Chris Ralph’s Plea for Honesty to the First Presidency & Quorum of Twelve.

(Written as a follow-up to the two Open Letters containing vital questions the Church needs to answer in order to retain credibility & authority).

23rd December 2012

Dear First Presidency & Quorum of Twelve,

I am sorry I am writing this letter.

That is not an apology; it is a plain statement of fact. I sincerely am very sorry. It is regrettable that such a letter as this needs to be written at all.

However, when bishops and stake presidents find themselves unable to answer members’ basic concerns, and the Europe Area Presidency pointedly refuses to respond to crucial questions about the church’s foundational claims, it becomes obvious that something is very worryingly amiss. In such circumstances, what other option is there for troubled truth-seekers, than to refer the same unanswered questions to the fifteen men who are periodically sustained as prophets, seers and revelators, and who are sometimes reverentially termed “the living oracles”?

These matters are profoundly important, potentially influencing the daily lives of millions. Accordingly, answers are required from the governing body of the church. Whatever apologists, (self-appointed or otherwise), may have to say on the subject is irrelevant, unless of course, you, as that governing body, decide to endorse their ideas officially. In other words, a response needs to come directly from the horse’s mouth, and not from the mouth of just any aspiring stable-boy currently left to sweep up; stable-boys are hired and fired, and so their words carry no weight or authority.

You will, I assume, have some familiarity with my two Open Letters which were published earlier this year. If not, then they may be found here:
http://mormonisminvestigated.co.uk/2012/08/28/an-open-letter-to-europe-area-presidency-by-chris-ralph/

and here:
http://mormonisminvestigated.co.uk/2012/10/04/second-open-letter-to-area-presidency/

or alternatively here:
https://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/open-letter-to-europe-area-presidency-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints/

and here:
https://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/a-second-open-letter-to-the-europe-area-presidency/

For the sake of brevity, I will not at this point repeat the full content of those letters, but ask for your considered responses when you have read them. Please answer honestly and openly, and please do so without further undue delay.

We have clearly arrived at an important crossroads in the evolution of the church, and history will almost certainly not judge you kindly if the content of those letters continues to be ignored. They represent the questions of many thousands already conversant with the uncensored historical information which is increasingly available to inquiring minds.

In the UK it is becoming apparent that we are nearing tipping point. The proclamation just published by twelve British members is the clearest evidence that disengagement is well underway. They represent thousands in this land who might now be properly described as “closet doubters”.

And who is to blame for that doubt? Are the members themselves culpable, or the local leaders perhaps? Hardly so. Those now leaving in significant numbers had, in many cases, been stalwart defenders of the faith for many years; they are not luke-warm converts of a few weeks’ duration, who have turned away for lack of understanding of gospel principles or church government. The current local leaders in many cases find themselves placed in the unenviable position of trying to advise men and women who are more knowledgeable than they themselves are about the issues. It is not the bishops’ and stake presidents’ faults that they soon find themselves in retreat, incapable of answering and unable to help. Blame for this situation rests squarely with the institutional church itself.

In an age of rapid information exchange, the practice of serving up sanitized history and empty spiritual placebos to the overworked and under-valued members, is without doubt poisoning the whole body of the church. The physician can hardly blame the patient for this perilous mis-judgment.

The tide is rising rapidly, and millions more who have yet to awaken to the uncomfortable facts, (usually because they have been actively discouraged from looking for them by church leaders and teachers), will before long also find out. And then the fairytale must give way to an era of post-fairytale reality. That means pain, and fear, and a sense of the deepest emptiness for many who are undeserving of such traumas, but it is a process which cannot be halted, because surely the God of Truth has willed it this way.

I am reporting this to you, but presumably you are already more than cognisant of these enormous challenges, and so you will also understand that this situation leaves you with a plain choice: either to continue to lead the people in a state of perpetual denial and ignorance, or to teach them to live by a new-found faith and trust in objectivity, which will permit truth to lead us where it will. It ought not to be too difficult for men of real integrity, men of God, to make an enlightened choice. Have we not sung together many times: “Do what is right, let the consequence follow”? The time is upon us when trust in that admonition needs to be expressed both in word and deed.

It is essential above all else to acknowledge that a brazen denial of the past has never been true faith, but just an avoidance of reality; and stubbornness has never been genuine strength, but just arrogance in disguise. This nettle before you must be grasped; this bullet must be bitten. It is for you to act now if you do not wish to stand condemned, not by history alone, but by all honest men and women throughout the world who value truth.

Take for example the case of the Book of Abraham. Scholars have been in no doubt about its true provenance for well over 40 years. However, the church hierarchy has in effect concealed the known facts from the tithe-paying membership. Why? Why are such vital historical discoveries not taught to the members as a matter of honour and integrity? Why is the myth of the Abrahamic papyrus still perpetuated even though it is proven to be false? After all, we read in church-approved manuals: “When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.” (p. 181 Priesthood & Relief Society manual, see http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-31-honesty?lang=eng).

Why then the deafening silence over something so radically important to the issue of belief in the prophetic office of Joseph Smith? Brethren, as the manual properly affirms, this kind of concealment is dishonesty; it cannot be called anything else. That fact alone is deeply distressing, but there is worse, for when such dishonesty is coupled with soliciting donations from a membership which lives in fear of spiritual condemnation if it fails to comply, it might perhaps be argued that institutional dishonesty has crossed a line and has become deception with intent to defraud. Or at any rate that is what we would probably call it in the UK. That reflects shamefully on all of us, and so I urge you to address this issue, or risk your names being forever tainted.

In the UK, most members pay their donations with added tax relief, and that resulting relief is additionally solicited by the church. This means that if deception with intent to defraud were ever to be proved, the long list of victims would not be limited just to the donors, but might also include the UK government, and therefore, in some way, each citizen of the UK. Assuming that UK offerings annually amount to a conservative £50m, it seems likely that the UK government is surrendering £10m per annum to the church as a corollary of the process. How much, therefore, has the average UK citizen unwittingly “donated” to the church over the last 40 years? This must be viewed as a potentially significant issue.

For most of us though, the deepest concern goes well beyond the earnings we have handed over under questionable circumstances. It is the devaluing of our standing in the eyes of our families and friends, which is most injurious to us, and it seems to occur whenever we place honesty above ecclesiastical loyalties.

I have a son I love and cherish as much as anything God has given me. I know he loves me too, but following my sincere attempt to be open with him about real church history, he concluded I had “lost the spirit”, and that I was no longer the person I had once been, the one he had always looked up to for advice and moral support. That wounded me deeply.

Why would he take such a view? Am I less honest, less charitable, less moral today than I was when I taught him at an early age to “follow the brethren”, and encouraged him to prepare to serve a mission for the church? Not at all. I am sure I am as much the person I ought to be now, as I ever have been. I have not really changed, even though my understanding of reality has. His respect for me has waned because you, (and those who formerly occupied your seats at General Conference), have consistently failed us. It is not his fault that he is afraid to look at the historical evidences which have opened my eyes. Nor is it his fault that he lives in fear of losing his own precious little eternal family if he should discover that my concerns are actually well founded. You have taught him throughout his life to fear the consequences of discovering the truth, and now he and we suffer daily for it.

It grieves me to know that he undoubtedly lives in a state of constant sorrow over what he sees as the disaffection of his parents and his siblings from the only divinely approved vehicle of salvation there is in this world. His life is needlessly streaked with unhappiness because of the fear of uncorrelated spiritual discovery you have sown in him since he first attended Primary. The demonstrably false tenet that God will not permit you, the Brethren, to lead the church astray has insidiously interpolated itself between us and his full trust, and so we are all condemned to suffer, as he doggedly tries to live an existence of false hope, vainly longing for things to be as they once were, but not knowing, (and, through fear, not wanting to know), the scale of the problems you have kept from him.

Having striven always to be honest with my fellow men, and having constantly held up that kind of example to our children, I find that a hidden wedge, (sometimes referred to by others as the “invisible elephant in the room”), has now resulted, and I am sure it is because he cannot prevent himself from measuring my worth by my unwillingness to pay you lip-service allegiance. As I no longer feel able to be supportive of your chosen ethos, he perceives that the fault is in me, for he has been thoroughly persuaded that you would not lead him astray. This is ironic on multiple levels, isn’t it?

We are more fortunate than many however, who, finding themselves in similar circumstances, are no longer even able to bring themselves to speak civilly to one another, for so great is the animosity arising from this issue of leadership infallibility. Tragically, Voltaire has been proven correct many times over in his observation that “Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices”.

Many LDS families have suffered and continue to suffer such injustices because of this infallibility belief first promulgated by Wilford Woodruff. It is time therefore to de-commission that pernicious and destructive teaching, which is currently instrumental in destroying so many kin relationships and friendships throughout the world.

There is a great need instead to re-enthrone the liberating principle of honest inquiry that all may freely discover the facts for themselves. This has been advocated by various leaders in the past, such as James E. Talmage, who stated:

“The man who cannot listen to an argument which opposes his views either has a weak position or is a weak defender of it. No opinion that cannot stand discussion or criticism is worth holding… In general it is true that nothing which cannot stand up under discussion or criticism is worth defending”

and J. Reuben Clark, who said:

“If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed”

and Hugh B. Brown, who observed:

“Only error fears freedom of expression.”

This current “control neurosis” should cease. It is time to do as Jesus would do, and teach a gospel of inclusiveness once more, which emphasizes that nobody should ever be considered a lesser person for pursuing ultimate truth, even if their quest leads them in due course to the conclusion that such truth is not found within Mormonism.

