Standing For Principles

So I just read a recent release from the church I used to love. I also realized yet again how much I love and care for many of the people that still believe in said religion even if I can’t condone the behavior of the corporation as a whole. This particular article is interesting because it purports to have the answer to all the hard questions.  It has, as these things often do, caused me to ponder yet again1 the faith I was raised in and the shelf I once held up with nothing but sheer faith and will power. So what are all these hard questions? Well the article doesn’t bother to actually list them out, but a lot of them are brought  to light recently by the churches own admission,2 from problems with being a seer translating ancient records to changing versions of the first vision along with polygamy and polyandry and pretty much a whole slew of stuff that if you’d asked the average member a couple of years ago were nothing but anti-mormon lies crafted by satan to deceive you and make you doubt your faith.

The church has been striving to be more open about its past. Mostly because it has to in this age of information. Otherwise it just looks like a liar outright. Elder Snow said as much recently when the church first moved to publish these essays.

I think in the past there was a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed or at least not give access to information. But the world has changed in the last generation — with the access to information on the Internet, we can’t continue that pattern; I think we need to continue to be more open.”3

So this article rather than actually list out the concerns (which would  probably weaken testimonies even further) just rolls them all up into one loaded question: “Do you trust God?” Well do ya? I hope that you think about that question because there is a lot of implicit stuff in there. Who’s God are we talking about? Is it the Mormon one that tells us stuff via his prophets? Is it the average Born Again Christian one that says Mormons are totally non-christian with all their funny beliefs? Is it Allah? Or is it whoever the pope talks to? 4 Maybe it is meant to be really personal, maybe it should be the God inside each of us that the doctrine of the Fridge promotes.

The article does seem to lead you down that path, the one of a personal answer to your prayerful doubts. Of course we already know the answers to prayers are yes, no, or wait for it, and they come in ways you need to be watching out for. The Fridge works the same way so that is all good 🙂 But the question is: “Do you trust God?”

I’d like to suggest you make it a little more specific.5 Do you trust that God sent an angel with a sword to coerce women to marry Joseph Smith? That is actually the crux of the matter. At least for the most recent turn of events when the polygamy admission blew up in their faces as the Fridge foretold in this post before it made all the major news outlets. Why not get right to the issue and determine if God really would command his prophet to do such a thing. I beg of you, ask that question in your prayers tonight. Because Joseph said God sent an angel with a sword and threatened him to do it. Do you trust that? Do you believe a loving father in heaven would do that to any of his daughters? If you do, you will be fine. If you can shelve that and stop thinking about it, you can most definitely still have faith… at least until you discover the next thing you thought was anti-mormon turns out to be true as well. But hey, you start the process over and repeat it till you believe. It really is that simple if belief is more important that principles. Which brings me to my last thought, there was a quote at the end of the article from the current prophet of the church:

“It is impossible to stand upright when one plants his roots in the shifting sands of popular opinion and approval. … We will all face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle.”
 6

Do you really believe God told Joseph to take all those teen brides and other mens wives just like Warren Jeffs? Or do you think that is wrong and against your principles? Because if like me you think coercing any female in that way is wrong… and that is one of your principles. You have to wonder. Are you gonna have the courage to face the fact that you might have been wrong all along about the church you placed your faith in? It could mean loss of family, of social status of friends or even spouses.

Do you have the courage to stand for your principles even if it means realizing Joseph Smith was just making it all up? Even if it means that eternal family you hoped for was a false promise? Or that your path to Godhood wasn’t real? Or that you might be one of those outer darkness apostates if you were wrong about declaring that teen bride polyandry stuff is all BS and God would never force his prophet to do that! Because if you question that was a legit revelation to be honest with yourself you have to critically question all the revelations that Joe claimed to have. If he were lying about this one it behooves you to more critically examine the rest of your assumptions does it not?

