Open thread for faithful Mormons!

civil discourse

I knew we had faithful Mormons reading this blog, but ProfXM’s thread on “feeling the Spirit” really brought them out of lurking!! So, today, I’d like to open a new thread where the faithful can introduce themselves and the rest of us can welcome them!

I want to reiterate that Main Street Plaza is a place where we can all have a reasonable, civil discussion — despite differences in belief. We are absolutely open to constructive criticism. Organizations (like the CoJCoL-dS or the Mormon Alumni Association) can only improve by recognizing and addressing problems. I would just like to ask you first to be sure you’ve read our welcome page and our FAQ (on why we write about Mormonism) so that we don’t waste our time, yours, and precious electrons on repeating ourselves (eg. “you guys are all a bunch of ant-Mormons and I’m sure that you hate me,” etc.). Your feedback on specific posts or policies, however, is welcome! 😀

171 thoughts on “Open thread for faithful Mormons!

  1. I’d like to be the first to comment on you post. I think it is very civil of you to open a post everyone from no matter what religion ans beliefs to say what they feel…
    Firstly, I’m a real mormon, not one of these stupid, fake groups on the internet that call themselves mormons, and if you observe how they behave and the things they say, and really study the true gospel of mormonism, they alot of you on here or that may come on here seeking for answers, they you will come to an understanding and realization. Now I’m only 17, so I’m only a teenager, and I’m so proud to be a mormon. Yes, people may think we are expected of too much, sometimes i do feel that, so i will agree, but i believe at the end of the day, whatever is asked of us, is coming from god, and if we want to return to him (plan of salvation) then we do what is asked of him. No one is perfect, that’s where repentence comes in and thats where “feeling the spirit works”, the spirit is so important, it’s something that can help you in your daily lifes, it’s something that can uplift you, give you directions, give you answers if you seek them diligently. Now I believe that the church of jesus christ of latter day saints is the true church. No, i haven’t seen god, but whenever i felt like not believing anymore, or felt very discouraged, my testimony always kept me going, thats not a bad thing, im grateful that it did, i sometimes feel sorry for people that dont have the gospel, I have been so blessed being in the gospel, and all my friends that aren’t in the gospel, recognise the differences between my life and theirs, and they wish they were like me and could have the same blessings. I understand that there are many different religions and beliefs which I respect completely, but at the end of the way, the way I look at it, what are we battling and arguing for? The majority of religions believes in god, we believe in the same things but we just go about things differently, so what…that what creates different religions, and i believe is there was only one religion in the world, then there would be no challenges etc again (plan of salvation) I want to ask something here.. if the church of latter day saints wasn’t true and if the book of mormon wasn’t true, then would Joseph Smith as a young boy younger than me have a vision of jesus christ and God himself? and along with that have witnesses? which you can find in the book of mormon…and also if it wasn’t true, would he have died along with hundreds of other people and children? This is an open question to everyone on here, but before you answer it, I would like it if you really though about it, long and hard, and perhaps research correctly, and not go onto sites that gives false information about us. My answer to this question is no, he wouldn’t have died and started the whole religion by himself as a young boy if it wasn’t true. I know for a fact that i wouldn’t have died and risked my life everyday if it wasn’t true. Now I’m going to leave that there, I just wanted to post this, as I’m not sure who is still mormon, who is pretending to me a mormon, who is totally against mormons, I do not know, but I am open to questions that want answers.

  2. Thanks, Jessica! We’ve heard a lot about young people leaving the church, so it’s nice to get some perspective from the young people who are sticking with the faith.

    Im not sure who is still mormon, who is pretending to me a mormon, who is totally against mormons

    Well, you know what they say — on the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog. 😉 But usually when people self-identify as Mormons, I assume the really are.

    As for your other questions, folks here are welcome to take a crack at them. She’s asking some sincere questions, so let’s see some thoughtful answers.

  3. Jessica,

    not one of these stupid, fake groups on the internet that call themselves mormon

    What, in your mind, are some of these fake groups on the internet?

  4. I’ve been reading MSP for a while now, and I find the discussion interesting. I’m a church-going, card-carrying member, but it’s been a long long time since I actually used the card – even though I live in the heart of Utah Valley. I believe the central principles of the gospel, but I can’t accept everything that comes out of the prophet’s mouth as the will or word of God. No man is that perfect.

    After bouncing around the bloggernacle for a few years, I figured out where I stand with the church. I cut the sleeves off of my garments (apostasy!) and put them back on, and I started going to church with purpose again. I teach gospel doctrine these days, avoiding the correlated material like the plague, teaching the historical background of the OT and studying the text *like it’s a text* rather than a riddle with a certain few acceptable answers. My classes get rave reviews, and for the first time I’m enjoying Sunday school.

