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Kerri

“Families are Together Forever. My name is Kerri Bodie and I’m an Ex Mormon.”

I always thought I would be a member of the LDS church for my whole life. I believed it was the only true church on the face of the earth and I never thought anything would change my mind. My journey out of the church began when I started researching the deeper meaning of the temple. We had a new temple built in our city and I didn’t attend as often as the leaders had encouraged us to, so I figured if I understood the deeper meaning of the ceremonies, that I would be more motivated to attend.

As I searched, I was surprised to discover that there really wasn’t much information available for me to read. I thought that was strange since this was the pinnacle of our religion. I asked a few LDS friends if they knew where I could find more information and I was introduced to the FARMS and FAIR websites, where of course I found even more questions that I hadn’t even considered asking. I was disturbed by the things I was finding but I was sure that if I kept researching, that I would find answers that would confirm that the LDS church was true. This began a three year long deep study of the history and doctrine of the LDS church.

I discovered some horrifically racist comments made by the prophets of the LDS church. The one that struck me as the most ungodlike was by John Taylor, who was President and Prophet of the Church at the time that he published this statement. He said:

“And after the flood we are told that the curse [of dark skin] that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God;…” From: “DUTIES OF THE SAINTS-THE ATONEMENT, ETC” AUGUST 28TH, 1881, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, page 304. [my emphasis]. This is the church’s own publication, this is not anti-Mormon literature.

Don’t forget that the Journal of Discourses was like conference talks in the Ensign these days. Talks by the prophet and his counselors were written down and distributed to the members, even sent out to the members in England. Older LDS lesson manuals quote from the Journal of Discourses many times, it cannot be dismissed as not a valid LDS source. The LDS doctrine teaches that the prophet is the mouthpiece of God. Therefore I had to believe God actually told John Taylor to share these disgustingly racist words with the world.

I thought “This means either God is a racist, or the prophets were wrong.” I couldn’t believe that God was a racist in any way, so this left me with the conclusion that the prophets were certainly NOT speaking for God, they were wrong, a thought that is nearly impossible for an LDS member to fathom.

Then I remembered these quotes:

LDS President Marion G. Romney (of the first presidency), quoting LDS President (and prophet) Heber J. Grant “Conference Report” Oct. 1960 p. 78 said this:

“Always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, even if it is wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it but you don’t need to worry. The lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” [my emphasis]. This comment is disturbing on many levels.

Brigham Young, in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 289, 1862, said: “The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother’s arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth.”

John Taylor was not swept from the earth for saying that the African race was the devil’s representative here on earth, nor were his words struck from the record. They were kept and distributed to all LDS members, fully leading them astray in anyone’s definition. These hateful words have never been explained nor apologized for. I do not think there is a human alive today who would agree that a god who loves every human being, black, white, bond or free, male or female, would ever say such a terrible thing. i.e. these “prophets” do not speak for God, therefore…false church.

I could barely believe what I was being brought to understand. I didn’t want to believe it. I had to find better answers. I then looked into why so many other religions kept insisting that Mormons were not Christians. I thought “How can they say that? We have Jesus Christ’s name right in the name of our church!” So I decided I wanted to know just exactly what their “weak” arguments could possibly be. In a nutshell, these arguments pointed out that the LDS religion claims to believe that Jesus Christ provides us with salvation, yet the temple ceremony disrespectfully negates the atonement of Jesus Christ.

John 14: 6 states: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

It was pointed out to me that essentially, the LDS doctrine is saying: “Oh yah, we know Christ said that, but if you REALLY want to go to heaven, you also have to go to the temple and learn special handshakes and code words. Jesus Christ’s atonement alone just won’t cut it.” I was stunned as the depth of that sarcastic statement sunk in.

In John 18: 20 it states: “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.”

Nowhere in the bible is the temple ceremony spoken of by Jesus. After a bit more research, I realized that the temple was just a giant red herring – work for the dead was certainly something God could take care of – therefore all this work was just a distraction. People love the things they sacrifice for, so members must be kept busy, even if the work is meaningless. I do not think that a loving celestial parent would need to clutter up a true spiritual practice with useless rituals. I realized that my time would be better spent at a soup kitchen, or with my own children for that matter.

As I backed away from the church, and I now had more time to read and learn with a newly opened mind in which to finally explore my world without blinders on, I discovered even more lies within the LDS doctrine.

My first clue came when I learned about Quantum Entanglement Theory. Now I don’t claim to understand the mathematics of quantum physics, but the concept of Quantum Entanglement Theory can be understood by anyone, it is explained as this: Two or more particles born from the same source, from the same event, are now entangled – even if they are separated by a great distance – meaning that there is a communication that occurs instantly between the particles. Whatever you do to one particle, a measurable reaction occurs in the second particle instantaneously. The communication is therefor many times faster than the speed of light, which was thought to violate “special relativity”, but it was happening none the less. It is described as a “quantum non-local connection”. Einstein didn’t like this, he called it “spooky action at a distance.”

