU for seeking the truth, and not just living your life believing in something because it's expected of you. I am 30, married with 3 kids and its been hard transitioning out. You have the right to do, say, believe, think, and act upon your own life choices. Unfortunately with that comes lots of grief, judgments, and shunning from friends and family. It's really sad. Good luck, I say go home as fast as you can. If you want to start living a genuine life being true to what you believe, why waste another year of your life pretending?

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
You cannot convince someone the LDS church is a fraud unless they want to hear it. Your mission president doesn't. No amount of evidence will convince your MP. He will either reject your evidence or give you a lame answer why you're wrong.

If you want to go home then go. You are there voluntarily. You didn't sign a contract. You're not getting paid.

Tell your MP that you want to go home and to make the necessary travel arrangements. You don't owe him any explanations. When he asks why you want to leave tell him whatever you want or not. If he refuses to let you leave call your parents if you think they will be supportive. Otherwise just leave. If you're in a foreign country and your MP won't give you your passport go to the nearest embassy or consulate of your home country. If you are in your home country borrow some money from someone and buy a bus ticket. It's not the most comfortable way to travel but it will get you there.

You will probably receive a lot of ostracism for from your family and ward members for going home early. Be ready for it.

Good luck to you.


agreed n/t 

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Best wishes to you and I am sure someone can be your refuge. You will need someone when you first get home....try any nonmormon you know. Many here can help you with the info you need.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
It is all about agency. You are a volunteer. You can terminate (end) your involvement. You have but one life to live. Do not waste time because that is what life is made of. Make eye to eye contact with your MP, tell him; "I am finished. I am going home."

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Dude, if you can't leave, at least try to have fun during the rest of your mission. If you are lucky, you'll get paired with another "apostate". Use this time to check out all the sites your mission has to offer. Go to the movies, go to the beach if available, go hiking, watch tv if possible, sunbathe, go out to dinner. Treat it as one big vacation.

If you get caught without your proselytizing gear, just claim you were doing a service project for an investigator or some other bs story (I'm not even sure if they allow service projects anymore).

Just call in each night and report some bogus numbers (the Church has lied to you-- lie right back). If you're not lucky enough to be with another "apostate", then at least do the bare minimum in order to prevent being sent home. Enjoy your stay!

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
I like that strategy.

s4711 logged out
Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Agreed--you don't owe anyone an explanation.

In fact, the more cards you hold close to your chest the more cards you will have when you really need them.

You changed your mind, enough said. You don't have to talk about belief or non-belief or any of that. You feel like it is time for you to go home, that's all you need to say.

Don't let the MP or anyone else (companion, DL's, ZL's, or AP's bully or shame you). Again, keep your cards close to your chest. Nobody needs an explanation from you (especially if said explanation might prompt them to use unfair tactics to coerce your staying).

This is your decision, own it. Have a plan. Don't take "No." for an answer. Keep pressure on your MP until the gears are in motion for you to go home. In fact, keep pressure on the situation until you are on the plane homeward.

I would withdraw all the money you can as the situation progresses so that your accounts aren't frozen with cash in them. Keep your personal papers on your person (driver's license, visa, passport if the mission home hasn't taken it already, etc.). Don't get too paranoid but don't trust anyone at this stage. I've seen some weird @#$%& go down as missionaries start to broach this subject with the MP (circles where elders testify at you to keep you from going etc.--who knows what this cult is capable of, honestly).

Good luck.

Keep your head held high. You are a badass!

Brian M
Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
In my opinion the best points to bring up as reasons why you can't in good conscience continue to act as a missionary are that:

1)Abundant plagiarism from the New Testament is in the BOM

2)D&C abruptly alters and adds verses to the claimed revelations in the Book of Commandments

3)Every single word in the Book of Abraham facsimile's were translated completely wrong and not remotely what they actually represent.

And your integrity can no longer allow you to teach that these books are what they claim to be.

That being said, I wouldn't necessarily offer these points as evidence to convince your parents and mission president that the church is completely false as a whole in an intense debate format. Instead I would recommend that you explain that because of these things you have discovered your integrity demands that you end your mission. No other explanation is necessary. Not even this explanation is necessary. You can just leave. They have no authority over you.

If anyone tries to convince you that you will regret your decision or debates with you explain that you need to follow your conscience and thank them for their concern to not come off as hostile.

You are in a subordinate position. There is probably nothing you can say to convince them you are right, but you can convince them that you have decided you are ending your mission based on your integrity.