  5. After bouncing around the bloggernacle for a few years, I figured out where I stand with the church.

    Good for you! There are so many interesting things you could discuss in GD class — and I don’t just mean negative things. Mormon history and doctrine can be fascinating, and it’s a shame to confine your discussions with your ward to weak-porridge-written-by-committee if that doesn’t inspire you.

  6. Hi Andrew, there are people that go about saying they are mormons but they are, and they do post false doctrine on sites like this, so I just wanted to point that out, that if people do believe the false doctrines that are posted, they may be by these particular people that call themselves mormons, so when seeking answers, people do need to be careful, because it’s so easy to pick up the wrong thing…there’s correct sites such as lds.org….
    Chanson and not creative, you are both right, I have developed a great love for learning the history of the church, I’m in my final year of seminary, and only till now do i really appreciate what I’m learning, and only now do I take it all in. I’m studying D&C this year, and I have to say this is my favorite year!

  7. Jessica — That’s great that you’re enjoying your studies!

    there are people that go about saying they are mormons but they are, and they do post false doctrine on sites like this

    I’m intrigued. If you’re talking about this site, I assume you know that the people here don’t usually profess to be believing Mormons, nor do they claim to be teaching Mormon doctrine. Can you give us some specifics? Are you talking about pro-polygamy blogs or something?

  8. Jessica,

    So, when you say “fake groups,” Main Street Plaza is one of those groups (even though I think most of us make pretty clear that we are ex, former, post or heterodox Mormons)?

    I guess my next question would be: what do you believe the false doctrines posted on sites like this one are? What are other “fake groups” that pretend to be Mormon?

  9. well I’m not really talking about this site, because I dont full know this site, only came across this site today, through a video of a women that claimed to be a mormon, but was abusing her child for making bad choices and it was very disturbing basically…
    but yeah pro-polygamy and anti-mormonism ( a few people that i met have actually pretended to be mormons, but passed out false doctrines but then also made awful remarks, judgments about the church…

  10. So, if someone does something that looks bad to the church (e.g., a woman has really unfortunate and shameful punishment for her child), then she’s only a fake Mormon? Or if a person disagrees with some position or policy of the church, then they are a fake Mormon?

  11. Jessica — I see. You’re talking about the woman in the video abusing her child. I’m willing to believe that she’s not representative, but ultimately you can’t pronounce on whether she’s really Mormon any more than she can tell you that you’re not really Mormon. Anyway, she wasn’t pronouncing on Mormon beliefs, was she? (Sorry to admit I didn’t watch the video — maybe I should.)

    a few people that i met have actually pretended to be mormons, but passed out false doctrines but then also made awful remarks, judgments about the church

    On the Internet, in real life, or both? Personally, I’ve met devout believers who sometimes criticize [judge] some things about the LDS church. It doesn’t automatically make them non/anti-Mormon.

    As far as false doctrines are concerned, it’s really hard to pin down what is the “real” Mormon doctrine on a lot of questions. It’s actually possible for well-meaning believers to make incorrect claims about doctrine unintentionally. The lds.org site doesn’t always answer every question, and could potentially even contain errors itself.

  12. I’d just like to make another comment, and I don’t want this to come across offensive, and if it does, then I really do apologize, I really don’t understand why people feel the need to make horrible remarks and comments against Mormons, and this also go to “ex-Mormons”, ( and this is not to just people on this site, it’s really in to people in general), fair enough if you no longer agree with the beliefs and what we do etc but I don’t get what the whole point is? Personally, I believe that people should just respect other believes no matter what you may think and feel about them, we are allowed to believe different things, that’s the whole point…that’s why there are so many different religions in the world.

  13. if the church of latter day saints wasnt true and if the book of mormon wasnt true, then would Joseph Smith as a young boy younger than me have a vision of jesus christ and God himself?

    Jessica: there is nothing particularly remarkable or unique about Joseph Smith’s vision.

    During America’s revivals, some even saw visions of both God the Father and Jesus Christ. Devout claims of seeing God were quite common, particularly by adolescents. In its chronicle (published 1786), the Ephrate commune celebrated Catherine Hummer who had several visions, including one of “the Savior and the Father…. These two, the Father and the Son, stood together.”….