As you consider the humble origins of this church, and of Joseph Smith junior its founder, on this his 207th birthday, please don’t allow yourselves to be deceived into thinking that the finery and sophistry purchased with accumulated wealth in recent times, will ever be sufficient to cover up the sins of the past. The eventual cost of misleading the people at this crossroads would prove far greater than any price you would pay for championing transparency and inclusiveness. And if your courage begins to fail you as you stand upon this momentous brink, then please exercise full faith, and do not attempt to count the cost as you cast off the worn and torn rags of misrepresentation which, to be truthful, have adorned Joseph Smith’s church throughout its history.

Provided your intentions are worthy ones, we, the many disillusioned members, are ready to help in every possible way if you will only begin to speak to us, and also listen to what we have to say, just as Elder Holland promised he would do on BBC television earlier this year.

However, your desire for realignment must be full and sincere. Half-truths will no longer do, for they are also half-falsehoods, and will be found out. The searing light of truth must be shone upon every concern. Full disclosure is the only hope there is that the patient may be healed of his otherwise terminal condition.

The time has come; this moment of opportunity may never return.

In hope,

Chris Ralph

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75 Responses to Chris Ralph’s Plea for Honesty to the First Presidency & Quorum of Twelve.

  1. Stormin says:

    I just forwarded this with referenced letters to Peggy Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune here in Utah. She is LDS and writes a religious blog for the Tribune, but I am sure aware of many of your issues. I encouraged her to put some/all of your letters in her blog in the Tribune here in Utah ——– I promised her that it should probably draw a record number of comments here. It wil be interesting to see if she will step up to the plate on this and get us both excommunicated/repairmanded?? I don’t really know her ——- maybe at least she could get some bribery money/tithing refund from the brethern for not publishing it!

  2. The Jongler says:

    Chris Ralph, thank you for championing this movement, and thank you too for declaring it in such superlative fashion. You make me proud.

  3. Tom Phillips says:

    Thank you Chris for so eloquently expressing the concerns, feelings and experiences of all of us. Will the ‘one and only true Church’ act honestly and with integrity at last? I very much doubt it, but thank you for offering them the opportunity. Many, who are currently ‘enslaved’ by the dishonesty of the Church, will be grateful to you at some stage in the future.

    As they are fond of saying “Truth will Prevail”.

  4. UK ex Bishop says:

    You perfectly describe the Real relationship problems of split church families when a once strong respected person decides they can no longer believe. The church ‘exacerbates’ and strains the relationships terribly!

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi UK ex Bishop,

      It’s good to hear from you again.

      Together, we hope to raise awareness & help many people strengthen family relationships by overcoming the divisive effect the Church is having on relationships.

      Thank you for your support.

      Best regards,
      Steve

  5. pioneer1003 says:

    This is incredible stuff. I have been angry and upset for a long time now at the treatment metered out to my fellow Englishmen, the lies they were spun to get them to give all to the Church and emigrate to Utah. Of course we now know that when they got there, those that realised they had been conned were trapped, with no way to return home – Brigham Young made sure of that.

    Who would think looking at Utah today that it’s beginnings were so troubled, and those present day members who enjoy their lives in the bubble of Mormonism rationalize all the sufferings of their ancesters by celebrating them with lavish concerts in the Confrence Center. The reality of those times were horrendous, people lived lives of misery, all of it to be wrapped up and re worked into a fairy story.

    So, I think it is very fitting that this response is coming from that very land that made the LDS church – make no mistake, without the simple faith of the 19th Century English converts who were prayed upon by these lying American bible bashers, there would be no church today as we know it.

    I don’t expect to see any response from the Bretheren in Salt Lake, they will just brush this under the carpet like they have for the past 100 years. But, many people will see this and wonder and then think!!

    • M says:

      Interestingly Chris Ralph has recently got a Distinction in a Masters Degree in which he researched the early English Mormon pioneers and there journeys from conversion to settling in Utah. He has researched some really interesting things about the challenges they faced on their journeys and also the problems many faced when they settled.

  6. Eric says:

    There is quickly coming a time where they will no longer be able to brush this and other things under the cover (for the benefit of themselves only) and all will be the better off because of it.

  7. cowboy says:

    I left the Church about two years ago as result of the various “unvarnished” particulars in Church history, which caused me to re-evaluate my “testimony”. I mention this to give a little context to my comment. Respectfully, I believe this is completely the wrong strategy. Let’s pretend for a moment that you (we) are right, in that Church leaders are actively “withholding” the truth about Church history from the general membership. What good is it to demand the “truth” from these leaders? What you are really doing is trying to force a “check-mate” of sorts, by forcing them to make indefensible statements for which they can be held accountable. They in turn would do everything in their power to avoid the kind of accountability that could undermine the Church superstructure and their social authority. In other words, any response they could offer would be ultimately unsatisfactory, and calculated to advance their agenda. May I politely say that the Mormon Church will not be waving any white flags so long as their membership numbers and finances do not significantly suffer. That would include a drop in convert baptisms, increases in member defections, drops in gross tithing receipts, and widespread failure of their for-profit businesses. Long story short, these efforts are wasted on the general leadership, including the “big fifteen”. At best Church leaders won’t respond, at worst this plan will backfire and they will respond in an unanticipated way. The better course is to follow the lead set by groups such as Mormonthink and just refuse to allow the internet to become a vaccum of information on Church history. Continue posting information, and create forums where members and potential members can connect discuss, organize, etc. This will force the kinds of answers and honesty you want, but it will do so without empowering Church leaders to abuse the opportunity because it will happen only after their “mantle” of authority has been sufficiently diminished among the one-time “TBM’s”.

    Just a couple of thoughts from a different angle. Best of luck to you.

    • Stormin says:

      I partially agree with you —— but we need to get the message/truth out using whatever avenue we can use. I have tried to weave in many news article comments, in many local Utah papers, the idea the church is not true and corrupt and leave a hyperlink to Mormon Think. So far I have not heard of anyone who has commented back that they learned anything. Many fellow commentors are also aware of church problems and very few are the sheep that we are trying to wake up! However, I will continue to spread the truth about the church however I can as I have always considered myself a truth seeker!

      • cowboy says:

        I wouldn’t expect a Utah paper, even the SL Trib, to want to embrace an “anti-Mormon campaign”. Still, there are plenty of national and local outlets across the country (globe) that would be willing to, so long as the story has strong relevance to their readership. Even more however, the news really isn’t the best source of things, but rather SEO through the internet is. The most discouraging thing about how the information is getting out is that under a keyword search of “Mormon” on google, the only critical website that shows on the first page is Recovery from Mormonism. This is a poorly organized site, and quite frankly one that the Church would love to have front and center as a representation of “anti-Mormonism” because it largely confirms their allegations against so-called “anti-Mormons”. In other words it is a forum of largely unarticulate disgruntled former members mouthing off in about Mormonism in often vulgar, cynical, and non-constructive ways. They speak in the esoteric language of Mormon idioms which is probably lost on many of the outside readers. Mormonthink on the other hand, is directly to the point. One can debate the reality of their “tell both sides of the story” approach, I for example freely admit that the site is biased against Mormonism, but one cannot debate that the goal is to approach Mormonism from an honest evaluation of the historical evidence, albeit that the conclusion is largely drawn for the reader. Mormonthink has been achieving record hits, notwithstanding their poor SEO standing on google. The goal should be to simply push content to the front pages of web searches on Mormonism, along with avenues for reaching the “Mormon underground” communities of doubters and unbelievers who have been unable to connect until the last 5-10 years. I would gladly volunteer my services, except, I only under SEO conceptually…I’m just not a web technician of any sort.

  8. readerjoes says:

    I have just posted the blog letters and Proclamation onto my Facebook page here in Cebu City, Philippines. I have forwarded an Invitation to 174 in my circle of Institute students, Bishops, Stake Presidents and Professors. I have decided to have a mural done and placed as a billboard on the street leading toward the Cebu City Temple. It will be an ensign raised up on January 11, 2013.

    http://www.facebook.com/

    Dr. Joseph Huntington
    Cebu City, Philippines
    December 25, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    josephhuntington58@yahoo.com
    .

  9. Christmas 4 families says:

    We have had a wonderful Christmas morning with our children and are enjoying being together as a family. I am very conscious as we do this that some – because of being viewed unfairly as apostates – are not able to be with family this Christmas morning.

    We as a family are lucky we have each other, however I will not be seeing my parents this Christmas. The children will be dropped off to see grandparents, just like access arrangements in a divorce. So, even though I have my immediate family, I too am experiencing the loss of the people who were the most important people in my life for so long. This is tragic that any Church representing Jesus Christ can be the cause of this.

    I and my husband have signed the petition, but do, as others, feel that the church will not be honest about their history at this point. I applaud the work the 12 are doing and hope that I am wrong.

    However, I think there may be an in-between step. Ripping families and friends apart due to religion is something I am finding the general public to see as a most abhorrent characteristic of Mormonism, along with their previous attitudes to blacks and current slightly softening ones towards homosexuals. I think an interim step for the church would be to revise the doctrine on ‘apostasy’. The God that Weeps, Givens and Givens (Deseret Books), an eminent scholar suggested to me was a new style of apologetics. The last three pages talk about the importance of doubt to faith (which hardly fits with the ‘know the church is true’ line). Perhaps an admittance that church history is complex and some are unable to still have belief in the LDS church due to its complexity should NOT be seen as sin, or dangerous, just different. Maybe this is a way out.