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Will you stand for what is right even when the church you trusted to tell you right from wrong is against you? It is a hard hard question and unlike the article that inspired this post you can’t just put it on a shelf, not without being a coward and seeing it every time you look in the mirror. 7

  1. And people wonder why I can’t leave it alone! Someday when the spin stops and you stop misleading the people I love… then I might be able to leave it alone.
  2. I linked a list here that is kept on non-church run websites because if you go to LDS.org and start browsing or searching for them you will quickly find out that in the age of google they are notoriously hard to find. Here is a hint, make sure to show all results and look way down the list for the topic. I also have a list in the footnotes of this Fridge article.
  3. Truth in Church History: Excerpts from the Religious Educator’s Q&A with Elder Steven Snow” http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/truth-in-church-history-excerpts-from-the-religious-educators-qa-with-elder-steven-snow/… and in case you are wondering there are a bunch of records quoted in the new essays that the church won’t give outside access to.
  4. None of which has directly faced any of these questions since good old GBH. Even the essays came without authors or dates on them… why is that? so they could be plausibly denied?
  5. The same could be said for many of the other issues that are being admitted to. Do you trust that God gave the prophet the ability to translate the Book of Abraham and then let the papyri show up and prove him totally wrong? Or that God was good with destroying a printing press hiding the polygamy that lead to the death of the prophet, or that God stuck anachronisms in the Book of Mormon or that he totally diddled with the DNA evidence, or that he told The prophet to start a fraudulent bank, or buy up swamp land in Nauvoo only to sell it at outrageous rates to new converts? The list goes on and on if you do a little research.
  6. President Thomas S. Monson, “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” Ensign, May 2014, 68–69.
  7. One last footnote, I want people to know that I still appreciate many of the principles the church espouses. I find a lot of good in it and in much of what the mythology inspires and idolizes. I even think that the leaders for the most part are caught up in the cognitive dissonance as well and kind of trapped in the system. I believe many are trying to point the ship in a new direction to correct the past and make it into a good club. But the thing is the church is its past. It isn’t just a good club to belong to, at least not for me. For some people it is though. So if it works for you and you love it, by all means stay the course, but hopefully my words will help you understand the perspective of one that couldn’t continue and face himself in the mirror every day.

10 Comments

  1. Brian Hales, yes, the Profet indeed used the word spin. And you then provided him with just that.

    BH SAID: “We do not know how the scrolls relate to the Book of Abraham.”

    We know exactly how they relate – they don’t. Now, one could say that at some future time there will be something revealed that shows the connection, etc., etc., etc. Or, with the words you used, one can say that the way they “relate” to each other is that the scrolls were a catalyst, etc. But, based on the information we now have available, it is clear there is absolutely no relationship between the *content* of the scrolls and the *content* of the Book of Abraham.

    BH SAID: “The scrolls now in our possession are not those the historical record shows were associated with the Book of Abraham (think “the long scroll”).”

    There is plenty of what is in “our possession” to match up with what is in the Book of Abraham (think facsimiles) to show that there is no relationship between the two. Let’s pretend for a minute that there is an entire scroll missing that is indeed long enough to contain all of the Book of Abraham. What evidence is there from what we do know of what Joseph did “translate” that would lead one to believe that this supposedly missing scroll would result in any different translation success?

    For resources about the BOA, Look at the work of Ritner, Marquardt and Woods (The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition, 2013). If the theory is that there is substantial amounts of scroll missing, it should be clear that there is no papyri missing that could contain all of the book of Abraham. The best measurement for the missing portion of the scroll was conducted by Cook and Smith (“The Original Length of the Hor Scroll,” Dialogue, https://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/The-Original-Length-of-the-Scroll-of-Hor.pdf) in which they calculate that approximately 22 inches are missing. John Gee, an LDS apologist, believed that the missing amount was more like 1250.5 cm, or 41 feet. (Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri http://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/2007-John-Gee.pdf). Cook offered a scathing rebuttal to Gee’s conclusions. (Formulas and Facts: A Response to John Gee http://institute-re.net/images/article17/Dialogue_V45N03_120.pdf)

    BH SAID: “The text of the Book of Abraham contains details about Abraham that are not found in the Bible that Joseph could not have known. Did he just guess right?”

    Based on the “details” that apologists making this claim have shown, the answer is, yes, he did guess “right.” Now, if you really want to go down that road, please come up with a chart showing all of Joseph’s hits and misses on what he got right and what he got wrong on the Book of Abraham. I haven’t done this myself, but I’m willing to bet that the misses far outweigh the hits. And, the hits have to be clear hits and not ambiguous (please, let’s not attempt anymore of the NHM silliness).