    Far better known and more frequently published in the early 1800s was Benjamin Abbott’s narrative of a theophany in which both the Father and the Son spoke to him. Concerning a 1772 vision just before dawn, Abbott remembered “and at that instant I awoke, and saw, by faith, the Lord Jesus Christ standing by me, with his arms extended wide, saying to me, ‘I died for you.’ I then looked up, and by faith I saw the Ancient of Days, and he said to me, ‘I freely forgive thee for what Christ has done.'” Abbott’s narrative went through thirteen printings from 1801to 1844, with New York editions in 1805, 1813, 1830, 1832, 1833, and 1836. In the early nineteenth century, New Yorkers obviously liked reading about youthful visions of the Father and Son.

    –D.Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View.

    I went through my life believing that JS’s vision was unique, special, genuine, and that competing visions were counterfeit. But if you want anyone to respect that opinion, you must acknowledge and consider other possibilities.

    You must consider the possibility that all these visions–not just Smith’s, but all of them–were real, which means that the visions of the other teenagers’ belonged to churches and had spiritual beliefs that entitled them to visits from God, and that belonging to the LDS church isn’t really all that special.

    You must also consider the possibility that all these people–every last one of them–hallucinated their visions.

    And you must also consider the possibility that the visions of others were real, and that Joseph Smith copied their accounts and wrote a fake story of a vision he never had, because he wanted to do what all the cool kids were doing.

    The fact that Joseph Smith claimed to have a vision proves absolutely nothing, Nor does his age when he claimed to have that vision prove anything, since, as Quinn’s book documents, it was something plenty of teenagers did, and writing about it actually earned them money.

    I understand that there are many different religions and beliefs which I respect completely, but at the end of the way, the way I look at it, what are we battling and arguing for? The majority of religions believes in god, we believe in the same things but we just go about things differently, so what

    These are excellent questions. I hope you will ask them of your parents, seminary teachers, Sunday school teachers, young women’s teachers, bishops and stake presidents. If the majority of religions believe in god, if we believe in the same things but we just go about things differently, and if the reaction to that is “so what?” why on earth is it necessary for the cojcolds to spend millions of dollars trying to convert the rest of the world? why does it have to tell people that if they want to be happy for eternity, they must become Mormon? why not just trust that god loves all his children and will, like any decent father, welcome every last one of them back to his home and his presence when they make that journey?

  14. I really dont understand why people feel the need to make horrible remarks and comments against Mormons, and this also go to ex-Mormons,

    Unless you’re claiming the the people here at this site have made “horrible remarks”, then there’s no reason to believe we’d be offended by the claim that someone, somewhere has made a horrible remark about Mormons.

    if you no longer agree with the beliefs and what we do etc but I dont get what the whole point is?

    Please, can I direct your attention again to our FAQ?

    we are allowed to believe different things, thats the whole pointthats why there are so many different religions in the world.

    Fab, agreed. But what is the relevance to this discussion here?

  15. Oops. Found a paragraph that’s garbled. This is clearer:

    You must consider the possibility that all these visionsnot just Smiths, but all of themwere real, which means that the other teenagers who had visions belonged to churches and had spiritual beliefs that entitled them to visits from God, and that belonging to the LDS church isnt really all that special.

    Sorry–it’s early.

  16. I’d just like to make another comment, and I don’t want this to come across offensive, and if it does, then I really do apologize, I really don’t understand why people feel the need to make horrible remarks and comments against Mormons, and this also go to “ex-Mormons”, ( and this is not to just people on this site, it’s really in to people in general), fair enough if you no longer agree with the beliefs and what we do etc but I don’t get what the whole point is? Personally, I believe that people should just respect other believes no matter what you may think and feel about them, we are allowed to believe different things, that’s the whole point…that’s why there are so many different religions in the world. Ok Andrew, so am not entirely following what you say, you’re making it sound as if it’s alright to abuse your child for being a child… that’s it’s ok to throw a 5 year old into a very cold shower and make him drink hot chili sauce for lying?? and the answer to both your questions is no, like i said above, underneath the video, it said she was a mormon, im not saying she was, but what im saying is that is shouldn’t say she is if she isn’t, because 1 that allows people to come up with alsorts of ideas thinking that mormons do this to their children (some may, i do not know, but it is NOT encouraged, we are against things like that) and 2, it’s obviously false if she isn’t. I know for a fact that people who hate mormons do things like this, that post videos and say they are mormons, look what they do etc this is my point….

  17. and what let me to this site was, when i saw this video on youtube, there was loads of them, and some of them linked to this site… and then i came here, then thinking well is this site posting these videos..? these sort of things, give false impressions and really make you question things, the fact that they were linked to this site really made me question about whether this site by people that hate mormons and blah blah blah…

  18. Jessica (re 12):

    Holly (the same poster from 13) recently wrote an article that really captures a lot of my feelings about the question as well. There was another article here at MSP that asked the readers to answer a similar question…chanson just got in before me to link to it! I hope you will consider these thoughts.