    That respect is shown to other’s beliefs and that we should learn from each other, and not say ‘I am right and you are wrong’. That there is an acceptance of faith traditions that are right for different individuals and that safe places – of differing understandings of the religion are embraced and accepted.

    In the end, I believe this is the only option the LDS church has. If you study other faith traditions of Judaism, Catholicism and Anglicanism, this is how they dealt with the un-coverings of history concerning the Bible – that much of its content was mythical. Safe places were created for a variety of beliefs – in un-orthodox Judaism a rabbi doesn’t even need to believe in God.

    Our commitment should be to humanity and not to ideology.

    If people are given the option to question, then the church may prevent the anger and attacks from members once the Djini is out of the bottle. Courage is required! Courage of confidence, the courage to simply ‘be’ and choose love for humanity over fear of differing ideology. This requires the willingness to let go of ‘power and authority’ for the sake of ‘love and compassion’.

    History has shown us time and time again that power eventually destroys itself and the masses revolt. That is what we are seeing with LDS supporting Gay pride parades, pants on Sunday, un-covering of sexual abuse cases, law suits against spiritual abuse (Canadian Member against Youth baptism for the dead), protests in Russia from Youth groups saying the LDS church is a cult, the Swedish rescue missions and a seventy leaving, mass resignations of members, petitions for an apology to the blacks and a petition to get the church to be honest about their history.

    With the internet, all these things can be connected.

    Apostasy needs to go if the LDS church is to survive, allowing a spectrum of belief and non belief saving families and friendships in the process.

    Perhaps the press would be interested in how families are being destroyed but the families can be forever church.

  10. Robert Billings says:

    I like to say ditto to all the above remarks. I too suffered and have felt rejection by my family and those who ought to have been my friends but now shunned by them. Wiil the 15 men of the black suits respond?

  11. Octavio Rivadeneiera says:

    ME pregunto si Ralf y las otras 11 personas que firmaron ese documento alguna vez tuvieron un testimonio de la verdad, es decir por el espíritu de revelación. Si lo tuvieron entonces están desconfiando incluso de Dios, quien se los dio?. Además es curioso que siendo una persona tan informada no se preguntara si sus propios compatriotas, quienes creyeron en el Profeta José Smith, después de haber pasado por todo lo que pasaron para llegar a América, al saber las cosas que “supuestamente” descubrió en estos tiempos modernos con tanta tecnología a su disposición, por qué permanecieron fieles? y siguieron soportándolo todo por el verdadero evangelio de Jesucristo?. Si alguna vez supieron como opera el Señor sabrían que sus repuestas se dan cuando El lo decide, y no para satisfacer la inquisitoria demanda de respuesta de un grupo cuyas demandas no son justas. Creen verdaderamente que el Señor les contestaría? tendrían que hacerlo los líderes que El a elegido para este tiempo? Vivan el evangelio manténganse fieles y las respuestas vendrán. La Iglesia no los considera parias o excluidos, y sólo disciplina a quienes tienen actitudes disonantes con la ley del evangelio. En todo caso si ustedes por cuestionar y no recibir respuestas se consideran así, sería mejor se quitaran esos prejuicios. Escribo en español, porque soy parte de uno de los grupos más crecientes en la Iglesia y así como leí sus cartas y comentarios adherentes de todos, les ruego que se tomen el trabajo de leer mi comentario y si quieren cuestiónenlo pero no me descalifiquen por no estar de acuerdo con ustedes.
    Su hermano en la fe del verdadero evangelio de Jesucristo y de Su Iglesia verdadera y viviente.

    Rough Translation into English:
    Ralf and I wonder if the other 11 people who signed that document once had a testimony of the truth, that is the spirit of revelation. If I had then are wary even of God, who gave them?. It is also curious that someone as being informed not to wonder if his own countrymen, who believed in the Prophet Joseph Smith, having gone through what they went through to get to America, knowing the things that “supposedly” found in these modern times with so much technology available, why were faithful? and continued to bear it all for the true gospel of Jesus Christ?. If I ever knew how to operate the Lord would know that their answers are given when He decides, and not to satisfy the demand inquisitorial response of a group whose demands are not fair. Truly believe that the Lord would answer? leaders would have to do that He has chosen for this time? Stay faithful to live the gospel and the answers will come. The Church does not consider them outcasts or excluded, and only those with attitudes discipline dissonant with the law of the gospel. In any case if you do not get to question and answers are considered, it would be better to take off those prejudices. I write in Spanish, because I’m part of one of the fastest growing groups in the Church and as I read your letters and comments adherents of all, I ask that you take the trouble to read my comment and if you want but I cuestiónenlo disqualified for not agree with you.
    Your brother in the faith of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and His true and living Church.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Dear Octavio,

      Thank you for commenting, but you have confused knowledge with belief. In Mormonism faith is actually denial of truth, just as in other religions.

      Though I feel your genuine concern for us, it is not us who need your concern.

      The main reason we campaign for truth is because we have heartfelt compassion for all of our family & friends who are caught in Joseph Smith’s deceit.

      We once had fervent testimonies just like you profess to have, and we served with all our hearts, might, minds & strength in the Church.

      But what we once regarded as firm & unshakable knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel we now know was a delusion.

      It is a perfect example of confirmational bias. We saw what we believed. Our faith was but a denial of truth.

      Sadly, your pronouncements of faith are just exactly the same as all religious adherents around the world who believe their particular belief system is divine in origin.

      I would strongly advise you to study the psychology of belief before you waste more of your time, money & effort in worshipping a false God.

      Belief in a fantasy is a damnable false hope.

      With best regards,
      Steve

      Querido Octavio,

      Gracias por comentar, pero ha confundido el conocimiento con la creencia. En fe de los mormones es en realidad la negación de la verdad, al igual que en otras religiones.

      A pesar de que siente que su verdadera preocupación por nosotros, no somos nosotros los que necesitamos su preocupación.

      La razón principal por la que la campaña por la verdad es porque tenemos compasión sincera por todos nuestros familiares y amigos que se encuentran atrapados en el engaño de José Smith.

      Una vez tuvimos testimonios fervientes al igual que profesas tener, y servimos con todo nuestro corazón, alma, mente y fuerza en la Iglesia.

      Pero lo que una vez considerado como firme y conocimiento inquebrantable de la veracidad del Evangelio ahora sabemos que fue un engaño.

      Es un ejemplo perfecto de sesgo confirmatorio. Vimos lo que creíamos. Nuestra fe no era más que una negación de la verdad.

      Lamentablemente, sus declaraciones de fe son exactamente lo mismo que todos los adherentes religiosos de todo el mundo que creen que su sistema de creencias particular es de origen divino.

      Yo os recomiendo encarecidamente a estudiar la psicología de la creencia antes de perder más de su tiempo, dinero y esfuerzo en la adoración de un dios falso.

      La creencia en una fantasía es una falsa esperanza condenable.

      Un cordial saludo,
      Steve

  12. Nate says:

    Here’s what I think. I think Mary was likely raped and impregnated by a Roman soldier. Her son Jesus was born. Who was just a mortal being like the rest of us who had some very good ideas and was dangerous to the power structure of the time. So he had to be dealt with. His ideas lived on, but his body did not. He is/was not the son of God. He was the son of Mary.

    Fast forward many years, and along comes Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Both just another Warren Jeffs type in my opinion, who wanted to break off and create their own power center.

    Now we move into finance. The church establishes zions bank. Now anyone who knows anything about modern fractional reserve banking knows that it is pure fraud. Today’s banking houses create money out of thin air, lend money to you and me that they do not have, at interest, and put a lien on anything we buy with it. Now that ladies and gentlemen is pure fraud. If you or I did the same thing, we go to prison for a long long time. But if you’re a bank, it’s perfectly legal. This I think, is a big reason why the lds church is so wealthy today. They’ve been robbing millions of little people of their money for a long time. Quite frankly, that’s all I need to know folks. Any organization that is rooted in fraud does not receive my trust and respect. Not to mention the “gambling” the church does in the stock market and paying no taxes on “winnings”, while telling it’s members that playing the stock market is not gambling, and that its members are not supposed to gamble. That’s all I have for now.

  13. Gale H. Thorne Jr. says:

    I feel the pain of learning the true history of the Mormon Church as much as those who so courageously stand up for truth on this site and in other areas of their lives. For most of my life, I was highly active in the church and regarded myself as a firm believer, similarly to most who struggle or are re-defining their lives after learning the facts about the real history of the Mormon church, especailly as it pertains to Joseph Smith. I am grateful to my wife who continues to be active in the church and, in her own loving way, supports the rest of the family, including myself, in following our own hearts and consciences relative to belief or lack thereof in the church. A couple of my children have resigned their memberships from the church. I support their courageous steps.

    On a given level, I am personally appalled that any church member can learn about the facts behind the history of Joseph Smith alone and not, at the very least, question his or her basic beliefs in the church, if not leave it entirely. I am learning that many members maintain “belief” out of social need and for albeit a contorted spiritual support system. Some stay active because they believe the church provides a safety net should something bad happen to them.

    I also understand that reaching such conclusions is a process, one that often requires multiple life-changing events that allows one to question the church and its leaders. My final straw that resulted in deep questioning occured during a crisis involving severe depression with one of my children. I quickly learned how inept, ignorant, and in many cases, emotionally cold many leaders and members can be to those of us who pass through such trials.

