What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?

by mcindy20 May 2012

I am a never Mormon in a deeply Mormon family (in laws). Just curious what first made you question the Church?

CA girl
Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
The first vision didn't happen the way it's taught in the church today. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence it didn't happen at all - Joseph Smith just made it up later to legitimize his so-called church. His own handwritten accounts of the first vision are different than what is taught in the church today. Specifically, I learned they proved there were no religious revivals anywhere near Palmyra in 1820. If you know the story, it was the confusion caused by the revivals that caused Joseph Smith to go into the sacred grove to pray in the first place and the answer to that prayer, supposedly, is the so-called First Vision. When I heard that it was a provable historical fact that there were no revivals, I knew I was being lied to and that it was just a matter of figuring out how much I was being lied to. Also, Gordon B. Hinckely said a number of times that either the first vision is the greatest event in history or the church was a fraud. According to their own prophet, I can prove it's a fraud. Here is a link to more info on the first vision:



Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
I had done some research on the First Vision before, but I learned a few things from these links. Did not know he applied for member ship to a Methodist Church and his prayer asking about a Supreme being after the vision, etc. Interesting. I have done some research on Mormon history that has been proven wrong. Thanks.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
I was camping with my best friend a couple of weeks before we were both to enter the MTC, and he introduced me to the Adam God Theory. The rest slowly (very slowly during my mission) unravelled over next 4 years. As I recall (this was about 30 years ago), my issue was not with the theory - it's no weirder than most other gospel principals - but with the church leadership trying to brush it under the rug.

It's no one thing.
I learned about Smith's philandering with underage girls and other men's wives when I was in my 30s after a lifetime of Mormon activity that included a mission and a degree at BYU. That opened my eyes. After that, I learned that Smith had a previous career of money digging using the same peep stone and a similar scheme that he used to "translate" the golden plates into the Book of Mormon. Next, I studied the Book of Abraham and found it to be a rather obvious hoax. That was the last straw, and I was OUT.
definitely Joseph Smith's credibility
I was always bothered by polygamy, and felt that something was wrong with me because I couldn't accept it.

Then I found out about polyandry and my immediate thought was,"this was not ordained of god...it was all about sex".

Anything that resembled a testimony was gone within an hour of reading about JS sending men on missions and 'marrying' their wives in their absence.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
on May 4 Bill Maher did a broadcast that said the mormons are secretive...like fight club. They are so slippery when anyone questions their weird take on reality. They jump back and act like you are trying to hit them in the face when you touch on anything that is real and truthful but doesn't paint them in a positive light. Bill pointed out that catholics serve up their crazy like a main course. They don't try to sugar coat it...but the mormons. .. they want to be "normal" , "mainstream" , cool. And they are just as carzy, if not more crazy that any other religion I can think of. And even though the Jews wear tallit and black hats, no one is trying to make them shamed if they don't want to wear them or be orthodox. But mormons are all over trying to "police" their agenda. They cute girls out of Provo proms for wearing dresses that expose their shoulders. They act all sickening when they find out someone left the mormon faith. They are just crappy haters.
Uncle Dale
Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
My case is slightly different, since I left a "Mormon" church
other than the one headquartered in Salt Lake City -- one
that historically taught Joseph Smith was a monogamist.

My reasons for leaving that group are multiple, but the one
"discovery" that most concerned me, was my realizing that
the Church leaders were knowingly lying, when they promoted
the story of Joseph Smith having been a monogamist.

From the very top, down to the level of leadership just
above the congregational priesthood, the Church officials
knew that the Smith brothers (Joseph, Hyrum & William) had
been practicing polygamists --- and yet those same officials
would teach the opposite in public sermons and classes.

I was too dense to detect the deception for a couple of
decades. I'm told that the Church's stance on this particular
historical doctrine is now changing to match the "real world."

Too little and too late for my tastes.


Three things
First was the literal belief in a global flood about 4500 years ago. I never could believe that story even as a child, I figured it was just a story, afterall the bible isn't emphasized much in mormonism, but realized more and more that a literal interpretation is the church's official stance on the matter.

Soon I would cringe every time a modern "prophet" alluded to the age of the earth as 6000 years, implying that the flood must have happened about 4500 years ago, when that could not possibly be the case as several early civilizations around the globe were thriving uninterrupted by such an event.

