Tag Archives: Impact

“I am young and naive. This pain is new to me.”

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

“A More Mature View of What Happened in That Grove…”

Impact Topic:  First Vision Accounts

First Name: Clay

Date:  10 JUL 2014

Impact:  I only first learned about the multiple accounts of the first vision in a Church History class in college before my mission, but thought little of the discrepancies.  Later when I put the discrepancies into context after married and deep in my educational endeavors, I realized that the potent emphasis that we place on the First Vision story is a relatively new phenomenon and that early church members may not have even known about the First Vision at all.  It was troubling to hear that the story was told differently numerous times.  I wondered and still wonder why the multiple accounts are never something we talk more about.  All those times that I related the first vision over and over on my mission, I never dreamed that I was actually just presenting what the vision might have been.  I would have appreciated being viewed as capable of digesting the real history so that I could interpret the facts myself.   I can see how Joseph might have had trouble recalling the vision the same way over the years, or maybe all of them are just a fraction of what actually happened.  Knowing the truth has helped me to have a more mature view about what happened in that grove of trees.  That understanding can now no longer be shaken by learning facts of which I was previously kept ignorant.  The entire process has increased my empathy for others and reaffirmed my conviction and belief in a God that isn’t affected by the errors that humans make.