    A former bishop was particularly cold and manipulative. He disbelieved my descriptions of my daughter’s depression, he told lies to other leaders about my situation and all he seemed to care about was getting me to accept a calling and attend all my church meetings (I couldn’t leave her for three hours for reasons obvious to those who have loved ones in such a crisis.) I still attended sacrament meetings when I felt that I could safely.

    Elder Henry Eyring lives in my ward. In fact, his house is only a few houses up the street from mine. We recognize one another and I doubt he even knows I’m totally inactive and no longer accept the teachings of the church. I laughed (good naturedly, of course) about the story he recently told last general conference about a member in our ward that “he influenced” to become re-activated. This member moved in after I became inactive. No such effort has been made on my behalf and his effort to re-activate the guy in his story occurred because the guy went to church and somehow there was a connection in the form of what I would describe as “leader worship”, something common in the church. (I still went to church as well during much of my trying period when I could – maybe once a month).

    Elder Eyring has never been to my house. He never called me or had any form of communication during my crisis with my daughter. He has never contacted me since I became inactive over 11 years ago nor prior to that time. If he does know of any of my struggles, his lack of any response is as deafening as the silence of other leaders to issues raised on this site. To a few with whom I raised this issue, they state how busy Elder Eyring is… I have often wondered what Christ would have done if he lived up the street from me, busy as he was. Leaders in lower positions have been relatively uninterested.

    When I did return to sacrament meetings for a relatively brief period, I was struck by the extraordinary lack of understanding (or lies) relative to why people become inactive or leave the church. I wrote a whole book about it. It appears that, as with other church issues, truth isn’t important. Apparently, according to messages taught in sacrament meeting (with Elder Eyringe present), the truth about church history, the church’s responses to many social issues (including mental health), the Pearl of Great Price, nor Joseph Smith’s bizarre practices of polygamy are not among the primary reasons why people go inactive. The church teaches that it is caused by sin, being offended by another person, laziness or lack of feeling socially welcome.

    One of my inactive daughters and her roommate (not a member) recently took the missionary discussions. Interestingly, missionaries are now trained not to answer difficult questions or objections raised by people being taught. They purposefully avoid such questions while driving to teach the “gospel” as directed by the church.

    I believe that if one studies church manuals and other information put out by the church, it becomes apparent that the church spends an inordinate amount of print quoting living and more recent church leaders. Brigham Young, for example, is rarely quoted. Even when active, I used to joke that we attend two churches: 1.) the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and 2.) the Church of General Authorities of Latter Day Saints. In other words, the church decided a long time ago to fortify itself by hiding behind later leaders who would be given attention over its early history. The church cannot admit to its many frauds without legal retribution or self destruction. Therefore, it decided to find other ways to retain some level of credibility and survive based on its “spiritual values”. As much as I would like to see the church be honest as has been so eloquently called upon by our friend Chris Ralph, I doubt that it ever will. I expressed to the current bishop of my ward that I would attend church meetings if the church would make appropriate corrections so that it could be honest about its real history and create a more spiritual approach sans Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price. Of course, he didn’t like that option.

    I, for one, will also continue to share the truth about the church and its history out of a love for those who will not have to look back over their lives and see a loss of so much time, money and effort (over 50 years in my case) supporting such an organization that has behaved in such a poor and hypocritical manner over a very long period of time.

    I wish all of you well in your continued efforts to lovingly support those who are unaware or lack the courage to be honest about the Mormon church and its many issues.

    Have a Great New Year!
    Gale

  14. Bea says:

    Thanks Gale, Robert Billings, Steve and others on here for your comments.. I am another who’s family is affected by my leaving the church, which leaves me sad, that by me finding out the truth, that some think that I am now ‘apostate, with an evil spirit about me’. 🙂

    However, I’m still attending church at the moment to go with my very active daughter and I see the continuous spin on the history in lessons and talks. In the New Year, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine will be studied in Sunday School, which will give me the opportunity to raise some questions the manual will no doubt skip over.

    Yesterday, the Bishop drivelled on about in the coming new year, for everyone to get their Temple Recommends and read the Book of Mormon many times over. I despair at the people sitting there taking all in and putting themselves through guilt trips, when they feel they don’t measure up to “being temple worthy”. I know how harrowing that can be, I’ve been down that road, but now I feel a million burdens lifted from me and so much happier.

    Some of my friends have been asking questions, when I say I’m studying church history and it’s different from what is taught in lessons. Some have shown enough curiosity to now search for themselves what is the true facts. i continue to hope that their eyes will be opened too.

    Hope you all have a wonder New Year,

  15. Lasvegasrichard says:

    I’ve said and been posted on this many times prior : ” All the faith in the universe will never make something false become true “. I have concluded in my life that the truth simply isn’t currently available while in mortality . So to lay anything at all on the doorsteps of the Church is like hoping the mailman delivers ice cream.

    • CJ says:

      Conversely, all the skepticism, criticism, and disbelief in the universe will never make something true become false. Your unwillingness to accept the existence of faith and revelation does not detract one whit from their reality and power to those who employ them in their personal truth quest.

      • Alan says:

        Yes, but that “something” has to be true in the first place and herein lies the problem with your second statement.

  16. CJ says:

    Chris the First Presidency has answered you. Watch the recent CES Devotional address given by President Uchtdorf: http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/archive/ces-devotionals/2013/01?lang=eng .

    If you can lay down your pride long enough to accept that you didn’t get a public, spotlight-on-you kind of response and will actually sit through the entire thing, you will find a very clear and pointed response to all the issues you have raised. If you cannot accept this as your answer, no one can help you man and you’re going to be waiting a long time.

    • You seem to be confident he was answering me CJ. Perhaps you have inside information. I can only comment that if that was supposed to be an answer, then he really hadn’t read the question carefully enough. Well-crafted though the address may have been, (and I readily acknowledge that Brother Dieter is a gifted man, with a charismatic personality – even perhaps the one man in the hierarchy capable of confiding shocking truths to the membership while still retaining a degree of support), it is to be regretted that his sad failure on this occasion to engage with the subject matter would score him an automatic fail with any neutral examination board.

      Additionally, that type of response will only further serve to antagonize the swelling tide of once-devoted LDS members who, having grown weary of “smoke and mirrors tactics”, need more than ever a few substantive answers which discernibly resonate with truth and reality.

      Conjuring may have been an acceptable frontier spiritual art-form in the 19th century, (Joseph Smith was evidently one of its adepts), but no longer, except among the determinedly blinkered, is it considered a respectable profession in the 21st.

      So CJ, when you are next in discussion with Dieter, and he raises the subject of this talk, please let him know that we still await a proper response. Thanks.

  17. Lulu says:

    I just came across your letter. My husband and I left the church over 2 years ago. We were all in. We both served missions, went to BYU, married in the temple. I served as YW president and my husband was in the bishopric at the time of our departure. Our disillusionment with the church was born initially from the book, Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman and then we had many late nights and long days of reading Joseph’s words and historical accounts. Once we saw the discrepancy between what we were taught and what actually happened, we chose to stop attending. It was too mind-numbing and painful to keep going. Fortunately we were united in our decision. I know many other families are not so fortunate. Even so, it has been a very difficult transition.
    While we have remained silent other than speaking with close friends and relatives about this, I think it’s important for you to know that there are many who are going through the same experience. It’s hard to know who is dealing with it though, because you never want to expose your feelings prematurely or there can be harsh judgment. It has been heart-wrenching. Especially when people question your character. It must be so difficult to have your son say what he did and possibly think less of you. I’m sorry.
    As much as I would love for the leaders to address this directly, I’ve let go of that expectation. I expect them to keep defending what they believe to be the truth. I hope you are able to let go and move forward. I’m afraid they will continue to let FAIR be the stable boys and do all of the dirty work.
    Thank you for your honesty and for being a seeker of truth. I hope you are able to find peace. I take great strength in knowing others are dealing with this.

  18. Anetka says:

    Hi, my name is Anetka and I am a truth seeker. I’m glad I found this website!

    I grew up in a catholic church, but as I got older I realized it’s not what I’m looking for. I read the Bible, was thinking a lot and decided to look further for the truth, to get closer to God and His Son.

    With the time, on the way I met a Mormon in the town. He approached me and asked about God (…) i told him that I’d love to talk about God, cause there’s not many people who’d be happy to talk about this subject. I gave him my mobile number. About a month later I got a phone call to come to church to Hitchin, UK. I couldn’t as I was recovering from foot surgery, so they soon visited me.

    That was few months ago. Since then they gave me the Book of Mormon, made me stop drinking coffee and tea (don’t know why, haven’t read D&C yet!) and kind of ‘pushed’ me to be baptized. Well, I had to say “no” as I wanted to finish my reading of the Book of Mormon first! (Well, I couldn’t feel the Holy Spirit while reading the book). They said OK, so they put another date on 02.02.13. Kind of “under pressure” feeling. But from the other side, I really wanted to be baptized, repent and to wash my sins off, but I realized that I can’t do this in Mormon church:/ I wanted to believe that this church was right (as they claim!). I’ve done some research about LDS, but not too deep at first. My non-Mormon and non-believer friend sent me a few links about Mormon teachings and rules etc. From there I learnt about garments, having to pay 10% of your salary and many more. Wonder when they wanted to mention this to me? After baptism? Surely I wouldn’t follow that, wouldn’t do that. I’d say what I wear underneath is my personal thing, and I’d rather support poor families directly, than pay into church bank account😉 I’m sad that they do bad things in a God’s name!! I’m also sad cause I can’t find the right church, or at least the right baptist to help me wash my sins off, so I could make a fresh start. or… maybe you don’t need to be baptized if you repent in your heart soul and mind? Maybe Jesus the Savior will forgive me without it? Like he spoke to a criminal on a cross next to Him, that he will be with Him? And surely the criminal wasn’t baptized… don’t know… I’m still looking for the truth. God bless you all!!!”