Be firm in your position, but don't attack or argue, just tell them if anything that you are leaving.

You won't regret getting this over with now. Go for it.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
One more thing. You are an ADULT. Nobody can legally force you to do anything you don't want to do or stop you from doing something you do want to do, unless that thing is illegal.

People will try to coerce you to believe, act, perform a certain way. Some will use rewards when you do the thing they want you to do. Others will try to punish you when you don't do what they want. Be aware of this but always remember, you are an ADULT.

In the end, you can only control what you do. You cannot control how other people respond to your actions, nor should you try. Realize that every decision has consequences. Some are good, some are bad.

Take ownership of your life, your decisions, and the consequences of those decisions. What you are doing is a first step down a path of your choosing. Follow a path that makes you happy. People who truly love you will support you.

Just leave, and don't look back
No amount of evidence you collect will convince anyone of anything they aren't open to hearing in the first place. My advice is that you save yourself the headache of trying to justify your descision to everyone, which will only be a painful, humiliating and ultimately pointless process. Just tell your Mission president you can't continue serving a cause you no longer believe in. He doesn't have any power to keep you in the field if you want out. As to your family and friends back home, you don't owe it to them to stay in the church either, nor do you owe them a convincing argument for leaving. You'll probably do a lot more to wake them up to reality by simply showing them that you are a mature adult who can live a happy balanced life without the church's influence.

Don't bother explaining
You are young, but not helpless. Go home, get a job, save your money and go to school. Take student loans until you can earn a scholorship...there are more scholarships in-house at universities than you can imagine. Or start a business or learn a trade or do whatever it takes to support yourself.

It's just that simple. Your parents will most likely never agree with your decision to leave the church (unless they find the courage to do the same one day).

So leaving your mission is only a speedbump to you getting on with your life. The bigger obstacles will come down the road as your friends and family treat you like an outcast. But that gets better over time when they realize they aren't going to shame you back into the church.

You are an adult volunteer. You don't need to tell your Mission President anything. Just leave. They will harangue you and treat you like a runaway slave, but ignore it - they can't stop you from leaving.

Best of luck to you and congratulations for figuring out the scam at a young age. Welcome to the best part of your life!

anon for this
Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Realize, too, that you are not alone in going home now.

About one in six missionaries returns early for a huge array of reasons. Your reason is just as valid as anyone's and more if you are living your integrity.

Good luck.

You can't
I quickly learned that the evidence that convinced you to leave will not make one whit of difference unless the person you are talking to already harbors doubts.

Write to your parents and tell them you want to come home. You probably already know how they will react. If they push you to stay, decide whether you can tough it out. Maybe you can just coast the next year, come home, go to college (not BYU!) away from home, and fall into inactivity like many RMs.

If that doesn't work for you, figure out how to go home. Your MP will not let you go easily. If your parents are not on your side, you are in for a long struggle not only getting home, but re-establishing your life when you are in your parents' home again. Will they pay for your schooling after that? If not, can you pay for it on your own?

Don't count on deconverting anyone. Just try to figure out how to build your post-mission life as an Exmo. College and career are your top priorities in your 20s.

I'm so sorry you're caught in this terrible situation.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid the facts won't matter to the MP or the folks back home. Facts and logic did not convince them of anything about their church. They're depending of feelings, testimony and fragmented hope and belief.

I see two possibilities:

1. Stay in the mission and keep studying. Bide your time and leave the mormon church once you're released.

2. Bite the bullet, go home and suffer the consequences.

I'm so sorry that this cult imprisons young people in their prime for two years. Do take care and be strong. You have it right. The Mormon church is wrong in their policies and totally false in their doctrine.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
You have ZERO obligation to confront the Mission Pres. at this stage of things, in your highly compromised position as a Missionary for LDS Inc.

Your first priority is to preserve yourself and your sanity.
You realized Mormonism is false. Thats a huge step toward preserving your sanity.

Also realize this: Your Mission president may very well know that MORmONISM is not all that it claims religiously, but its a social and cultural vehicle that he is highly vested in at this point in his life, and that's all the *validity* that he needs right there, and he isn't going to abandon it at this point, even over Rock solid facts that are merely piddling details are far as he is concerned. Your life / well being at this point is a piddling detail to him, EVEN IF YOU ARE PERCEIVED AS A FAITHFOOL BELIEVER. As a dissenter you will mean even less to MORmON administration.