Quantum physicists have not fully explained this phenomenon, but they have observed that it does indeed happen. I discovered that String Theory and M Theory support this phenomenon as well. These theories have brought us the understanding that “matter” is merely energy condensed to a very low vibration, meaning that at our most basic level, everything and everyone is just energy, we are all connected, as energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

Now tie into this Carl Sagan’s famous observation that “we are star stuff” – in which he meant that all the elements we are made up of, were once inside a star before it exploded and gave birth to what would become our solar system. Therefore, it is assumed that, on some level, every particle we see is entangled to some degree.

And if you want to take it a step further, your children are born from one egg, the result of the union of egg and sperm from the mother and father. All of our particles then, are theoretically, if not literally, entangled. We are all connected, ultimately part of one great whole.

Many religions, including the LDS religion, teach that there is a measure of divinity within every being. This connects with the thought that what is in the “one” is in the “whole”, or what you see in the microcosm, is reflected in the macrocosm.

This also ties in with fractal, or holographic mathematics, in that what you do to one part of the system, you do to the whole, or what you do to the whole, affects the one.

If you check out Michael Talbot’s Holographic Universe, he explains this very well. He describes the understanding that if you have a piece of photographic film with the image of a rose holographically encoded onto it, when you shine a laser light through it, you will see the three dimensional image of the rose. Now holograms of this nature have an interesting quality in that if you cut the film in half, you don’t have half a rose on each piece, you have the entire image of the rose on each piece. If you cut the film into four pieces you get four roses, eight pieces, you get eight roses, etc.

Talbot also compares this to magnets with a north and south pole. If you break the magnet in half, you don’t have a north pole piece and a south pole piece, each piece has both a north and south pole. Both these concepts illuminate the understanding that the whole – the macrocosm – is contained in the part, which is you, just one being – the microcosm.

Once I understood these concepts, I felt some puzzle pieces fitting together in my mind. The way I see it now is: Families ARE Together Forever, not Families CAN Be Together Forever, as the LDS church teaches.

Families Can Be Together Forever is actually a veiled threat if you really consider what is being said here. The LDS doctrine states that you will only be with your family forever if you do these special “rituals” in the temple and even then, those “connections” will only continue if you live righteously.

Living righteously includes going to the temple, preferably on a regular basis. To get a temple recommend, among other things, you must be a full tithe payer, that is 10% of your increase, gross or net depending on your perspective. So in essence, what that nice little phrase “Families Can Be Together Forever” is telling us, is they will take your family, that belongs to you forever already (this is important to remember, your family is already connected to you forever) and we will sell it back to you for 10% of your increase.

What unknowing investigators do not realize is that their family was never up for sale in the first place. The LDS church pretends to be able to sell you a connection that already belongs to you.

The LDS church takes the people that mean the most to you in your life, then ultimately uses your love for them against you. Essentially they are saying:

“Do you want to be with your family forever?”

“Yes, yes, of course I do.”

“Then come join our church, pay us tithing, and we will teach you a ritual that will keep your family together forever. Do not violate any rules connected with this, or you will lose your family forever.”

As a young LDS member, I can tell you that there is nothing more terrifying than thinking you may be separated from your family forever. And once you grow up, marry your best friend and have children of your own, you find an even more desperate fear of falling short in the sight of the Lord and losing your beloved husband and/or children forever. Your love for your family becomes a gun to your head.

This terrifying thought is a very effective tool for obedience and tithe paying. And heaven forbid you screw up in anyway, the guilt and the anguish experienced in the mind of a child or a parent, I would say, can be seen as nothing less than emotional abuse since the whole manipulative concept is based on a lie. It only works if you are uninformed, if you are unaware that you cannot lose your family, and the LDS church is not informing you! They are in fact preying on your ignorance and your love for your family.

Shame on anyone, or any organization that preys upon the love that parents have for their children and the love children have for their parents! This is fear programming – it is the most cruel and manipulative doctrine I’ve ever encountered.

Coming to the understanding that I will not lose my family allowed me to relax, stop judging myself and others and to love everyone. Clearing my mind of that ridiculous doctrine and to view God, should he/she/it exist, as loving and never cruelly manipulative deity, allowed me to love my life instead of being afraid of myself and what I might do!

Perhaps there is nothing after we die, but then I won’t be missing anyone because I will cease to exist. But if there is life after death, we are ALL inextricably linked forever. Now I can just play and accept my children as they are, offer advice, wisdom and support while NOT panicking that their life choices or mine will ever separate us! We’re on a journey here together, and either we all make it, warts and all, or none of us does.

As I searched in places I had never been taught to look, I found a universal truth, that when you are confused as to what is the correct answer to an issue, following the trail of Love, NOT fear, is what leads to personal inner peace. And what you do to the “one”, you do to the “whole” – therefore you are helping everyone when you discover and work to maintain your personal inner peace.