    • M says:

      Anetka, today was the day scheduled for you baptism. What did you choose? Whatever you chose I hope you have found some peace. I personally believe that if you repent in your heart, mind and soul that is good enough for the Lord. He would want you to love one-another, as he loved one-another. Look after the less fortunate, the lonely, the angry and the confused and you will find peace within. Good Luck. x

    • Hesanflicka says:

      Anetka, I was a member for 27 years, and I left my family to join the LDS Church. I wish I had had the courage to say no to the request to be baptized so I wouldn’t have involved my children in this lie. However I totally feel for you as I am in the same position as you right now. I have a void in my spirituality after leaving the Mormons but do not want to be fooled again. One book that has helped me on my journey is Bart Ehrman’s “Did Jesus exist?” (He also has a blog) In the book he makes a really clear point that Jesus did exist and he lets you find out who this man was. I have enjoyed learning about the history of the early Christianity and I think you especially as former Catholic believer will really enjoy reading it. I hope you well on your path to truth, you will find it ! Best Regards!

  19. Scott says:

    Please… The history is available. It can be researched. Shame on you if you did not do your due diligence.

    You are not purchasing a security. Before baptism should the missionaries read terms and conditions to inform members of massacres, sacred rites, books of the dead, etc..?

    The fairy tale of Mormonism is no less than those of Catholicism, etc… I just happen to like the Mormon fairy tale.

    My 7 year recently asked if God created us or if men created God. I broke out into laughter and expressed my love to him for his deep thought. My boys know that the LDS is a thinking man’s Church. My 14 year old knows that he can respectfully challenge topics in Sunday School and Priesthood.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Scott,

      I’m pleased for you if you can accept the actual history of Mormon origins & still believe. But for most of us we want the fantasy to be true before we devote our heart, might, mind & strength to it.

      I think President Uchtdorf would disagree with you, as per his recent CES address. He claims that truth is absolute & Mormonism is the truth. He massively criticises anyone for asking questions, aligning us with those who think the moon is a hologram.

      If you were as open as you are about questioning in our Wards & Stakes you would be talked to by the priesthood leaders & warned to keep your questions to your self, as we have. It is out hope that one day members will be able to question as you do without fear of rebuke or Church discipline.

      But for now it appears that fear reigns supreme in most of the Wards & Stakes, and President Uchtdorf’s recent CES address will further frighten the faithful into silence.

      • Scott says:

        I was excommunicated when I lived in Israel but have come back. Fear and power are given. I have never given the earthly Church either.

        You can have thoughtful discourse in the Church. You just don’t do it in either Sacrament or Sunday school. EQ is a great place but you have to be measured. Look, I have touched upon Jehovah being God the Father, not Jesus. There have been discussions about Adam’s first wife who was not Eve. Your dealing with many people who do not understand either Church history or the evolution of Christianity. You cannot unload each and every week. Also, it cannot come across as shaking the faith of others.

        Do you really care if your name comes up in Stake or Ward Council meetings? Unless your livelihood is tied to mormonomics it does not matter. Maybe I won’t become a bishop… But I am a darn good father, husband, and member of the community.

        When Christians come to my door and knock Mormonism, my question is, “Really?”. Christianity has so many holes. Laughable.

        I love Mormon theology. Someday archeologists may find the ancient BOM cities. Yes, civilizations are still being discovered. Maybe someone will find what Brother Joseph found when translating the Book of Abraham e.g. A book within a book. Maybe someone will say that the prophets spoke as men when they said Indians are descendants of Laminites. Can’t you see Jesus and the boys up on a hill drinking and BS’ing on the mysteries of the Universe? President Young believed in Moon Men. He was an imperfect person but he was the right guy for the times. In the end I strive to be a good person. It works

      • SM says:

        The writings across your blog are very convincing. There are certainly some historical issues which yes, would probably cause the most hardy TBM to question aspects of their faith and the authenticity of the church.

        Nevertheless, as an analogy I can’t help but feel like you have conducted a study on Ronseal. You have discussed the city where it’s located, talked about the factory, the management, the machinery, the manufacturing process and the packaging, but you have ignored the product itself, and whether it really ‘does what it says on the tin’.

        The ‘proof’ of the gospel is not in its history, nor its leaders, nor any of the other fallible issues you cite, but in whether it actually works. And even for you, as acknowledged at the start of your letter to your stake president, it did. And it continues to work for many millions.

        So, the grounds, the factory, the machinery, the process etc. may all appear to be flawed, but isn’t the real test whether the product works?

        You suggest senior leaders are ‘dishonest’, somehow denying the history of the church (although this can hardly be the case since the source of almost all the history cited comes from the church’s own archives) But isn’t it equally dishonest to deny personal experiences? You may now say you were deceived at the time, or come up with some other explanation, but so many church members have had personal, undeniable experiences.

        There is no explanation for some of the history, there is no answer to Christopher Ralph’s questions which would be satisfactory for you, and any attempt to answer the questions in detail would simply be ridiculed as inadequate.

        But how can they deny what they have experienced? And how can you now deny what you experienced? And how can CR now deny what he experienced?

        Who is really being deceived here?

      • SteveBloor says:

        Hi Spide,

        I think your questions have already been answered by Chris Ralph himself as answers to previous questions above.

        As an observation, from what I can glean about you from your comments, I would suggest studying the psychology of belief. I’m sure you will find it both informative & useful as you try to understand why we all either currently believe, or at one time believed, in weird stuff.

        I’d start with discovering what cognitive biases & assumptions are.

        Cheers,
        Steve

      • Lasvegasrichard says:

        One needs also to consider the basic source and content of belief . Here we have a system that supposedly answers all , if not most , of mankinkinds’ eternal search for all the great mysteries of life . Here a man portrays speaking directly to a supreme intelligence that is the source of all there is. What’s not to attract anyone like a moth to the flame ? As questions arise , the convenience of having answers is right there . Wrong or right , mankind doesn’t care . Hense the amount of ignorance involved by the membership . Coupled with no better answers available on Earth . But it’s truly remarkable how the easy answers concluded with the demise of the charlatan .

      • SteveBloor says:

        Hi Spide,

        You ask how anyone can deny their experiences.

        Unfortunately, our individual perception of reality through our experiences & our emotional response to those experiences are not a reliable indicator of truth. Even though the Church has taught you that your experiences are the best way to find the truth, it is not true.

        If it was then other religions would also have a claim on this. In fact atheists & secularists, who form the majority in Scandinavian countries, could claim that too.

        Check my blog post: https://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/letter-to-stake-president-notifying-him-of-my-intention-to-speak-out-about-the-truth/

        https://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/spiritual-experiences-a-testimony-of-the-divine/

        https://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/imprisoned-by-our-beliefs/

      • SM says:

        Steve, clearly, we don’t know what each other has experienced. However, although there may be some experiences that can be ascribed to the ‘psychology of belief’, there are others that I have had which can’t.

        And therein lies the dilemma, if for some there is one. Of course some of the historical facts raise questions about the authenticity of the church, but personal experience outweighs this.

        I followed the link from your ‘Spiritual experience’ blog to Mormonthink where he states, for example, “The patriarch will interview the recipient of the blessing prior to providing one. Why is this necessary? During the interview he will ask you many details of your life – your schooling, profession, marital status, hopes, dreams, testimony, etc. Is it just a coincidence that many of these things you tell the patriarch end up in some form in the blessing? If he was truly getting the information from ‘the spirit’ then he would not need to ‘pump’ you for information before-hand.”

        In another site (MLDS) the writer lies about an issue related to Joseph Smith and then when challenged on it, concedes it was not correct but passes it off that he was simply trying to make a point.

        I do wonder why ex/anti Mormons feel it necessary to lie and deliberately misrepresent what happens in the church in their futile attempts to discredit it.

        My own patriarch did not interview me at all, and yet my blessing contains some extremely personal insight which the patriarch could not have known. You may pass that and other personal experiences off as coincidence or some other mind controlled outcome, but I do not believe so.

      • SteveBloor says:

        Seriously, you need to study how your mind works.

        It’s called confirmation bias.

        It’s not magical or mysterious. Conmen & stage magicians use it all the time.

        Of course you won’t recognise the bias, because it’s an automatic subconscious process. You have far less control of how you think than you realise, but the more you learn about how the mind works, the more you understand why humans believe weird stuff.

  20. pioneer1003 says:

    Scott, we are all striving to be good people, and yes, it works for us too.
    The whole theology of Mormonism is an outdated Victorian belief system dreamed up mainly by Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith. Brigham Young just jumped on the bandaggon when he saw his opportunity, and carried on the delusion – even Joseph’s own family didn’t buy into Brighams verson of Mormonism.

    How any one can take the Book of Abraham seriously after the finding of the papyrus, beggars belief. The church is a product of it’s 19th century roots – the 21st century is unravelling it.

  21. ‎//The proclamation just published by twelve British members is the clearest evidence that disengagement is well underway. They represent THOUSANDS in this land who might now be properly described as “closet doubters”.//

    I only have one question for you “TWELVE”.