    There are a few reasons why. Firstly, the fact is that we all *were* very involved, very active Mormons. It was a substantial part of our lives for a significant part of our lives. But more importantly, it STILL affects many of us…we still have family and friends who are Mormon, and we are affected by what the Mormon church does with or to us, our family, and our friends.

    re 16:

    Ok Andrew, so am not entirely following what you say, youre making it sound as if its alright to abuse your child for being a child.

    I’d like to make it clear that I’m not saying that at all. But it seems that you were saying that because that woman did this, she is not a real Mormon.

    I was asking, just because someone does something despicable, does that disqualify them from being a Mormon (or anything else)? We deplore this mother’s actions, and we recognize that it is not condoned by the church, but we have to recognize that this certainly was a *real* Mormon who did this. And that mother, for whatever reason, believed that she was justified in treating her child in that way.

    There are other examples. The Mormon church (among other churches) believes it is justified in campaigning politically against gay marriage. Most of us disagree, and disagree with the tactics used in the campaign. For us to raise awareness of these tactics doesn’t mean we’re “saying horrible things” about Mormons. We are pointing out what real Mormons are doing.

  19. Yes, we have a YouTube channel of LDS-interest videos, including news and clips of people talking about being former Mormons. Aside from the child-abuse one — which we can discuss if you like — were any of the others objectionable? In what way?

  20. Holly that’s great, and that’s also true, I do agree that many people had visions, I learnt all this in History at high school, Personally What I find remarkable about what joseph smith did, is the fact that 1 young boy started what mormons have today alone, it’s grown so much, and I believe that in the world today, and it grows harder and we face more difficulties and hard times such as wars etc, the church is growing faster and bigger by the minute, and that’s what fascinates me, I know that at my age or even at a younger age, I could never do that on my own, he eventually got followers who helped him, it’s just the fact that even against all the opposition they had, and all the deaths and murders that they faced, they kept going… Yeah that may have happened in other religions, but I just wanted to share a little of my testimony before, of what I think is fascinating about him.. that’s all..

  21. Let me echo Holly’s advice here: “These are excellent questions. I hope you will ask them of your parents, seminary teachers, Sunday school teachers, young womens teachers, bishops and stake presidents.”

    I’d like to add, however, that often these are not the best sources of authority for “difficult” questions, and may often be the worst place you can go. That doesn’t mean that they are bad, or dumb, or not inspired. It just means that they may not have the skills to answer the particular issues you ask about. That doesn’t mean that no one does, or that Mormons don’t have a robust set of resources for thinking critically about the faith. Look around a little harder than your local leaders before making any definitive conclusions about whether or not there are answers.

  22. Yeah I agree Andrew, there are alot of things i disagree with, within the church, and there are many that i will agree with because of the blessings i’ve recieved… but coming back the gay marriage, I disagree with it, I believe you should be able to marry who you want to marry, I don’t think it’s at all alien like that there are gay attractions between people, I agree with it, and have nothing against it, I have many gay friends, I kind of understand why the church wont allow gay marriages. It’s simply because of the plan of salvation, he said that a man and women should marry and reproduce, and we have temple marriages, and we have that to be together forever and in order to get back to our heavenly father etc… that’s all I can say about that, as I’m only 17… so I’m not fully aware of that, but i understand why people disagree with that…

  23. It’s good to meet you, Jessica. I hope that you will stick around. You will find that many people who criticize the LDS Church actually care the most about it. That is why they won’t walk quietly away but hold themselves and their community accountability.

    Accountability is a good thing, isn’t it? Unfortunately, you can’t have accountability without pointing out what’s wrong. Every time the church gets criticized, it’s an opportunity for it to become stronger and to become a better place for the members.

    Have you by chance read the case files of the Mormon Alliance, Jessica?

  24. Personally What I find remarkable about what joseph smith did, is the fact that 1 young boy started what mormons have today alone, its grown so much, and I believe that in the world today, and it grows harder and we face more difficulties and hard times such as wars etc, the church is growing faster and bigger by the minute,

    There is really nothing that unusual about a charismatic person managing to attract followers, or even start a church. Methodism started only a century before Mormonism, but it has 70 million adherents, compared to Mormonism’s stated 13 million–which, as many studies demonstrate, is seriously inflated–60 to 70% of that number is inactive.

    Nor is the church “growing faster and bigger by the minute.” It is actually shrinking. It is losing members faster than it can replace them through birth or convert baptisms, despite (because of?) its aggressive missionary work.

    Hellmut, you’ve documented this phenomenon before–you can provide Jessica a link or two to to back this up?

