I’m not interested in arguing with a view to convert another person to my opinion.
I respect everyone’s right to believe.
I’m just posting my personal experience of deconversion from a superstitious belief system, which until recently I ‘knew’ to be true, till I realised I was mistaken.
I now realise true knowledge is not gained from ‘warm & peaceful feelings of the spirit’, as good as that feels!
Facts don’t care how we feel about them. Factual truth does not depend on our preferences.
It is entirely possible to believe in something with complete faith which is demonstrably untrue. In fact most Mormons believe other religious adherents to their particular faith systems are actually deceived by Satan.
This means that some people believe their own particular religion will save them, yet they are worshipping the wrong god!
Tragically their beliefs are in fact damnable false lies.
Children may completely & totally believe in the existence of Santa Clause, but their parents know it’s just a type of fun make believe. A fantasy adding magic & excitement to Christmas.
I am convinced I have personally believed several damnable false lies for my entire life!
Their are lots of examples, but I’ll highlight a couple below.
As an example I believed Joseph Smith was a prophet of God & was honest in his dealings. I believed Joseph Smith was an honourable man, even though he was a normal human being, and that he would never have been involved in illicit activities. I believed he was only married to one wife, Emma, during his mortal life, but had heard of other women married to him in Temple Sealings after he died.
To my horror after reading Chris Tolworthy’s site “The Church is True, The Church is Not True!” ~ http://www.exmormon.org.uk/tol_arch/atozelph/twosides.htm
There I discovered that Joseph Smith was polygamously married to at least 33 women. Eleven of whom were already married to other living men at the same time! And Joseph married several teenagers including a couple of 14 year old girls!
This sickened me to the core!
I later discovered Joseph had lied to his wife, the Church & the world at large through newspaper articles about these illegal relationships.
He said God had declared it was wrong. Yet at that time he was involved in several polygamous & polyandrous relationships.
Quoting from “brotherofelijah”:
“1. FACT: Joseph Smith married other men’s wives, 11 of them.
2. FACT: That practice is clearly a violation of D&C 132, which requires that a ‘plural wife’ belong to no one else. (women = possessions)
3. FACT: According to D&C 132 and more importantly, the Bible, marrying somebody who is already married to somebody else is adultery.
4. FACT: Consummating your relationship with somebody else’s wife is adultery.
5. FACT: D&C 132:61 clearly states the ONLY purpose of practicing plural marriage, to raise up a righteous generation, to multiply.
6. Since God didn’t restrict husbands from consummating their relationships with their plural wives, why would anybody assume otherwise?
7. Whether he had sex with them or not isn’t even the issue, he violated the “Law of the Priesthood” before he heard it straight from God, and after he heard it straight from God.
8. Fact. Then he lied about it & so did 3 so-called ‘Prophets’, after him.
9. The definition of a prophet is somebody who sees truth and speaks truth. If they lie, they’re false prophets.
10. Joseph Smith was a false prophet, as were all the prophet who have followed him, including Warren Jeff’s, who seems to have patterned his life after Joseph Smith’s sexual practices and now sits in Federal Prison because of it.”
At the time Joseph Smith was practising these illegal marriages he pretended to receive a revelation from God telling the Church that it was wrong to practice polygamy. In my view he did this in order to pretend it wasn’t happening and try to stop the speculation.
D&C 104:1: “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.”
In other words he denied it by lying!
Currently the Church teaches that the Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God through the use of the Urim & Thummim. It depicts Joseph sitting at a table with the gold plates in front of him & separated from his scribe by a cloth or curtain. Yet every personal account of the translation process written by his wife & other scribes tell a different story with the gold plates not even visible in the room & Joseph sticking his head in a hat using the same peep stone used in criminal activities from his youth!
My testimony was not based on the facts, but a different version. A fictitious version of events.
These are two examples of believing something which I later discover was wrong.
The whole of the origins of Mormonism & the evidences for the Book of Mormon is replete with them. (see link at bottom of page for a thorough essay on this by Tyler Young)
My testimony, which I believed would enable me to gain exaltation one day if I was worthy, was based on stories which have been sanitised & twisted to be faith promoting propaganda.
One of the Church Apostles Elder Boyd K Packer has said Mormons should not value all truth, only that truth which is faith promoting!
Elder Boyd K Packer:
“Some things that are true are not very useful.”
Very useful for increasing the faith of the believers, but not very honest!
Therefore, my testimony was not exactly based on factual truth. I don’t believe a righteous, loving God would want his children to be saved by fictitious stories.
My God (when I believed) was totally & scrupulously honest. To a fault!
As I tried to be!
I believed in the concept of truth as taught in D&C 84:45, which says: “…whatsoever is truth is light…”
I believe in being totally honest with my fellow man. One could say I’m trying to be more honest than the Church which taught me to be honest. Which was quite a shock, when I realised.
Yet my interest now is in the whole concept of belief in general.
Why do people all around the world in different religions believe in fictitious stories?
All religions claim the truth. They all have adherents who are devout & genuinely sincere in their beliefs.
Why can Mormons think their version of religion is true & at the same time so do all the others. Some religious believers, like certain Muslims, have even more fervour than Mormons?
Can only Mormons think they have the “fulness of the Gospel”?
For more information read this very comprehensive essay on the issue of damnable false lies:
“Why I left the Mormon Church” by Tyler Young: http://bit.ly/whytylerleft