    BH SAID: “You say teachings of polyandry have changed but Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote in 1905… John A. Widtsoe wrote in the 1940s… in the Improvement Era…”

    Maybe the Profet just has some punctuation issues when he said, “…problems with being a seer translating ancient records to changing versions of the first vision along with polygamy and polyandry and pretty much a whole slew of stuff that if you’d asked the average member a couple of years ago were nothing but anti-mormon lies crafted by satan to deceive you and make you doubt your faith.”

    I don’t think that he actually meant that the teachings of polyandry have changed. But, now that you mention it, I don’t remember that D&C 132 endorses polyandry. Or any other revelation advocates for it. Yes, yes, yes, I know, neither does it forbid it and God didn’t give Joseph *all* the instructions, yada, yada, yada.

    Critics should be comforted knowing they can now use all of Joseph Fielding Smith’s words, John A. Widtsoe’s words and anything printed in the Improvement Era as evidence to make their points – I’m sure they’re grateful.

    BH SAID: “The angel brought a sword only on the third visit in ‘early February’ 1842. At that point, Joseph had been sealed to at least a half-dozen women. Why would the angel appear with a sword at that point?”

    EXACTLY! Why indeed would an angel even need to appear, let alone with a sword, if Joseph was already obeying the instructions? Sounds kind of fishy on Joseph’s part to make the drawn sword claim, right? But it was certainly convenient for helping persuade those who needed persuading, wasn’t it.

    BH SAID: “There are many things we don’t know.”

    You make assumptions. I make assumptions. Mine are based on human nature and the behavior of con artists of the past and present. Yours are based on trying to make the claims of Joseph Smith verify your preconceived notions about him and his church.

    BH SAID: “You seem to oversimplify…”

    Try Occam’s Razor sometime, it’s a liberating way to shave all the baloney from one’s thinking. Unless, of course, you believe that coming up with elaborate theories to fit your preconceived notions is somehow better.

    BH SAID: “…or simply misrepresent what we do know. I also worry that you make many assumptions and then judge Joseph based upon those assumptions.”

    Uhhhhh….seriously? Is that like making the assumption that there was such a thing as eternity only marriages that didn’t involve sex and then judging that therefore those relationships must not have involved sex? I’m scratching my head looking for those Church-sanctioned sources that prove the doctrine of eternity only (i.e., sexless) marriages. It certainly isn’t in the manual for polygamy, D&C 132, which expressly states that sex is a hallmark of the polygamous marriages God wanted Joseph to be involved in.

    BH SAID: “It is true the Church has withheld ‘meaty’ teachings from those who have weaker faith as they followed Joseph’s counsel (D&C 19:22). The internet now requires the meat be presented and it will be a sifting for those who normally would require ‘gospel milk.’”

    This is such a condescending remark. It belittles those who have come to different conclusions than you do. It turns investigators and those questioning the truth claims of the Church into children. And it’s plain old bullshit. Joseph marrying young girls and other men’s wives is not “meaty teachings,” it’s sick and manipulative behavior. He never “taught” those things. He didn’t even claim to have received revelations for those things, he just did them. So you can’t call it a “meaty teaching” at all. Historical truths are historical truths and the Church should share it, warts and all. Or would you say that a used car salesman who withholds damaging information about a car she is selling is simply not sharing the “meaty information” and that the car buyer should only get “milky information” so as not to damage their positive thoughts about the car?

    BH SAID: “How about believing in a God that requires men to be circumcised as part of an eternal covenant? Or burning dead animals as part of an ordinance? Or avoiding pork etc.”

    Yes, how about believing that a god would do that or a bunch of other bizarre things that the god of the Old Testament is accused of doing, too? Kind of hard to imagine people do believe in such a being.

    BH SAID: “Misinformation has always accompanied the expansion of truth.”

    Misinformation has always been the trademark of liars and con artists. Maybe Joseph Smith was just such a person. Maybe spending time trying to defend the actions and words of someone who spun so much disinformation in the first place is a fruitless endeavor.

    BH SAID: “People call me an ‘apologist’ these days, I guess so they can ignore what I write. I hope you won’t.”

    Look up the definition. I’ll wait. Now do you see why they call you an apologist?

    “I hope you won’t ignore what I write,” because…….?

    1. Spoken like a true Icicle of the Fridge 🙂 Apologists want you to think that if you cannot condone behavior that includes lying, deception and coercion on the the part of God, you are just too stupid to understand, too weak in your faith to do what needs to be done.