Second was the holy ghost. Don't get me wrong, I had warm fuzzies all the time. But as soon as I had them I started wondering wether they actually really came from the holy ghost and how I could possibly know that. I also had a few experiences as a kid that teached me to become quite a sceptic of the holy ghost.

Third: I noticed as a teen that there were horses in the BoM. And I knew from other sources that there were no domesticated horses in America before Columbus. As a child I had never bothered really paying attention to the BoM, it seemed just like a bunch of (incredibly boring) fairytales to me not meant to be taken literally.

But not long after I had discovered horses in the BoM I read an article in Liahona called "it became real" or something like that. I finally realized that good mormons don't read scripture as a bunch of boring stories, they actually believe it's historical fact. (that's when I realized that I was supposed to take the global flood as literal fact too).

One would think that with this damning evidence I would immediately leave church. I didn't. I turned to mopology. Mopology didn't work (it rarely does for a thinking person) but I was scared back into the fold by anti-mormons. True anti-mormons which are evangelical christians who doesn't know a thing about mormonism (except that it's a "satanic cult") and wants you to convert you to their nonsense by attacking strawmen about mormonism.

Now I was a jackmormon for a few years, never went to church unless I had to. It was just too painful to admit that I was actually a fullblown sceptic. Then I got a very strong spiritual experience, so I tried for a few months to find the god I had experienced in mormonism. I didn't succeed, I became more and more inactive again, until finally I decided to examine the evidence for and against mormonism.

So I weighted the evidence. The three major ones I've mentioned and lot's of other stuff I've picked up along the way. But it really boiled down to those three I've mentioned. The first three.

I even did Moronis test and got the warm fuzzies both when I asked if it was false and when asked if it was true. That confirmed to me that warm fuzzies had nothing to do with god and therefore the evidence in favor mormonism crumbled into almost nothing. I decided to leave (or rather stay inactive the rest of my life as I didn't know you could resign). The day after, as if it were a sign from god, I read an article in the newspaper about exmormons and found this place.

Sorry for not being born in an english-speaking country! 

Re: Sorry for not being born in an english-speaking country!
No need to apologize, I'm just letting you know.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
Polygamy, marrying other men's wives.
Priesthood ban even though New Testament said there were no longer any group of people who were unclean.
Mismatch between Mormon version of history and what actual archeologists had discovered.
Mismatch between Mormon view of the universe and science.

Church leaders lying and hiding their history!

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
That is ok Brefots...I knew what you meant.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
I didn't look at anything, but I suppose you could say that I 'discovered' or realized that the Church was actually hurting my self-esteem with its never-ending pressure to be perfect.

I wondered why I was letting them do that to me and so I simply walked away. I didn't begin studying the truth until 4 years after that, which allowed me to officially resign once I knew the truth and had not a single doubt anymore.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
I came home from church, sat down at my computer, and went down the list of all the "problems" the church has.
It hit me that the church is not what it claims to be.
The leadership are lying now, and have since the beginning.
All of the suffering and sacrifices I'd experienced in the name of religion were for naught. It was all unnecessary. The church had made my life miserable. They had no problem continuing down that path.
I was struck by the enormity of the lie. The church that had always demanded the truth from me. The church where I had learned that honesty was everything, and lying would get me sent to hell. That church had lied to me all my life. I knew there was nothing that could fix that. Nothing. I walked into the room my husband was in. I told him everything I'd just read. He said "we're done" and we were. Just like that. It was a sunday evening.
When I grew up, the emphasis on being the one true church was

I got old enough to look at the big wide world. Most humans live and die without even hearing the word 'Mormon'.

It was obvious the Mormon God was really incompetent in getting the word out about a church that claimed to be so important - or they were lying.