  25. I told myself I was going to stay out of this thread, because I’d really like to step back and allow believing Mormons to have their say. And that’s what I’m going to do (after leaving this quick disclaimer). But I would like to explain something about that infamous YouTube clip:

    My impression of the “…and I’m a Mormon” ad campaign is that the LDS creative directors found a bunch of cool Mormons who agreed to publicly talk about all the cool things they were doing in their lives. And that’s great! But at the end of the day, what did that ad campaign become, really?

    It became a showcase of attractive, interesting people demonstrating a bunch of positive personal characteristics that ultimately have next to nothing to do with being Mormon. The only Mormon aspect of the videos is found in the closing tag (“…and I’m a Mormon”) and in the title of the clips.

    So, when I titled that video “Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a Mormon” it was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek critique of that Mormon ad campaign. By which I mean: if it’s OK for the LDS church to slap a big ol’ MORMON label on a bunch of feel-good videos that have little to do with actual Mormonism, I think it’s fair game to slap the same MORMON label on a feel-bad video that features someone who’s just as Mormon as any of the stars of that LDS ad campaign.

    It’s a downer, but it’s no less Mormon.

    Shorter me: The whole point of the “…and I’m a Mormon” campaign has been to showcase a bunch of personal characteristics that have zero to do with being Mormon. But once the LDS creative directors slapped a big ol’ MORMON in the title of the clips, suddenly those clips somehow became pro-Mormon advertisements. And so here’s my question: Does that kind of manipulation bother you? Or does it only bother you when I do the exact same thing with a depressing video?

  26. OK holly, that’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion, but I think what I think, and my opinion isn’t going to change no matter what people may think or say…Yes, people are falling from it, I’ve been there, I’ve fallen from it once before, but I came back, because I recognize what I’m missing out on, and I feel sorry for people that don’t recognize what they’re missing out on and only see what they don’t agree with…again what I just said before about Joseph Smith is my testimony, it’s not a debate, it’s my feelings on what he did, that’s all, I’m not trying to push anything what you say to a side, but I’m sticking with what I’m saying, I don’t want any documents… It was my testimony, and it’s only going to grow and that’s all I have to say now…

  27. haha chino you actually made me laugh, you just said that you was going to stay out of this and let believing Mormons have their say but then said after leaving this quick disclaimer. That doesn’t make sense, you said you wanted believing Mormons to have their say but then you’ve criticized what I said about the video….what the hell? lol
    I’m not going to try to justify my point and feelings again…more than I already have done, I said what I felt about that video before, and it made perfect sense to me… I was only trying to make one little point, chino the answer to both of your questions is no, the only thing I will say to you now, is that I just don’t understand why people do that, that’s all, so again like you said, you was going allow believing Mormons to have their say? well there you go, I’ve had my say, and thanks.

  28. Jessica,

    I’ll tell you why we can’t leave it alone. Many of us have lived our lives in the church, and found out information that it isn’t what it claims to be. Most of us, would have wanted to have that information available to us through the church. They don’t provide it, but rather say, don’t read it. We feel lied to. We feel misled and hurt.

    Imagine you and your family go to a business. You put your trust in this business to be honest and ethical. Then one day this business comes to you and says, they won’t do what you’ve asked them to, but they aren’t going to return your money either. Also, they said that if you tell the rest of your family what they are up to, they will bring you to court. They still have your family.friends on the line, your family doesn’t realize what this business is up to. Wouldn’t you try to warn them?

    We are trying to help people. That is all. For those who would want this information..that’s who we are trying to get it out to.

  29. Hey, I’m a “real” Mormon. 😉

    I think Jessica was attempting to state that the mother abusing her child was not doing so out of some rule book all Mormons have on child raising. This isn’t “Mormonism”. All through LDS doctrine, children are constantly being upheld as an example of what we should be like in our natures and that we should love and cherish them for who they are. I believe that falls in line with the example of Jesus in his approach to little children. So calling someone a “fake” Mormon is Jessica’s way of saying “That does not represent us. That is not what we believe”.

    Jessica, just so you know, “Mormons” come in all sorts of shapes sizes and alarmingly differ from each other in their political opinions, doctrine, education etc. The world would be a pretty dull place if we didn’t all embrace it in different ways. I lean more towards a Libertarian perspective and embrace the doctrine surrounding the idea that we are here to learn and not have our free will compromised in any way. Commandments in our scriptures are a way of defining our moral code and assist in freeing us from having to question each moral decision but beyond what we SPECIFICALLY read as commandments. . . we are free to chose for ourselves what is right or wrong.