      Morally speaking the Fridge is a better deity to worship than some being that basically created a bunch of imperfect beings gave them a brain that could reach logical and rational conclusions, endowed that person with a moral compass that would make them feel sick at the thought of killing another human being or coercing a young girl into a marriage, a moral compass that would say clearly that this ‘milk before meat’ concept is nothing more than a justification of plain lying….and then turn around and command his people to do exactly the thing that repulses them morally and condemn them for thinking with their own mind or for following the moral center the says ‘this is wrong’ anytime and in anyplace. If that person exists, is he really worthy of veneration?

      All of this difficult ‘meat’ doctrine, all of the hundreds of questions raised by a critical review of the religion are explainable with one simple premise.

      JS was making it up.

      Once you consider that premise it all makes sense, every last bit of it. From the destruction of printing presses for telling the truth, to the bank fraud, and the treasure seeking, the variations of the first vision and the glaring holes in the timeline, the BoA where translation isn’t translation or the BoM that reads an awful lot like an old kids school text book that predates it. If you consider this was a guy that tried to market a fictional book in a novel way and discovered that there was more money in selling the marketing than in selling the book itself… it all makes sense. You don’t need to justify actions like Warren Jeffs that turn your stomach. You don’t need to invent lengthy and long explanations where you have to squint and shelve and call yourself an idiot repeatedly or faithless for not condoning cold blooded murder or any other myriad of examples that would would put people in jail for because of the affront to our society and morals. Why? Because your particular God ‘said so’

      ISIS believes Allah justifies their actions…. Do you? Think about that. What moral superiority do you have when as soon as the dirty underwear of your religion is exposed you move to rationalize or explain away evil actions as stuff you are sure God wants, because he said so.

      Once you realize the facts are real and these awful things went on, the only justification is God said so. That is the moral path the believer takes, if God says so it must be ok. Ironically they also think a the same time that the atheist lacks morals and empathy….Seriously? So I may be a godless heathen or even a cold Frigidarian as far as BH is concerned, that might mean to the believer that I have no light and could never see it their way…I want you to know that I did see it their way. Then I metaphorically took that first step and opened the door of the tall cool one and pondered these mysteries therein. Turns out I was wrong. Even though in my believing days I was 100% convinced without a doubt… I was mistaken. The only way to correct that is to admit it and get about learning anew. You might be inclined to ignore my words primarily because something called cognitive dissonance will do its damndest to get you to do so. But I hope not. I believe we need more people in the world to stand up for what is right and condemn evil even if other call it good because ‘God said so’

  2. Hi!

    Your article is interesting, but I have concerns. You talked of “spin,” but some of your reports are primarily half-truths or even falsehoods. You wrote: “Do you trust that God gave the prophet the ability to translate the Book of Abraham and then let the papyri show up and prove him totally wrong?” This is inaccurate. We do not know how the scrolls relate to the Book of Abraham. The scrolls now in our possession are not those the historical record shows were associated with the Book of Abraham (think “the long scroll”). The text of the Book of Abraham contains details about Abraham that are not found in the Bible that Joseph could not have known. Did he just guess right?

    You say teachings of polyandry have changed but Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote in 1905: “Polygamy, in the sense of plurality of husbands and of wives never was practiced in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah or elsewhere.” This was published in a book printed and distributed by the Church. Apostle John A. Widtsoe wrote in the 1940s:

    “[One] kind of celestial marriage seems to have been practiced in the early days of plural marriage. It has not been practiced since Nauvoo days, for it is under Church prohibition. Zealous women, married or unmarried, loving the cause of the restored gospel, considered their condition in the hereafter. Some of them asked that they might be sealed to the Prophet for eternity. They were not to be his wives on earth, in mortality, but only after death in the eternities. This came often to be spoken of as celestial marriage. Such marriages led to misunderstandings by those not of the Church, and unfamiliar with its doctrines. To them marriage meant only association on earth. Therefore any ceremony uniting a married woman, for example, to Joseph Smith for eternity seemed adulterous to such people.”

    This was published in the Improvement Era. Where’s the change?

    You wrote: “in case you are wondering there are a bunch of records quoted in the new essays that the church won’t give outside access to.” Sorry I didn’t see that you provided a link, but everything in the Nauvoo polygamy essay is available. I can’t speak to the other essays.