I don't know exactly what the catalyst was
I was an absolute TBM with a strong testimony, born and raised in Mormonism. Over time, more and more things just didn't make sense. I tried to find answers, but in the end I just had to push them all to the back of my mind and accept that I would have the answers someday. Subconsciously, I must have figured it out, because in my early 20's, I stopped getting answers to my prayers. I no longer got that warm, happy feeling that I'd always had before when I prayed to ask if it was true.
All the anti-Mormons I'd heard before were like brefots described, evangelical Christians who didn't know anything about Mormonism. Then in 2006, Romney was a possible presidential candidate and I was curious about what non-Mormons thought about a Mormon running for president. My google search ended up on RfM. I don't remember exactly what I read here, but I said, "Holy @#$%&!" out loud in the empty room, as I suddenly realized it was all fake.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
I discovered my home teachers were misogynist creeps who thought I didn't fit the profile of the submissive LDS wife. Gave me a copy of Fascinating Womanhood and said it was a book that would make my marriage happier. I read it and promptly threw it in the trash.
Stray Mutt
I discovered I was deeply unhappy.
Then I discovered my mission president and a visiting GA were @ssholes instead of men of God.

Then I discovered psychology and the principles of mental manipulation, emotional blackmail, cult behavior and other things that had me thinking, "Hey, they do this stuff in the church."

Then I discovered nothing bad happened after I quit going to church.

Then I discovered I was perfectly able to stay out of trouble and run my life without the church, that I was basically a good person (and so was the majority of everyone else).

Then I discovered I was happy.

Then I discovered I was an atheist.

Only after all that did I discover the usual historical and doctrinal stuff. But it was kind of irrelevant to me by then.

DNA evidence against the BoM was devastating. Learning 99.6% of ancient Americans came from Asia and not Israel
The details of the temple ceremony circa 1800's was another nail in the Mormon coffin for me.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
Greyfort, this is what I don't get. When you feel pressured like you did and your self esteem is going in the tank, WHY do most of the Mormons allow that to go on? Glad you saw it for what it is. Without any study at all, I would be gone.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
I guess it's a "what if" fear. "What if they're right and if I leave, I'll end up not seeing my family forever?" But once you know, because of evidence, that it's all a fraud, then you lose that fear. As long as I had that "what if" fear, I stayed in.

ambivalent exmo
Joseph smiths polyandry/polygamy
Fanny Alger, and the lds.org family pedigree chart of Joe smith.

I was done.

I have a 14 year old daughter.
The end.
Thanks lds.org and FAIR/MAXWELL INSTITUTE.

Well done.

Anon Regular lurker
Book of Abraham the Obvious fraud
I was actually doing research on the BoA. I had read a book, written by a member of the church, detailing the events of how JS got the scrolls, (Lebolo, etc). I thought it was actually one of the coolest things JS ever had done really. I don't remember now if the book actually mentions that the original sensen texts had been found, and the church had them...or the internet, but I turned to the internet for the next step in my research. If the scrolls had been found, and we have them, how cool is that, just like the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Well, it didn't take long on the internet, that I learned that in fact the original scrolls DID exist, and the church had them.

Long story short, it hit me like a punch in the face, this is such an OBVIOUS FRAUD, and it's provable! It's right there in front of me. I remember that moment vivedly now. I remember the wave of calm that came over me, I realized at that moment that the church was a fraud. I had been skepical long before this, mainly with issues of Science contradicting religion..IE: mormons teach the earth is only 6000 years old! What...I knew that wasn't true in the 5th grade. What about dinosaurs?

Well, of course now that I had the biased/rose tinted glasses removed that mormonism had me glued to for the first 35 years of my life, it was EASY to see that the BOM was a fraud as well, and that the romanticized stories, and history of JS the church liked to portray, was simply not true....The list goes on and on and on...JS the wife stealer, or bank fraudster, etc.

Science, what a great thing! It got me out!

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
the racesim, the sexsim, the fact joe smith "owns" a house slave in the afterlife, the kindhook plates, the liahona, the fact BY had kkk connections,kolob, god being a "progrssing god, the mmm, polygammy, joe smith having 14 year old wives, secret rituals, upside down pentagrams on the temples, dinosaurs, white native americans, darker skin people are evil, mark of cain, masonic influnces, never feeling the spirt and the heirarchy within the church, im sure theres alot more that im forgetting but you get the point
Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
This is easy: I concluded by reading original church history on a web site that there were no golden plates from any angel and no translations! Bingo. Joseph Smith Jr. created a God Myth out of his incredible supernatural, metaphysical claims and visions. And it worked. And it's still working.

My initial reaction was to snicker and laugh and laugh and laugh at how he managed to build a whole new church with supernatural, metaphysical claims and visions. It's really a story of American religion borrowing from many other ones based predominately on Christianity at the time.