    Where is the supposed “represented THOUSANDS …doubters”? Do you really represent thousands? It looks inconsistent because your own petition to date was only signed by a mere 431 signers. Hardly THOUSANDS, if ever one really exist. These thousand doubters would have at least sign anonymously, if there’s really ever THOUSANDS. Thus your statement above and the facts on the petition is disengaged.

    If you think Honesty applies to you as well, can you please provide a proof link of these supposed THOUSANDS LDS Church member whom you supposedly represent that are currently listed on record as LDS members AND are closet doubters? please….Thank you.

    No need to provide links to news reports of supposedly “droves” leaving the LDS Church nor Elder Jensen’s comment, nor links to ex-morrmon numbers, as they are entirely unsubstantiated empirically.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Vicente,

      Welcome to our group.

      We’re so pleased you want to join our throng.

      We can now claim there are millions who would like to see a more honest Church. Even several General Authorities are joining the ranks calling for big changes in the Church!

      Even the best Mormon Apologists are following our progress with keen interest. (Tragically they’ll soon be unemployed).

      And now we get to include the Mormon arch-troll Vicente!

      We sincerely hope you enjoy the ride.

      Namaste!

    • Nephi Hatcher says:

      Seriously AMiFB…
      Are you that delusional?

      It’s not that I want to get in to name calling but your post is clearly for one who has double standards or is naive to the bone.

      Again as I said to another try hard apologist. I can believe when someone puts this much effort in and has a good sense of written presentation that they’d be this naive, or stupid. So I will go ahead and think you live by double standards when demanding and giving truth!

      Stephen is absolutely correct about closet doubters. And since you’re very strung on public honesty, why not presume doubters also have morals and won’t sign up lying about who they are. Besides that I have known closet doubters since my youth in the church. But they are scared to go public for fear of family problems. Some discuss, and even stories in church magazines appear, on how doubt is recognised and dealt with love.
      All I can say is that is the exception to the rule!! Doubt brings nothing but peer pressure, loss of friends and often family. Sometimes work problems. And for those who have spent a lifetime in the church the community of the church is the only way they know to live and struggle to adapt.

      So all this in to consideration… I would hope a member of your position and honesty appreciation bearing true love would understand.

      Taking most members in to consideration, it’s easy to see why most converts and many lifelong members just flee in the end.

      So yes there are many closet members, but many vent in private due to the problems the church creates for them. Many are just afraid from experiencing other’s that have been through similar problems. Also some closet doubters still have belief in the church, but after seeing others vent publicly and be cast out, again more fear.

      The church teaches fear every Sunday. They just happen to do this in a politically correct and polite manner. I just call it bollucks!’

      Well let us get on to topic regarding my accused double standard. Being that much of honesty has been evidently proven as lies and public information and media interviews have consisted of lies from men at the top of your industry, depending what statistic research you want to use Stephen’s statement would be very honest. How many doubters are out there? How many have even seen the blog and for those that have how many will petition. Taking social pressure, desire, ability to… In to consideration statistics show for various reasons if you get 10% to petition (from 100% who believe or are for the petition) you’re doing we’ll. so representatively Stephen is honest.

      But his courage to go public is not forgotten either. Why would he lie? Just no need, but your questioning his honesty I’m sure makes you feel better.

      Anyway in the same sense you demand proof, I’ll give you proof based on YOUR standards!!!

      I said a prayer… I got the warm fuzzies about the sincerity and honesty of Stephen… So I bare testimony that I know without a shadow of a doubt, from the bottom of my heart, clear as day that Stephen is being honest and by the power of the Holy Ghost this is the evidence and proof that is sufficient for your needs! If you can’t accept this, this is what I mean by double standards. You can use the HG for things you want to, but we can’t. You don’t need physical or statistical evidence for your things but we do.

      Oh we’ll better sort my Jetski before kiteboarding today. Peace out and I know everyone can find true happiness. Whether they find the truth of religion or not.

    • In search of honesty concerning the thousands of UK LDS now doubting LDS truth claims, please consider the following:

      Figures for 2011 suggest that there are over 188,000 UK LDS members. There are apparently 45 Stakes and 335 wards/branches. The average Stake therefore consists of just under 4,200 members, and the average ward/branch of .about 560.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_in_the_United_Kingdom

      Let us consider activity levels. Sacrament attendances have fallen in recent years, and it would be surprising to find that an average attendance much exceeded 100 per unit. For the sake of argument let’s call it 110. That suggests that regular activity has fallen to around 20% or less. The same is true of Stake Conferences, where attendances rarely reach 1,000, and are more typically at around 750, again less than 20%. We may deduce therefore that in the UK there must presently be about 150,000 less active LDS. Add to them those doubters who currently attend, out of concern that non-attendance would cost them their family relationships, or longstanding friendships, or positions of influence in the church, and we start to see the true scale of the problem.

      The church is actually shrinking in the UK. At the start of this century the number of members was calculated at almost 200,000, and we used to work on the basis that 70% of them were inactive. So we have gone from an active membership base of perhaps almost 60,000 at one time, down to something in the order of 38,000 today.

      Has the time come when the silent majority speaks? No, not yet, and perhaps it never will, for the same reason that in any audience only a small minority will ask questions publicly. For every one who questions publicly, you may be sure there are 50 who sit on their hands. That is to be expected. The present worrying trend for the LDS church however, is for the members of longer standing, and deeper historical involvement with the movement, to feature among those who are leaving. These include former bishops, stake presidents, relief society presidents, and high councillors. In terms of experience and former devotion to the LDS cause, this haemorrhaging has reached critical proportions. Until there is meaningful dialogue, (not just occasional dismissive references in obscure talks), that trend is set to continue.

      Those speaking up are not enemies of truth as they are sometimes unfairly characterised, or even sworn enemies of the church they once gave their all to serve; they are certainly not enemies of the LDS rank and file membership; but they are people who care enough to risk being heard. If they sound frustrated at times it is because they feel they have solutions which, in the long term, could save so much pain and sorrow. And yet they are being ignored, seemingly as a matter of policy.

      Instead of worrying about their own image in the eyes of the world, the church leadership really ought to value these concerned individuals enough to listen to them. Prolonged failure to do so appears to many onlookers only to demonstrate vanity, or a lack of humility on the part of those whose duty of care it is, supposedly, to listen and act in the cause of bringing truth and enlightenment to the human race.

      The door remains open for dialogue, despite the growing sense of disappointment over the missed opportunities to date.

      • SM says:

        I think the question is more whether you have been asked to ‘represent those thousands’, as you claim. Yes, there may be many who are not active, or who are active but doubt, the church in the UK may well be declining, but to claim you represent them is misleading and dishonest.

      • pioneer1003 says:

        Interesting. Through LDS family connections, Blessings, Baptisms etc I have had occasion to visit 2 wards in different stakes 100 miles apart in the past month. Each ward had in excess of 200 people in Sacrament meeting, and BOTH wards are having their chapels vastly extended. This does not sound like a Church in decline in the UK!

        So if what you are saying is true, how do you explain this?

      • The Historian says:

        I agree with Journey and am one of those closet doubters. I’m one of four that I know of in my ward and in my 20 years in the church have seen many friends that were long standing LDS leave the church. I’ve seen one Stake President leave and openly proclaim it’s false, one counsellor on the ST do the same, and know 2 ex bishops that have also left. There are many who like the church and aspire for it to be true, however a reasonable look at the history throws up considerable concerns that by any other measure or applied to any other church most would instantly call it evidence of deceit. I value what the church can do for society, but wish it would come clean on its history. Watching President Hinckley on 60 minutes was cringe worthy. Watching Holland on the BBC documentary was the same. I respect Stephens rational view on this site. I feel these criticism s are with merit in many instances. I’m active purely for the good that the church can do for society, and I follow the saviours example to do good to all mankind. Do I believe the leaders are inspired, in all honesty no. I’ve seen enough nonsense in the church to realise this with leaders not knowing LDS history and doctrine or managing situations so badly that they offend or inflame. However, the core principles are a force for good in an increasingly hedonistic world. So as a doubter, and one of many I sit quietly on the inside. Journeys numbers do stack up.

  22. Petunia says:

    Vicente said: “Where is the supposed “represented THOUSANDS …doubters”? Do you really represent thousands? It looks inconsistent because your own petition to date was only signed by a mere 431 signers. Hardly THOUSANDS, if ever one really exist. These thousand doubters would have at least sign anonymously, if there’s really ever THOUSANDS. Thus your statement above and the facts on the petition is disengaged.”

    I’m one of the thousands! My hubby and two other members of family are with me too – even though only I signed the petition. Not everyone that has discovered the deceit of mormonism has signed the declaration. Oh by the way, I don’t think you can count because you said you had only one question but you asked three!

    Scott said: “Please… The history is available. It can be researched. Shame on you if you did not do your due diligence.”
    I taught in lots of church positions and have been an active member for nearly 40yrs and I was actively encouraged by my leaders to AVOID researching into anything other than the church manuals. It was only when I finally decided to do extra research, in an effort to prove JS was a true prophet that I discovered he was actually a fraud.

    • SM says:

      The point is more whether CR has been asked to ‘represent those thousands’, as he claims. Yes, there may be many who are not active, or who are active but doubt, the church in the UK may well be declining, but to claim he represents them is misleading, dishonest and manipulative.

      • The Historian says:

        SM, equally no one has appointed you as the counter voice but you still speak in defence of the church. People on all sides have a right to stand up for groups even when not formally appointed. Who appointed Mandela? Who appointed Tom Jefferson? I don’t think he’s claimed to be formally appointed after an election but his words do mirror those of a growing body in and now out of the church.