    You also asked the question: “Do you trust that God sent an angel with a sword to coerce women to marry Joseph Smith?” I feel this is a misrepresentation. The angel brought a sword only on the third visit in “early February” 1842. At that point, Joseph had been sealed to at least a half-dozen women. Why would the angel appear with a sword at that point? There are many things we don’t know. You seem to oversimplify or simply misrepresent what we do know. I also worry that you make many assumptions and then judge Joseph based upon those assumptions.

    It is true the Church has withheld “meaty” teachings from those who have weaker faith as they followed Joseph’s counsel (D&C 19:22). The internet now requires the meat be presented and it will be a sifting for those who normally would require “gospel milk.”

    Regarding polygamy, you wrote: “Do you believe a loving father in heaven would do that to any of his daughters?” How about believing in a God that requires men to be circumcised as part of an eternal covenant? Or burning dead animals as part of an ordinance? Or avoiding pork etc.

    Isaiah observed: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8). In the Book of Abraham, we learn that God said: “We will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25). How will God “prove” us?

    Misinformation has always accompanied the expansion of truth. If we all stay close to the actual historical documents, then everyone wins even if we don’t agree.

    People call me an “apologist” these days, I guess so they can ignore what I write. I hope you won’t.

    Take Care,

    Brian Hales

    1. Apologetics in a nutshell:

      I assured the waiter that despite my scruffy appearance, I had 500 dollars in my pocket. Interpreted in a unnecessarily strict way, he may have assumed that I meant I had 500 American dollars. However, it is important to not unfairly privilege his interpretation of what I said as the only available interpretation, and conclude that I was lying. I did indeed have 500 Namibian dollars in my pocket. Dollars have been used as units of currency that vary widely in value depending on the country and the time period. I should not be faulted for the unnecessary assumption the waiter made about my wealth- it says much more about him than it does about me that he got upset with his misinterpretation of my factually correct statement.

    2. Wow, the Brian Hales commented on the Fridge! You know some of your writing helped me cling to the idea that this all made sense and would all workout if I just set aside all my questions and believed. You in my opinion are living proof of what I said

      “If you can shelve that and stop thinking about it, you can most definitely still have faith…”

      I shelved it for years when I discovered pretty much every single detail that the ‘anti’s’ were supposedly lying about were actually true. It is supremely hard to face the fact you might be wrong, especially if your fame or fortune depend on it. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force alone and even more so the more invested you are in the belief in question.

      You have chosen to shelve it, that’s fine by me. It would explain your approach of vilifying a person for what? Saying deep down I do not condone coercing women into marriage. And if you are right and God made them do it for some reason I am too stupid to fathom and no one can explain, well I’m fine with being eternally damned for sticking by my principles that I feel define right and wrong.

      You are right God commands some pretty awful and even silly stuff from circumcision to forbidding pork. Don’t forget he told Abraham to kill his son just to see if he’d be loyal enough to do it. Then there was the cold blooded murder of a defenseless drunk lying in the street. You see once you realize that the only version of morality that the believer clings too is whatever God says goes… it is really obvious how people can justify flying planes into buildings for the glory of Allah.

      BTW if you claim to stay close to the historical documents,,, shouldn’t you tell your readers about John Bennett and give them the full picture that includes the allegations of abortions to cover up the celestial consequences of the prophets marriages?

      Redefine the word translate to mean some thing different, avoid calling polyandry what it is by any normal definition. Come up with all the careful wording you want. But ultimately your argument boils down to ‘God said so’ and that is why a 37 year old guy got a 14 year old girl to marry him. You know so God would guaranteed her dad celestial glory for something she clearly didn’t want to do.

      You are ok with that, I’m not. You would rather give your 14 year old daughter to a 37 year old man as a wife than risk the wrath of God. I’d rather go to hell.

      We actually agree on the facts, much of your research is spot on even it if does avoid things like Bennet and the like. We both know that Helen Mar didn’t want to be married, we have both read her heart rending poem that clearly describes her ansgt and why she did it. You say its all good because God said so. I don’t believe that, because it is the same argument that every religion uses to do every bad thing on the planet. To me from the perspective I now have you are still caught the the web of dissonance. And to you I have lost the faith.

      But my friend only one of us justifies the murder of a drunkard, a divine order to kill a child, and the coercion of extremely young women to marry a man that already had a bunch of teen women as wives(including the maid Fanny Alger for Fridges sake! How cliche is that?!!!).