    A lot of the “X” Mormons I have come across on the internet have been very hurt by something. Their experience in the church is one of guilt and frustration. They often talk about being judged by their friends, family and leaders. I cringe when I read this stuff because I know it has to be true for them. These are real experiences that have caused measurable harm. If I were to only believe in my faith based on the actions of some of those around me of evidence of it’s worth then I’d be hard pressed to justify my position. I have seen “Mormon” husbands beat their kids. I have seen them steal, a LOT of them are very shady in their business practices. The number of multi-level “scams” in Utah Valley alone are alarming. What I try and do is practice what I believe to be true. I try and be honest in all my dealings. I NEVER judge. Sometimes people leave the church. If they were my friends before they left then they will ALWAYS be my friends. I will never judge them or poor undue pressure onto them to come back. People have to be free to chose and to live with the consequences of their actions.

    I have also seen a lot of people come back to the church. Usually its when they get a bit older and have kids and want them to grow up “In the gospel”. Awesome! Welcome back. But if I do “welcome” them back then they will ALWAYS be welcome to me. No matter what their current church attendance level is. It is remarkable to me how un-Christian Mormons can be towards each other. Its like they are reading the scriptures and not seeing the connection between them and how they should treat their fellow man.

    Thats all. Fun little morning rant while I sip on my energy drink to try and wake up. OOoooooo maybe I’m not a “real” Mormon after all! LOL 🙂

  30. Well can I ask then, how you have been lied to, misled and hurt? I haven’t been…. so tell me, how you have…and why exactly you need to help people? I don’t get it…

  31. @Jessica: JS wrote several versions of the first vision. His account of what he says happened evolved over time. We have 11 documented versions, 3 of which he wrote with the others being second-hand re-tellings of what he verbally said.

    The witness accounts are questionable. Like the first vision they were retold and evolved over time. They all later clarified they never physically witnessed anything but saw these things with their “spiritual eyes,” whatever that means.

    As for how he died, he died in a gunfight in which he killed three people. He was arrested for destroying the printing press which was to print a very damning article exposing his polyandry.

    I’ve done much research on JS’s history and he was anything but a decent, upstanding human being. He systematically took advantage of and subjugated people to his will for his own greed. He married underage little girls and women who were already married to someone else. He fraudulently represented himself to gain people’s property and money. He was convicted of several fraud related crimes (money-digging, running an illegal bank in Kirtland).

    You are a bright young woman and I believe you will discover answers to satisfy your curiosity one way or another. When I was 17 these questions, which seemed to have no answer outside of what I was told in church, were what held me in thrall of this religion. It was a huge blow to learn that there were other, more reasonable, and natural explanations for all of JS’s claims, including how he authored the BoM. Eventually I researched my way out and found answers. Unfortunately, the answers I found did not support my childhood beliefs and I had no intellectual choice but to abandon those beliefs.

    Good luck, Kathryn

  32. I think Jessica was attempting to state that the mother abusing her child was not doing so out of some rule book all Mormons have on child raising. This isnt Mormonism.

    Right, and as Chino said, the stars of the “I’m a Mormon” series aren’t “Mormonism” either. Like the negative video, they’re individual Mormons. So if you have a problem with individuals being held up as representatives of Mormonism, then please don’t ignore Chino’s question:

    The whole point of the and Im a Mormon campaign has been to showcase a bunch of personal characteristics that have zero to do with being Mormon. But once the LDS creative directors slapped a big ol MORMON in the title of the clips, suddenly those clips somehow became pro-Mormon advertisements. And so heres my question: Does that kind of manipulation bother you? Or does it only bother you when I do the exact same thing with a depressing video?

  33. yes thats exactly what i meant william! and it’s not like im against people that aren’t mormons, I have hundreds of friends that dont agree with it etc, but the one thing I can’t stand is people being so judgmental about it, and being disrespectful etc, sometimes things just get blown out of proportion and get taken too far, and if people have been hurt by the church or whatever then fine, I’m not forcing anyone to change their opinions or anything, I’m just sharing what I think. I love how it says on this site that it’s a community for anyone who is interested in mormonism… when so far it seems like a few aren’t interested in it all, this post is for faithful mormons, and yet I’m here trying to battle my opinions, with people that are ex-mormons, that doesn’t make sense to me at all….

  34. my opinion isnt going to change no matter what people may think or say

    that’s a problem. Rational, reasonable people are open to persuasion and to having their minds changed by evidence. Rational, reasonable people let their opinions and beliefs evolve, as new evidence about the way the world works is brought into the realm of human understanding.

    What you’ve just done is announce that you refuse to grow mentally or spiritually. No matter how old you get, no matter what information you encounter in school or the world at large, you insist that will always believe just what you believe now–only more so.