  23. pioneer1003 says:

    I’m one of the thousands too – I was looking to prove JS was a true prophet, and guess what, I found the opposite after 40 years in the church. You only need to study the origins of BOA, and the game is up…….

  24. Kaylene says:

    Heya! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I needed
    to ask. Does managing a well-established website such as yours take
    a large amount of work? I am completely new to blogging however I do write in my journal daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

  25. SM says:

    Repeating Scott, AMiF, and my own earlier comments, you are claiming to represent thousands, and further suggest that even General Authorities support your ‘quest’ for truth. (my term)

    Quite frankly, I don’t believe you.

    Yours and CR’s claim to represent thousands is nothing more than a misguided attempt to manipulate leaders and the vulnerable into thinking that there is a level of momentum to your campaign which in reality does not exist at all. I completely accept that there may be many, yes even thousands, who have some doubts. But to claim you represent them without their specific authority is at it’s best presumptuous and at it’s worst deceitful.

    You are dismissive of my own personal experiences, yet we have never met (as far as I’m aware anyway) How can you possibly make such a sweeping judgement on what I have and haven’t experienced? Your views on the psychology of belief ARE NOT unilaterally supported by science, reason or psychologists.

    You demand transparency from the church. I invite you to display the same transparency you are demanding from others and provide details of the ‘thousands’ and the general authorities who support you.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Spide,

      You may refuse to believe us, but there is a massive rate of disenfranchisement from the Church.

      My personal blog has received over 95,000 views in just two years. My resignation letter as bishop received a surprising 14,000 views in less than 7 days!

      I’m a member of Mormon Stories Facebook group which has thousands of members, along with other online forums with many thousands of members each.

      I’ve personally received several hundred emails from members of the Church who are suffering from the effects of religious trauma syndrome. Many feel trapped. They dare not openly ask questions for fear of hurting their spouses or extended families & friends in the Church. They feel like they are being held hostage by a belief system. I’ve even spoken to serving bishops who are struggling with their beliefs, but are afraid to speak out. And a prominent General Authority has expressed to me privately that members cannot see the truth inside the “Mormon Bubble.”

      Most members with concerns are closet doubters for fear of being ‘shunned’ by friends & family. Yet they speak with us about their concerns.

      Statisticians know how low the actual activity rate is for the Church at around 20%.

      As for dismissing your personal experiences, I only do so on the same basis that you dismiss the billions of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, Pagans, Satan worshippers, Scientologists & other Christians. Once you understand why you dismiss these other religions, you will hopefully understand why I dismiss yours.

      But, there is even more evidence from psychology & neuroscientific research which illuminates the whole concept of belief & explains why humans are so gullible to believe in weird stuff.

      Your experiences may ‘feel’ real to you, but that’s because you experience external reality with the same biological hardware, the brain, as you experience dreams & hallucinations. Which can make it difficult at times to differentiate the two. Add to that our pattern seeking minds which cause us to make conclusions without necessarily having all the facts. You have a recipe for delusion.

      Remember Spide, I’ve been where you are as a fully committed faithful tithe-paying, testimony bearing member. I don’t blame you for finding this stuff difficult to accept. It blew my mind when I found out I’d been deluded for 46 years. But like in the analogy of Plato’s Cave, reality is so much better than a silhouette.

      I sincerely wish you all the best,
      Steve

  26. A says:

    Hi Steve,

    I don’t refuse to believe you, on the contrary I acknowledged there are many, even thousands perhaps, who may doubt.

    My point was that you don’t have the mantra to claim you represent them. Some of those blog views are mine, and you certainly don’t represent me simply because I have read your blog.

    There are experiences beyond ‘feelings’ to which I refer (for clarity, I’m not claiming to have seen God or anything like that), but nevertheless experiences which are undeniable. And I certainly believe many of those experiences will be shared by members of other religions. I believe that God loves all of his children. I don’t imagine you will read it at this stage, but the book ‘The God Who Weeps’ gives some good analysis of the relationship between faith and reason.

    All the best to you too. I imagine a

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Spide,

      I can’t speak for Chris Ralph. He will reply to your questions in due course. Unfortunately he’s otherwise engaged right now.

      With regards to your experiences. I agree with you that they felt real. Of course they would. You felt them. I’ve had similar undeniable experiences. But it’s how we interpret those experiences that matters. Personal experiences are just one way to understand the world. In order to truly discover reality we need those experiences to be backed up with sound rational reasoning & objective, scientific data.

      When my personal experiences, which I agree are undeniable, are subjected to rigorous scrutiny from the other two methods for identifying & interpreting reality the conclusions are far from the Mormon concepts of reality, & it becomes very obvious that I had believed in a fantasy.

      As I said before, you really need to study psychology of belief. It will amaze you how gullible we were.

      Best wishes,
      Steve

  27. SM says:

    Hi Steve,

    I have done some study on the psychology of belief, although maybe not as much as you. What I do know is that we all look for ‘research’ which substantiates the position we choose to take. There is sufficient scientific research which supports both of our differing positions on this, or indeed any other matter.

    Consider me naive, blind, unlearned, whatever judgement you choose, but based on my personal experiences, it would be impossible for me to come to that conclusion. And that, of course, is the dilemma if one exists at all.

    Best,

    SM

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Spide,

      I absolutely agree with you about confirmational bias, or observer bias. As you say it is a normal human trait to look for, or see, evidence which confirms our beliefs.

      The only difference with me is that in this instance when I discovered the disconfirming evidence which caused my epiphany it was completely undesired & unexpected.

      In fact, I couldn’t sleep for weeks due to the painful cognitive dissonance it caused, and I spent a long time trying to prove the Church was true.

      Unfortunately the depth & breadth of evidence was so overwhelming it was a fait accompli.

      You may find this useful:

      “Most people, most of the time, arrive at their beliefs for a host of reasons involving personality and temperament, family dynamics and cultural background, parents and siblings, peer groups and teachers,
      education and books, mentors and heroes, and various life experiences, very few of which have anything at all to do with intelligence. The Enlightenment ideal of Homo rationalis has us sitting down before a table of facts, weighing them in the balance pro and con, and then employing logic and reason to determine which set of facts best supports this or that theory. This is not at all how we form beliefs. What happens is that the facts of the world are filtered by our brains through the colored lenses of worldviews, paradigms, theories, hypotheses, conjectures, hunches, biases, and prejudices we have accumulated through living. We then sort through the facts and select those that confirm what we already believe and ignore or rationalize away those that contradict our beliefs.

      “Reasons bit is in the mouth of belief’s horse. The reins pull and direct, cajole & coax, wheedle & inveigle, but ultimately the horse will take it’s natural path.” ~ Michael Shermer from his book ‘The Believing Brain’.

      To paraphrase a famous Church couplet which is now considered undoctrinal since Gordon B Hinckley lied about it on Larry King Live, yet was taught in priesthood & Relief Society only this Sunday:

      As you are, I once was. As I am, you may become!

      Wishing you all best on your journey,
      Steve

      • Lasvegasrichard says:

        It’s been said that a majority of people , given overwhelming evidence to the contrary , having already made up their mind , will still never change their original mindset .

  28. SM says:

    @Lasvegasrichard, I agree with the statement in isolation, but those that leave the church also choose to ignore an overwhelming plethora of evidence in it’s favor as well. Just read through the threads above and you will see how Steve and others ignore those elements of comments that do not speak to their current beliefs and for which there is no answer of reason.

    That’s why I refer to a dilemma in my previous post. Faith often asks us to turn a blind eye to the incongruities and inconsistencies of belief in the divine (or some recounts of church history). And ‘reason’ requires that we dismiss as mindgames the overwhelming evidence of a greater organizing power (which I call God) that cannot be adequately explained through scientific research.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Spide,

      Have you considered that we have not only looked at and considered the evidence which promotes faith in Mormonism, but we believed it for the majority of our lives. Not only believed it, but sacrificed for it, in most cases which would have died for it.

      The story changes though when new evidence is considered. When we look at the whole story, not just the sanitized version which the Mormon Church would prefer us to believe, we see that from the start, Joseph Smith lied. And it’s been one long fabrication all the way through. Yes some good has been done by good people in the Church. But we’re not talking about people, we’re talking about the foundational truth claims of the Church being completely undermined by the evidence when considered in the whole.

      Try http://mormonthink.com

      • Stormin says:

        This is probably not the best spot to leave this and maybe slightly off subject but —-.
        I have recently resigned all my postiions at church (priesthood leadership and home teacher) because I do not have a testimony of Joseph or the Church. In order to justify, that I did all I could do to work with church leaders, I emailed 2 “so called” apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ with a basic question on Joseph Smith’s polygamy ——- to get an offical church response (like you have) so there would be no need to discuss it with the bishop or stake and get an “unofficial response”. As you may expect, they both dodged my question and answered a question of their own chosing from their conference talks. Subsequently, an Apologetic website contacted me by email and asked are you interested in JOseph Smiths polygamy? —- then gave me the unoffical answer I already had found on my own.

        I did definitely get through to the 2 apostles by email by going to lds.org and used the “comment box” on each applicable conference talk to email them. I plan on emailing more this next conference and ask —— How can you look in the mirror at yourself when you are knowingly taking money from widows and poor families in tithing when it is clear Joseph was a liar and a fraud? May have an impact if they get thousands of emails??? It would if I were in their shoes but they are “special whtnesses” of something so who knows.

      • SteveBloor says:

        Hi Ray,

        Wow!

        Big decisions!

        It takes an awful lot of courage to live honestly, authentically & with such integrity.

