I received my final letter indicating that my name and record has been removed from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.
As I close this chapter of my life, I look back at Mormonism and these are my thoughts:
Most of my experience as a lifelong member of the LDS church has been positive and uplifting. However, I simply don't believe the doctrine, dogma and claims made by the church leaders. It is all a big fantasy, a fairy tale where people live happily ever after in the celestial kingdom.
In my experience, most Mormons are genuine and truly believe what they have been taught, as are most people in any religion. This is why initially I tried to stay as a member even if it were just for social reasons. However, this was not sustainable.
An entire lifetime of indoctrination withered away with just a few years of intense study of church history and other historical facts. I am currently unaffiliated with any religion.
This will be my last post, but I will still keep the blog up for those interested.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STUDY
I will end with my recommendations for further study. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as an "unbiased" source, but I have compiled a list of reading material and other media that presents a mixture of "both sides" of the argument. This list is in no way complete or authoritative, but simply a compilation of resources from my own experience that have covered the main criticisms and defenses of Mormonism.
Joseph Smith biography:
- No Man Knows My History- Fawn Brodie
- Rough Stone Rolling- Richard Bushman
- Quest For the Gold Plates- Stan Larson
- An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon- John Sorenson
- By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus- Charles Larson
A free copy can be sent to members of the LDS church here
Online text can be read here
- An Approach to the Book of Abraham- Hugh Nibley
History of Early Mormonism:
- An Insider's View of Mormon Origins- Grant Palmer
- Early Mormonism and the Magical World View- D. Michael Quinn
Journal of Discourses
1833 and 1835 Doctrine and Covenants
History of the Church- Volume 1
History of the Church- Volume 2
History of the Church- Volume 3
History of the Church- Volume 4
History of the Church- Volume 6
(Unfortunately, I couldn't find volume 5 online)
PBS documentary The Mormons 4 hours
Bible Vs. Book of Mormon 1 hour
DNA Vs. Book of Mormon 1 hour
Lost Book of Abraham 1 hour
FAIR Conferences -about 30 hours with 200 compiled videos
Why People Leave the LDS Church 1 hour
Dozens of videos by Mormonstories podcaster John Dehlin
20 Truths about Mormonism
New Order Mormons
Dialogue- A Journal of Mormon Thought
Institute for Religious Research- Mormons in Transition
Official LDS website
mormonstories.org over 200 hours of audio and video interviews
I would like to thank all that have maintained interest in this blog. It has been a positive experience for me in expressing myself during this difficult period. I do not hold anything against the LDS church and still cherish many of the positive aspects that I experienced. I simply do not believe in the doctrine, dogma and many of the historical claims fundamental to Mormonism. I don't think the LDS church is "evil", I just think it is a fantasy. I don't know what the future holds, but I feel ready to face it with eyes wide open with a greater understanding of reality.
What do I think of Mormonism? I like the parable of the canoe. A canoe helps you navigate across the river against strong currents. However, once you cross the river, the canoe becomes burdensome, especially when you consider the mountain that you must climb. That doesn't mean you don't appreciate what the canoe has done in getting you across the river, just that you no longer need the canoe. I view the church as the canoe. I feel like I have crossed the river of my childhood. The church was the canoe that carried me through the strong currents of adolescence and took me into the banks of adulthood. I now look at the mountain that I face knowing that I must leave the canoe behind me.