Finding Out the Truth

I didn't expect things to turn out the way they did. After taking
the missionary discussions and with the support and
prompting of my friends and a few family members I was
baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints at the age of 14. It was a time of great happiness
but also of heartache. I radically changed my life in order to
join and conform to the church. This was not an easy decision
to make. Being the only member in my family had its share of
challenges and I had to put the church before my family in
many instances. I have always been the "black sheep" of the
family due to my conversion but I felt this was all justified
because I was part of the one and only true church, as I was

After being baptized I did everything I was supposed to do to
be considered a worthy and faithful member. I followed the
word of wisdom (no smoking, drugs or alcohol), didn't date
early, attended all my meetings and accepted all callings
given to me. I enjoyed the close bonds I quickly developed
with friends in the church. I loved seminary and served in the
seminary presidency during my senior year. I did whatever
was asked of me and I had no problem with it.

Shortly after high school I met my soul mate and best friend
and we were married in the temple. It was a beautiful day and
I was grateful for the love of close friends and ward members
that attended our wedding. The only family that we had
attending was my mom. She is not a member of the church
so she had to wait outside for us until the ceremony was
complete. Again, at the time I felt that it was worth it and that
she would eventually join the church if I continued to be a
good example of its true teachings. Then we would all be in
the temple together one day with the rest of our family.

Fast forward seven years and we now have a child who is our
little miracle. We are part of an LDS congregation with good
friends and a lot of support. Until just recently I was serving in
the Relief Society presidency and my husband was the
Gospel Doctrine teacher. We did our best to make sure our
lessons were well thought out and insightful. It was during
preparation for a lesson regarding church history, doing
some research online, that we gradually came across some
startling information that had been left out of our church
manuals entirely. It appeared as though great measures were
taken to cover up the authentic history of the church. We were
not expecting what we found.

Upon uncovering these facts it became impossible to believe
the claims of the church. The things that I was taught were not
correct. I was devastated. How could this be? How could I be
misled this way, and for so long? How could I give so much of
my time, talents and 10% of my income without knowing the
truth? Why couldn't it all be consistent with what the church
leaders said? That would make everything so much easier.
Unfortunately for us, there were too many wrongs to possibly
make a right out of this situation.

I won't go into specific details of our findings unless it is
requested as I am aware that many would rather not know
information that may be upsetting. If you are happy with your
faith as it stands as a member of the LDS Church I would
highly recommend not looking too deeply into church history
or doctrine. I only say this because I was so caught off guard.
You will very likely have a trial of your faith if you choose to
pursue any more than what is in the manuals. Personally I am
happier knowing the whole truth rather than the half truths and
fabrications I was told, but that is not the case for everybody.

Throughout this discovery I have felt hurt, betrayed, used,
abused, extorted and sick to my stomach. Leaving the church
is not going to be a simple journey for us. It is definitely not
the easy way out. We have so much to sort through and to try
to understand. We still have a basic belief in God but all of
the things that we claimed to "know" before are up for
question. It is not a comfortable place to be, but there is no
going back.

I am writing this in full disclosure so that I no longer feel the
need to avoid the questions when others from church ask
where we have been or wonder what we are up to. This is
also an attempt to support the fact that we have done nothing
wrong but have merely stumbled on some truths that we could
not reconcile. As one president of the church said, "Each of
us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a
fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and
kingdom of God, or it is nothing." - President Gordon B.
Hinckley. "Loyalty," April Conference, 2003.

In my view it is not right to baptize someone into a church
without giving them an accurate history of that church and
what it teaches. For some it may be possible to discover all
of the skeletons in the closet of the LDS church and still
remain a faithful member. If my husband and I were the only
ones involved we might be able to play along and pretend we
didn't know what we know. But the fact is we cannot
consciously lie to our child and cause him the hurt and
confusion that we now feel.

I am aware of where the church stands on apostasy. I also
understand that many of our friendships will be lost or
severely damaged as a result of us resigning as members of
the LDS church. That is not something I am looking forward
to but I have to do what is right for myself and my family. If you
too have these concerns, have any questions or need a
friend, I am here and understand what you are going through.

***This letter was sent to over 200 LDS ward members,
family and friends.***