Impact: This is exactly how I am feeling right now! I don’t feel I was ready [for baptism at age 8] and I don’t feel that my children are at all either. I have had a real hard time with baptizing at the age of 8 for some time now. But the family pressure is so thick, I couldn’t handle the explanation as to why we wouldn’t, and of course the pressure in primary.
Date: 30 Jul 2014
Impact Topic: Under-Informed Covenant Making
Impact: I found out [about historical Church History] in December of last year. I did not reason my way through any difficult questions, rather, I was told over the course of three hours the real story of the church. I feel like it will take me years to recover. At 44, that is a depressing thought! Anyway, while some might say there are compelling reasons to stay… there are many more compelling reasons to leave. Fact is, you and I were lied to and the foundation of the church is false. If you let yourself go to places like exmormon.org and go through some of their archived subjects, you will begin to understand the depth of the pain and sorrow and worse that many have suffered at the hands of this dysfunctional and authoritarian organization. While there are very often good messages that can be found about how to treat our fellow human beings or how to be a more productive person and the like, they are not unique to Mormonism. You will see this quote from time to time– “What is good in the church is not unique and what is unique in the church is not good.” Consider manipulation of truth for selfish goals as a kind of abuse. And while not all encompassing throughout the church, it is most certainly very pervasive.
Date: 27 Jul 2015
Impact Topic: General; Cover Up and Excommunications
Impact: Once I found out that Joseph Smith put his head into a hat to look at peep stones, the same stones he went fortune hunting with, it shook my world. I wondered what else the church had white-washed and kept from me? The polyandry, polygamy and lying to Emma was another big issue for me. Then I had to look at the story of mobs being after an innocent man because Satan didn’t want the gospel restored. Made way more sense that people would be upset with shenanigans then they would be with religion.
Date: 25 Jul 2014
Impact Topic: Book of Mormon Translation
Impact: A very good understanding of the overall polygamy dynamics during [Joseph’s] time… actually made me less angry about polygamy surprisingly. It gave me an insight to his actions and why he did what he did, but there were times that I was still angered by his behavior, especially his secrecy with Emma. I was surprised by the secrecy that went on among Emma’s close friends as well. Many of them were married to Joseph and hid it from her. Joseph lied. Emma’s friends lied to her regularly. [I learned] the intricate dynamics and weird triangles of people involved in lying to keep polygamy secret and hidden. There is no way a prophet could pull off today what Joseph did. I …especially [found fascinating] the practice of the dynastic celestial sealings. I still have a lot of unanswered questions, but I ultimately have a better understanding. The reason why I was so fascinated with polygamy was because my ancestors are all Mormon pioneers who came across the plains and settled in Utah. I have a ton of polygamy in my ancestry on both sides of my family. I wanted to understand what my ancestors went through in practicing polygamy. I became obsessed with studying it for a while last year. I was shocked to discover that it was not true that there was a surplus of women which was the reason I was told polygamy was practiced. But I shouldn’t have been that surprised considering all the other stuff I didn’t know:) I think when [one is] studying subjects as complicated as polygamy, it’s important to read as much as you possibly can. I found out really quick when I started on my faith crisis that having little information was dangerous. I was reading a little bit here and a little bit there which sent me over the edge without knowing how to process it. Not saying that I still know how to process it all now, but it’s been much easier to process and understand things by immersing myself in studying the history.
Date: 24 July 2014
Impact Topic: Polygamy
Impact: I am 17 years old, a true, believing Mormon until about a few months ago. I first started to see flaws about the church last year when I decided not to go to girl’s camp because I decided to take classes at our local community college. I had expected the rest of the young women to be disappointed, but never would I have imagined my close friends and well-respected leaders to shun me and tell me that I was missing out on “the most spiritual experience of my life,” which of course is just nuts. They then proceeded to tell me that I didn’t need to take college classes because I didn’t have to in order to graduated high school and that college is where I can meet my future husband who will work while I can stay at home with the kids. They told me to worry about my celestial marriage right now (I was 16 at the time). That’s when my eyes opened about the ridiculousness of the Mormon culture.
I started to question doctrine last year during seminary as we studied the Book of Mormon. I went to learn more about the history and the translation process. Like many, I was shocked about the things I found concerning Joseph Smith, polygamy, first vision accounts, blacks and the priesthood, the Book of Abraham, temples, and so much more. I cried myself to sleep for many months. I loved the church. I loved the scriptures, the prophet, the ward family, temples, and so much more. But I loved the Savior and His atonement most of all. I feel betrayed, lied to, and cheated. If the church isn’t true, then how many precious hours did I waste for it?
Only my parents know of my crisis of faith. I told my bishop a little but he thinks I gained my testimony back. I’m not sure what I believe in any more. I still feel good when I go to church, but because of the familiarity or otherwise, I’m not sure. I’m not sure I want to leave or stay.
I am young and naïve. This pain is new to me. I feel empty and hopeless where I was once happy about church. Sometimes I wish I had stayed a true, believing Mormon because it was so much easier. But I can’t go back after what I’ve seen. I can only move forward. I don’t even know what the right thing to do is anymore, otherwise I would do it.
Date: 24 Jul 2014
Impact Topic: General
Impact: If I had to pinpoint one [most concerning] thing, it would be the secrecy and the lies. To get a Temple recommend, I had to say that I was honest in all my dealings, when the very church who deals out these questions does not have to live by the same standard.
Date: 15 Jul 2014
Impact Topic: Cover Up and Excommunications
Impact: This broke my shelf- that memo that they didn’t know where the [priesthood] ban came from shortly followed by the essay. I was like, wait, what? I thought you just said we didn’t know where it came from! I felt so lied to! It was all down hill from there.
Date: 19 JUL 2014
Impact Topic: Race and the Priesthood