You have already cleared the biggest hurdle which is getting rid of the internal hook and the internal pressure. Take a deep breath and congratulate yourself.

I don't know how your parents will want to react. MY male parent would have disowned me! He wanted to kill me after I quit the church after I was home! Each situation is different. Frankly, seriously, you might be better off to play your parents for support until you can become more independent, if they are typical Mormon parents then THEY ARE DAMN SURE PLAYING YOU RIGHT NOW by having you on a mission to make them look good.
You need to make things work to your advantage, and you have ZERO obligation to be forthcoming with people who have so spitefully attempted to exploit you.

Keep us posted as you can, and we will do the best we can to help you work this out.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
I had a tough time on my foreign mission. Many tough times and doubts were real. Information was hard to come by. That was before the personal computer, and long before the internet. I wish I knew thirty years ago what I just discovered since Christmas 2012. My life would be totally different and better.

I really feel for you. The advice given above is valid. If you came home to my area and needed refuge, there's a spare bedroom waiting.

Now you have choices to make and I only mention the following as another option:

I've NEVER read a story about a missionary who emailed his resignation to Church Headquarters while on a full-time mission. Perhaps it has occurred and is not publicized.

If you plan to resign, and were to do it now, the LDS power grip would evaporate. Of course, you'd be infamous to the missionaries (who will never forget you) and/or you'd be an internet mini sensation.

Your personal mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well being is paramount.

If you need more comments, post again. Everyone here has a personal story. One of the respondents above is a former mission president. Most of us understand exactly your circumstance and want to help.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Some great advice here. The one thing I would echo is MAKE A PLAN. Someone in your family may agree with you, but don't count on it. They will more likely be angry and ashamed. Now my parents probably would have been cool about it, but there are plenty who wouldn't. You should therefore be ready to live on your own. You know your family best, but I wouldn't be surprised if they choose not to listen to you and threaten to cut you off financially. You should probably write or call and tell them you are experiencing doubts and it is causing you severe mental distress and making you physically ill - you want to come home. See the response you get before heading to the MP. You want to be in control of the timing and events!

If you can do it, try applying for jobs/schools right now. If you have a friend or family member (maybe exMo) who may give you a place to stay in a city you would like to live in, contact that person. If you are on a mission in your own country, you could also just look for a job in the area where you are, too. Remember though that to qualify for much cheaper resident tuition at any state college you or your parents must have lived and worked there for a year (details depend on state). Prepare to plunk yourself where you would like to be.

If you were a BYU student and apostatize they will kick you out and you won't be able to get a copy of any transcripts. You'll need to get extra sealed copies before you've come "out".

Hard as it is, I definitely recommend planning some next steps before you exit. If you do then want to talk about is, the recent NT Times interview with Mormon dissident Hans Mattson about a week ago might help you start. There is a transcript floating around the Internet of a meeting he and other Swedes had with church leaders (several threads link it from this site). It confirms several questionable history points.

Good luck figuring this out. Move slowly and thoughtfully and feel free to come back for more help and advice. We are all like you, finding our way out of the cult.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Bite the bullet.... Tell all...

Leave now!

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Hi Elder Setmefree
Nothing you say will make any difference. You just have to do the right thing for you. If that means faking it for another year to keep your kin happy, so be it. We all have our own cross to bear. If you can muster the courage to be done with it all, simply book your ticket then call your MP and tell him you're going home.
Good luck.
Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
"For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, "It might have been'"

John Greenleaf Whittier

Regret is not comforted easily, you will become an independent adult at some time in your life. I cannot advise, but I can inform. Mormonism and Mormon relationships do not improve over time if you are operating from a place of disingenuousness to your values.

You might have to go through some struggle now, but you will have to go through struggle later. How long until you get there, to the struggle, and the other side is within your control now. No promises to "all being well", but that is the case for everyone.

Cowboy Jesus
Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
When I arrived in the mission home the first thing they did was take my passport away.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
setmefree - Without revealing exact details, can you say what country and/or region you're in? I'm sure we have people everywhere who might be able to help you if necessary.

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
www.lds-mormon.com has lots of resources: http://www.lds-mormon.com/ I gave the link so it doesn't show up in search history. Trust me, they'll check your tube socks for semen. Use the link

Re: On a mission. How can I leave??
Very simple
1. pack your bags
2. Go to the bus depot
3. Buy a ticket to somewhere
4. Leave and never look back.
If you truly believe in yourself and are man enough this is the simplest step to take.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"