      When I realized that Joseph was just making it up… just like all the other self proclaimed prophets such as Jeffs and Muhammed… For a while my world collapsed. The loss of faith is a very painful thing. Proportional I think to the level of investment you had in it.

      After a while though I realized something. Once you are honest with yourself and are willing go after truth no matter the price. You don’t have to call evil things good and good things evil to make your religion work for you.

      You don’t have to come up with a convoluted justification for a harem of teenage girls or a fraudulent bank or the order to destroy a printing press for simply telling the truth about polygamy. You don’t have to think of carful deceit as a ‘milk before meet’ way of getting people invested in a religion before they get all the details a full an honest disclosure would have provided before committing themselves to give everything they have to the church.

      Is my scholarship perfect? Nope, there very well could be peccadillos here and there for you to nitpick at. But the general thrust. The major facts. We agree on them, I know. I have read much of your work back when I examined all this stuff for hours a night for weeks and even years on end. Searching and praying for understanding and reasons to figure it all out. Ultimately it didn’t work for me. The excuses don’t hold water. But I do thank apologists like yourself and Richard Bushman for at least trying to tell us the basic facts themselves weren’t just lies. That Joseph really married women that didn’t want to, that he hid if from Emma, that he destroyed printing presses for talking about it. People like you confirming that stuff made me realize I needed to dig deeper and understand all the facts on my own. Because I didn’t know it for myself, I just trusted what everyone else had told me and shelved it.

      So I want to thank you for endeavoring to be more open and honest than the church was back in my teens about all this stuff. If it wasn’t for FAIR or FARMS or stuff like yours I would have likely kept dismissing the facts as nothing but lies. But the facts are very much the facts. While I can’t justify them away by assuming I am too stupid to understand and you can, that is really the only significant place we differ.

      In the long run, I do think you are seeking truth and I respect that, good luck with it. As long as you can look yourself in the mirror and feel you have been totally and completely honest with yourself and your fellow man I have to respect your efforts. Even if they lead to different conclusions than mine.

      If you are right, congrats you make it to the CK! stop by and visit me in the TK sometime (or outer darkness depending on how you interpret that scripture), I’d like that, we can remise about silly blog articles and how tricky God was that he got me so good.

      If you are mistaken,,, well I hope you are never called on to sacrifice a child or kill a drunk cause that would really suck for you to have to uphold your principles in that way and then be wrong about it.

      Wow, I’m still kind of flattered that this little old blog got your attention… still trips me out.

      Take Care and thank you for posting your opinion!

      Oh and to my readers, please do not take my word for it, do your own research. I personally do not believe the average person is ‘too stupid’ to draw a correct conclusion in these things. But that is just my opinion. Personally I think you should do the research and form your own.

  3. Again another thoughtful insight.I have a different point of view as to why the “Church ” is finally coming some what clean.They had no choice and that to me is a sad commentary.|They could have done this many many years ago but did not, only when they were forced as a result of the internet etc, and the access to information that is so easily available to the us did they even bother.For shame on “The Lords annointed”.What a joke they really believe most people are naive and ignorant and sadly they are right.Most members wont give it a second thought and actually praise the church for being honest.Sigh you can’t cure stupid or willfully ignorant(If you could I wouldn’t have a job).As to the social part yes it can be a great loss,especially if you were raised in the church and it really was your whole social network,family friends and possibly job etc.It is a lot to give up and not easy which explains why lots cannot do it(can you imagine what the Brethern must feel wow what an unenviable job and position as I am sure most if not all of them know the truth kinda like the movie and the book The Firm).For me I would rather know the truth than live a lie but that”s me.

  4. This is a great article. One of the most difficult things that I feel with regard to choosing to no longer participate in the church is the social interaction with others on Sunday. I truly love the members of my ward but feel that it is not up to me to share what I have found. I do this out of love. The pain that I felt upon having my shelve break was terrible and I would not wish it on anybody. I know there are many that can relate.
    If people are really dedicated to finding the truth they must look everywhere and not in some manual written by the Church or from leaders within the Church. When you buy a car do you trust only the dealer or do you search out from all sources the true performance and reliability of that car. Sometimes you need to even check under the hood yourself. Many times what we find is not what the car dealer promised.

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