It only makes sense, in my view, in the times: early 1800 New York. Of course, he was not alone, others made similar claims and created churches.

The rest is just humans being human with their ideas of the times.

History channel show on Masonry.
I was shocked at seeing temple robes on the TV. It completely freaked me out. It still took another couple of years before I gave myself permission to do a google search.

Once I did it was all over. The link between Masonry and the Endowment probably wouldn't have been enough to kill my testimony. However, while sticking with the pro-mormon sites like FARMS and FAIR I also learned about translantion problems with the BOA, DNA problems with the Lamanites, underaged girls and Horney Joe, Married women and Horny Joe, Dr. Bennet and Horney Joe, complete lack of archeological evidence for BOM, 3k+ text changes to the BOM...........

Farms and Fair killed my testimony.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
1. William Law and his Nauvoo Expositor
2. Joseph's 34 wives.

On the Internet, I stumbled upon a re-creation of the Nauvoo Expositor ( http://www.solomonspalding.com/docs/exposit1.htm ) that I'd heard of before. I hadn't, though, previously realized that it was written by William Law, the 1st Counselor to prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. The paper revealed Joseph's sexual exploitations and Counselor William Law's objections to it. The printing press used in making the paper was destroyed by Joseph, leading to his incarceration, leading to his death by a group of men pissed about the destruction of property, freedom of press, and boinking of 14-year old girls. After his death, it was discovered that Joseph had had sex with married women and sent men on missions so Joseph could bed their wives ... including the revered writer of the beloved song "Oh My Father", miss Eliza R Snow.

I realized how the facts differed from the sanitized church version of events: Joseph was martyred by a mob randomly whipped up by the devil, and he married an extra woman or two while Emma wrung her hands about it.

I then realized that it was all man-made, that Joseph fabricated the church for his benefit, and that church leaders today intentionally hide these facts and obfuscate the truth of the church's origins.

I've since come to grips with the cultish nature of the church, and all the other garbage. But to pinpoint what I discovered, it was the true nature of the details surrounding Joseph's downfall and death.

I recently read Grant Palmer's book on the matter. This is a man who taugh seminary for 34 years and never knew these details either. Once he discovered them, he too realized how false the church is. I think it's core to anyone's belief.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
That a liar and con man, Mark Hoffmann, could fool the president of the church and apostles with forged documents. That was the beginning of the slide for me.

Hoffman did it for me too
I was amazed at the lack of ability by a "Prophet,Seer and Revelator to detect a fraud. This immediately led to an investigation of the BoA which collapsed under it's own weight. This all happened long before the internet...I wonder what "damage" the internet must be doing to testimonies now?

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
A lot of ingredients went into it.
Let's start with Emma looking through the crack in a barn and seeing my beloved prophet engaging in sneaky activity with Fanny Alger. All of a sudden my beloved prophet was not on my happy list. Add to that, no other members having a problem with that. I found that strange it was acceptable to them.
Throw in a little church manual and films depicting our early leaders as monogomists when they were not, and showing Joseph in a film treating Emma like gold and like there was no other.
That there was the beginning of the slippery slide: Wrong behavior excused as right behavior by the saints merely because the leaders said so, completely accepting of all the lame excuses (no matter how idiotic) they are given to digest wrong doing.

Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
1. Book of Abraham mistranslation. When the actual papyrus Joseph Smith used to "translate" was discovered, modern-day Egyptolygists debunked the whole thing.

2. DNA evidence that proved the Native Americans (Lamanites) were descendents of Asian ancestors, not Hebrew. Then the title page of the Book of Mormon was changed later that year to reflect the discrepency.


Re: What exactly did you find out or discover first to make you leave the Church?
I was EQ teacher and had to prep for a lesson called, "Temples of the Lord". Being a fairly new convert, I knew nothing about the mormon temples. So I researched them online and kept finding references to the masons. Since I knew nothing about the masons, I researched them online for several hours. What I discovered was that masonic lore contains a long list of very familiar parallels, including a first vision account in the Legend of Enoch. Too many parallels to mormonism, to the point I threw up my hands and said to myself, he stole his best material from the masons, not only was he not a prophet, he was a plagiarist. I left the following week. That was in 2001.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"