    That’s not an attitude most people respect, and I think you can at least understand why. I hope that on reflection, you can admit that it’s not really how you feel.

    I dont want any documents

    where have we heard that before?

    No, of course you don’t want any documents. Confronting facts might actually cause you to question, and questioning might cause you to have to change your opinion, and you’ve already told us you’re not willing to do that.

    This is why a certain breed of TBM will often perceive any criticism of the church as a personal attack: because criticism might cause questioning, and questioning might cause them to change their opinion. And changing an opinion threatens their entire sense of self, because they’ve told themselves They Will Not Change Their Opinions!!!!

    Good luck with all this, Jessica. Just so you know, the MSP community–and the ex-Mo community–is full of people who were once just like you.

  35. this post is for faithful mormons, and yet Im here trying to battle my opinions, with people that are ex-mormons, that doesnt make sense to me at all.

    The post and the welcome clearly state that this is a site mainly by/for former Mormons, but that we’re interested in having a constructive dialog about Mormonism and LDS-interest issues despite differences in belief. This isn’t a place for having a “battle.” If you’re looking to do battle, you’ve come to the wrong place.

  36. Sigh..

    Jessica, I didn’t learn these things until I was in my 30’s. I’d been on a mission, married in the temple, and had three children.

    There were many things the church hid from me. And I’m still finding things out. Kathryn listed a few. The real problem for me was the Book Of Abraham. Do you know they have the papyrus for it? I never knew that. I didn’t know that it was found, I believe in 1969. I didn’t know that the real translation didn’t match up with what Joseph Smith “translated”. The Book of Mormon was also plagiarized from various books. Do a quick google search.

    Have you heard of the Rosetta stone? It had been found and used to translate Egyptian…but news traveled slowly, and Joseph Smith didn’t realize it had been found. ( I assume) He was pressured to bring forth new scripture. So he bought a mummy and pretended to translate a funeral text.

    This is a lot of information and I’m sure you’ve turned a blind ear to it. Most believing mormons do. It’s actually something we do psychologically.

    It’s not my fault I was lied to. But my family treats me as if I’m a horrible sinner. They’ve shunned me..when I just want to live my life in an honest way. I live a higher standard of honesty than the LDS church does. That is certain.

  37. Katherine, first of all, if you were about to die, and you were up against so many angry men that wanted to shoot you down, what you do? would you stand there and be like kill me now? or would you try and defend yourself? I think I would defend myself, even if that meant shooting 3 other men…and secondly, where did you get that information from, on him marrying underaged little girls and married women…??? I’m sorry to say, but I completely dont agree with you, I think you’re wrong…I’m sorry you didn’t get the answers you wanted as a child…and you’re right I will get the answers I want and I am bright, and I’m full of determination, but I really do not think there was any point to what you said about him marrying underaged girls, there was actually no need for that…Joseph only had one wife, called emma, who was an amazing women, and I really admire her, after everything she went through, she was such a strong example.

  38. “Well can I ask then, how you have been lied to, misled and hurt? I havent been. so tell me, how you haveand why exactly you need to help people? I dont get it”

    I can see how it would be confusing by me saying I’m trying to help people. You see, I would have wanted to know this information. I’m intelligent enough to get information, look at it, and make my own decisions. The church took that away from me, by only giving me pieces of information about it’s history. Things that in my opinion, helped me decide of Joseph was actually a prophet.

    I made most of my life decisions based on what they told me. I served a mission, got married, had children…according to THEIR timeline. Not mine.

    There are many people who are told not to question. I’m telling them…you SHOULD question. Question everything anyone who has any authority over you says. It’s your RIGHT to question. Someone who tells you not to read something, or not to question is hiding something. Make your own decisions. For those people who in 10 years would turn out like me..wishing they’d made difft. decisions, but had bad information…that is why I am here.

  39. All I’m going to say to your comment amy is that no i haven’t of those things, I’m only 17, what do you think I’ve heard of? and that you said google it? I think that can a mistake in some aspects, as anyone can put anything and google, and people just believe it… alsorts of rubbish comes up on google, and you dont always get the truth on there….good for you that you want to live an honest life, thats good, so do i, and im sorry that your parents treat you that way, that shouldn’t happen, and im glad my parents didn’t do that to me when i fell from the church once, support from your parents is the best thing you can get, so im sorry you didn’t have that… and yes there are alot of people that alot more honest than people in church, but again no one is perfect…

  40. Jessica,

    Kathryn is right. You can even check Familysearch.org. They have Josephs wives on there…and 11 of them were already married to living men at the time.