        My thoughts are with you.

        Please let me know if we can help at all.

        Best wishes,
        Steve

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Spide (SM),

      Thanks for your good natured debate.

      I sense you are sincere.

      The purpose of my blog is not to deconvert those who are comfortable with their faith, but to help give hope to those who are already questioning.

      The argument you make that we ignore the evidence which does not agree with our current beliefs, can be applied to you in regards to every other religion in the world. In fact I have heard Jewish, Jehovah’s Witnesses & Catholic apologists make the same claim about their own religions. The fact that all religious apologists sound the same should ring some rational bells!

      It seems to me that the time has come for answers to be given by the Lord through his chosen servants. If God cares, then surely He would instruct the Brethren to help those members of the Church who are struggling to understand why He required the Mormon doctrines of polygamy, polyandry, and Blood Atonement. To explain the problems with the translation claims for the Book of Abraham Etc., Etc.

      It’s also insulting to our intelligence for the Church to say that the racist doctrines & practices of the Church in the past were “just opinions of men.”  In actual fact they were taught as if from the mouth of God Himself by His Prophet on earth.

      Members of the Church are now confused in what to believe. Either the Prophets CANNOT lead us astray, or they CAN?

      This quote is very relevant:
      “The Mormon obsession with defending repulsive doctrine is heartbreaking on many levels. I believe the modern Latter-day Saint is now vastly superior in both character and integrity to the moral and ethical scoundrels they are compelled to defend. You may come to know, as I have, many Latter-day Saints who are trustworthy, dedicated, and beyond reproach in their character. Those are precisely the respectable Mormons who will hesitate or struggle to justify the obvious spiritual failures and bizarre doctrines of the church, because they know in their hearts that they and their families live far better Christian lives than those whom they are now required to defend.” ~ Lee Baker

      If God gave us intelligence. Surely He will now give us the ability to use that intelligence to decide between truth & error, based not just on emotional feelings of the spirit, but on solid rational reasoning & evidence. Or does He require us to switch off our rational minds & blindly follow leaders who haven’t really got a clue what’s going on?

      “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge.”
      ― Daniel J. Boorstin

      “I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers, but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress.”
      ― Daniel J. Boorstin

      As co-signatories to The Proclamation For Truth we just want answers to our sincere questions from the Church leadership. Apologists can try all they like to defend the frankly sick, despicable & in some cases criminal attitude & behaviour of the Church leadership, but it does nothing to enhance their position in the eyes of reasonable, rational & law-abiding people.

      If I as a serving bishop had acted in the way current Church leaders seem to accept that the “imperfect” Joseph Smith & Brigham Young acted, then I would not only have been released from my calling, but excommunicated from the Church for gross sins.

      How does a man of God receive any sort of revelation from God when he isn’t worthy to feel the spirit due to committing serious sins?

      I’m afraid those who defend the Church leadership in these cases are as self-deceived as those who believe Islam is the one true faith, and there are many more of them than the estimated 5 million active Mormons.

      I’m afraid “believing IS seeing!” True Believing Church members see what they want to see when their minds are not able to accept reality for what it is.

      I know this from personal experience & by studying psychological research.

      Check out the ‘Vital Lies Simple truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception’ by Daniel Goleman. You may know of it, but in case you don’t he sums up his ideas in the preface:
      “My thesis, in sum, revolves around these premises:
      1) The mind can protect itself against anxiety by dimming awareness.
      2) This mechanism creates a blind spot: a zone of blocked attention and self-deception.
      3) Such blind spots occur at each major level of behavior from the psychological to the social.”

      I was previously self-deceived until my rational mind woke up when the cognitive dissonance got too loud.

      Hopefully, one day your mind will be willing to accept what your eyes can see. I can assure you that having swallowed the ‘bitter pill of truth’ the world looks a lot more wonderful on the other side of that epiphany.

      Wishing you well,
      Steve

    • The Historian says:

      SM when you can rationally explain Joseph Smith engaging in polyandry with married women which the record shows his own wife found out and was furious and embarrassed about then you gain some traction towards evidencing your position. When you can explain why there were 3 versions of the first vision that don’t tally, or why Joseph Smith was an abolitionist but Brigham Young pro slavery and speaking in the name of the Lord that if a white mix seed with a black they should be shot dead on the spot. The list can go on, but these are rational external problems. The history is simply not what we were told to such an extent that it is only fair and reasonable to look again at the claim of exclusive truth and authority. History does matter. The church cannot be founded on such practices which it increasingly attempts to hide and yet still claim to be the authoritative word if God.

      • Gale Thorne Jr. says:

        True spirituality can only be built on a foundation of truth. Stating that those who leave the church choose to ignore any significant amount of other information is 1.) Far to general of the large majority of such and 2.) is quite opposite the case for the large majority of those who choose to leave.

        Such statements are made in ignorance and assume that those who leave do so out of laziness, a lack of study and/or failure to have supporting spiritual experiences due to serious sin,lack of devotion or other assumed character flaw. Such assumptions are completely false and often hurtful. In my experience, such steps are rarely taken casually. Quite the opposite – the large majority of people who resign their memberships or drop into inactivity due so only after a long and extremely difficult struggle. The church does itself no favors in hiding, spinning or ignoring its history. Instead, it fosters a sense of deceit and outright lies that causes an enormous drop in its credibility.

        Ironically, the church devotes an extraordinary amount of resources doing missionary work, but little in its activation efforts. One can only conclude that it has learned that many of its inactives simply know too much and that the churches position is sply indefensible.

  29. SM says:

    Hello Steve,

    Of course I have, that’s the dilemma I mentioned. Do you not think I have done the same, but have come to a different conclusion to you? It’s not been black and white for me, it’s been necessary to balance one set of information and experience with another and form a conclusion therefrom.

    As mentioned previously, I looked at mormonthink. In the first article I read the author blatantly misrepresents what actually happens in relation to patriarchal blessings. Once you know someone will lie, there is little value to anything they say. Mormonthink therefore doesn’t form much of a foundation for a rational evaluation of the church, at least for me.

    I also referenced MartinLDS (I believe you commented there) , who simply lies in respect of an aspect of Joseph Smith history and then when challenged, passes it off that ‘I was trying to make a point’.

    I find it ironic that those calling for the church to be honest about it’s past at the same time find it necessary to misrepresent and lie to support their position.

    If we were to review today, for example, the film of an interview with someone from yesterday, there would still be many many opinions about what the person really meant, even after watching it time and time again and examining the exact content (just read the newspapers to see this in action). In the case of church history, we try to analyze something that someone said 200 years ago, recorded by one or perhaps two people, often filtered with their subjective views, with no opportunity for a replay, often no detail of the context, and applying our 2012 frame of reference, and yet somehow draw a definitive conclusion about every spoken word. Hardly what you refer to as ‘sanitized evidence’.

    And on the topic of faith, can you really call it chance or coincidence that in the millions of planets we can analyze, just this one has all of the factors necessary to sustain life?

    Steve, I suspect this debate could continue endlessly without much progress so since this is your blog, I’ll leave the final word to you.

    All the best to you too.

    SM

    • richard skinner says:

      I believe that everyone that has or is currently going down this path has made extraordinary efforts to make sure the information they use is as accurate as humanly possible . No one takes these decisions lightly . You can see the horrific damage some will endure in all the various aspects of their life because of a final decision that this organization representing the truth in fact possesses a huge lie . Each and every person usually experiences a unique epiphany as how they came to the final result of no longer believing the claims made by other men . Most though , get there by numerous evidences as to why . I’ve heard it said , and I know it to be true in my case … ” the B of A … where testimonies come to die “. Coupled with the organized and obvious attempt to sanitize and obstruct the truth , it leaves one with really no alternative.

  30. cool cool says:

    It’s time to move on. You are hell-bent on bashing the Mormon church, and your feigned remorse is pathetic. So you got “conned” into voluntarily donating 10% of your increase to a faceless organization with no knowledge of how that money was spent. Get over it. True or not, there are a LOT of people who’s lives are improved because of the organization of the Mormon church. People are pushed to stop drinking, smoking, and be faithful husbands/wives/fathers/mothers as a direct result of going to church and buying into the church’s teachings. All religions are good if nothing else for this reason alone, that they convey teachings about being good people. If you do away with religion generally, can you even imagine the state of our world’s morals? They wouldn’t exist. And to say otherwise is completely ignorant.

    Other churches have donations. Other churches have shaky histories. Other churches indoctrinate their kids from a very young age. The only difference between those churches and the Mormon church (in your mind) is the money that you paid and can’t get back. So stop pretending it’s not about money, and stop pretending this isn’t just a personal vendetta because you are jaded. Because if it weren’t about money, then certainly you would be on a tirade against all organized religion, especially those that operate on donations. But you aren’t. So you just come across as a jaded hypocrite.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Cool Cool,

      I imagine I must refer to you as God because you seem to know my heart and mind so well.

      In reality you are just being judgemental and rude in jumping to conclusions.

      What you have written says more about you than it does about me and my motives.

      I don’t blame you for superimposing your own fears, biases and prejudices onto me, it’s the only way your mind can imagine that I am thinking.

      However, the truth is that my desire is to fulfil the desires of others who are suffering because of the dishonest and frankly deceitful way the Church is carrying on.

      I desire to assist others to live more authentically despite their change of beliefs about the Church.

      These motives cannot be imagined by someone whose mind is driven by irrational fear.

      I wish you well, and bid you adieu.

      Steve

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