    I would suggest doing some of your own research, because this it a lot of information to hear in one sitting. Then you can go at your own pace and not feel attacked. I think a lot of us get overzealous because someone, like you, will actually stay here to listen…and we see a little hope. But we know the history..so want to prove it.

  41. I really do not think there was any point to what you said about him marrying underaged girls, there was actually no need for thatJoseph only had one wife, called emma

    Look, you don’t need to take our word for it, especially if you feel like we’re backing you into a corner or something. Didn’t you say you’re taking D&C (Church History) this year? Ask your seminary teacher.

  42. yes, you’re right amy! I question all the time, i probably get on their nerves! ha! i always question, and i will continue to do that! there are so many things i agree with, and other things i dont, I would say that I am also different to most mormons, alot of mormons do marry young, go on missions, have children young and do all the mormon stuff first, i would say even though i am a strong mormon for a girl my age, i still want alot of what they say “worldly” things first. Before marriage, I want to go to university first, and get my career, and see the world by myself. Once I have a career, then I will think about marriage and children. I never want to go on a mission, I love sharing my testimony but a mission isn’t for me. so yeah I do agree with you on some things.. 🙂 there’s always going to be things i wont disagree with in the church, but there are also things i will always stick with…

  43. Family shunning is often expected when someone leaves the mormon church, but it still hurts. It’s actually my sister who won’t talk to me anymore. But she’s scared, I understand that.

    You are 17..and I envy your position. I wish I could have been in a state to really research things. But please do…and if you choose to stay in the church, and it makes you happy ..that is GREAT! But just be informed…God will not punish you for seeking truth.

  44. Anywayz, I’m off here now, I’m not going to sit here all night feeling like I have to defend myself and what I believe in. I’m just one person, and I’m just a teenager, and there’s loads of you… I just wanted to say what I felt and what I know, at the end of the day, we’re going to keep finding something else to argue about, and it’s not going to come to and end, and not come to some agreement, so I’m letting it go, and I’m going to carry on believing what I believe in strongly, and let you all do the same thing! Thanks.

  45. @chanson:

    The “I’m a Mormon” ads are fantastic. I love them. They serve to represent MY experience with Mormonism. We come in all shapes, sizes, cultures etc. It also challenges those in the LDS church to quit being so judgMENTAL over these differences. I have a beard, don’t always wear a white shirt and tie to church, don’t see the need to follow the letter of the law, hate Boy Scouts. . . and SOMETIMES I see people react negatively to that. Well get over it buddy because the church is embracing all shapes and sizes now. Better learn to get off your mansions above and start doing good with a pleasure down with the “real” people. 🙂

    @Amy:

    The plagiarizing claim is very shaky. Even to the point where BYU re-published the book that was written prior to the Book of Mormon to allow an actual side by side study. The two works could. . . with a real stretch of the imagination. . . stem from very similar themes but its not plagiarizing.

    The book of Abraham.. . yea. I haven’t fully gotten my head around that myself to be honest. Its not something that stands up to scientific questioning. But then 14 year old boys finding gold plates, animals being hurdled into a ship to thwart a flood, burning bushes and “The living dead” it goes on and on. There really isn’t a whole lot of physical, un-deniable “Proof” behind ANY religion. If there were proof it wouldn’t be religion. We’d be reading about when Joseph Smith saw the Godhead in our history books.

    But here is why that doesn’t worry me. When you embrace it. When you live the teachings. When you follow the instructions and really push yourself to serve others, keep yourself clean physically and spiritually, never EVER judge, be grateful for what you have and be humble enough to ask for more. . . awesome things happen. I love it. I am very happy and hope I can share THAT message to the world and beat the old school “culture” of Mormonism out of my neighbors in the process. 🙂

  46. @Jessica: Listing facts that don’t support your beliefs isn’t an “attack.” There are some messages within Mormonism that are good, but often that message is bundled with things that are psychologically damaging and people don’t realize this until they are distanced from the church. When they do realize these things it is often a long process to get through it. Sometimes the result of leaving the religion is divorce, isolation, and other times it’s much deeper and more personal (ie: how victims of rape and abuse are often treated, see SWK “Miracle of Forgiveness” on this topic).

    @Amy: I agree that the BofA is one of the most conclusive pieces of evidence against the church. The list of questionable things just goes on and on, and despite being out 10 years I am STILL discovering new things. Are you aware of the Kinderhook plates? Very similar to the BofA issues. The list of things just goes on and on and on some more… I am very sorry for how your family treats you. The message of love in the church is often conditional, I find, and a lot of people experience it as such. It is what happens when people believe their salvation is dependent on the independent decisions other people make.

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