Being free of the fear of losing everyone I love has been the greatest gift I received for being willing to open my eyes and think for myself. I’m so much more calm now, I love my children and my husband more deeply than ever before, and lo and behold, our home has become a heaven on earth! The yelling and screaming has all but disappeared and our children often stay at home and enjoy being with us! I am so happy to be on my own path of spirituality, and if the day arrives that I should meet my Maker, I will not be ashamed of the life I have lived.

My name is Kerri Bodie and I’m an Ex Mormon.

Links:
Journal of Discourses

Michael Talbot – Holographic Universe

Quantum Entanglement

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Adam
March 26th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

You are awesome and discovered the secret the Mormon church fears all members will figure out. The only power they have over you is the power you give them. Mormons are indoctrinated to live in fear of losing their families if the hierarchy of the church is not obeyed. What Mormons and post Mormons need to understand is lies confine you by fear. Truth frees you to be happy.

tb
April 10th, 2011 at 11:37 pm

You do not understand everything. do not look up why its not true because people that do not know our church write those, but look up reliable sources like lds.org to find your true answers

pollypinks
April 23rd, 2011 at 12:10 pm

It is simply not scriptural to have to perform all these works to be accepted by God. Many exmormons are atheists. I would like to say to those here who are on the fence as to whether they believe in God or not, it’s perfectly okay to be an atheist. Also, check out Universalism as an incredibly peaceful, God filled existence. I see the pain in many faces out there who feel they haven’t “done” enough in this existence to be loved unconditionally by all, and by a loving God who, according to scripture is perfect. Right? So he would create 3/4 of his children to not make it? Get real. Those of us who left the faith did so after studying much more than any woman I ever went to church with, for the first 35 years of my life. Very little outside study. All on priesthood faith. It’s a losing battle.

kat
March 14th, 2012 at 2:08 am

LOL tb, you say people who don’t know your church wrote this..? wrote adam’s comment? this woman was talking about things mormons know. things that are every day to mormons. you say people who don’t know mormons write these… but THE CHURCH’S OWN WEBSITE FULL OF PROPAGANDA are the reliable resource? man, are you on drugs? maybe you’re just seriously delusional. almost every single mormon i’ve met is seriously delusional.

Me
November 20th, 2013 at 9:55 am

Yes. Just like if I were in the market to buy a car, I would totally go to the Toyota website to find reliable non-biased reviews about a Camry. It is definitely smartest to avoid those external review sites, like Consumer Reports, because those are just designed to lead me astray from Toyota.

Sif
March 26th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Kerri,

This is beautiful. The fear that I would not be bonded with my loved ones has haunted me for years. All I wanted, for decades, was to be sealed int he temple for eternity. The way the children are idoctrinated into this idea makes me sick at times. You are so right! It IS fear programming.

I’m so happy you were able to tear away the veil and see the great and terrible Oz for who he is.

Love,
Sif

Donnell Allan
March 26th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Your story resonates with me very much, Kerri. As a Mormon mother, I was always in fear that I could lose my children if I or they slipped up in any way. And then one did slip up in a major way and I spiraled down into a dangerous depression. Thank you, false doctrine.

Now that I am out I feel much more love and acceptance of my six children just as they are. Like you, I believe that love will keep us all bonded together for as long as we exist. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?

Heather
March 26th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Wow! Just awesome. Thank you for sharing your story. You are so spot-on when you talked about putting up a shield over your heart. I think that includes with everyone…then if they don’t do what they are supposed to do, it’s out of your hands and you don’t have to worry about them anymore. Or the fear tactics…I think all religions do this to some extent. You have something wrong with you so come join us and give us money and prestige and we’ll tell you what to really do to be saved. Beautiful!

Tobin
March 26th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I guess I’m confused?!? From what I can tell, she’s still Mormon kind of. Her story starts with discovering that Mormon leaders are human beings and have said some extremely stupid things in the past (oh my!!!). It’s like a Christian reading the Old Testament for the first time and discovering the Lord’s chosen King David slept with another man’s wife, then had him killed, then married her. As a result, one would then decide that because David sinned and was human – I’m off the whole Christian bandwagon (oh my!!!).

Now, I don’t have much of a problem with people that say, “hey, I’m an atheist and don’t believe this stuff starting with God” – ok, I get that. But instead if you base your belief in God on the fraility of other human beings, you are really in for a world of disappointment.

Dan Johnson (admin)
March 26th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I think you are assuming that every detail of someone’s exit story is presented in these short write ups or videos. I also think that you have decided there is one specific way you accept as legitimate when leaving the Mormon faith. I am glad you can actually see a legitimate path out of Mormonism- but these videos are more for support and building respect then a point by point refutation of doctrine etc.

I have seen your posts here Tobin and the general feel I get from your posts is that you believe yourself to be Mormon but do not follow the mainstream practices as strictly as most- and that you have a particular experience you feel is divine and you refuse to deny the legitimacy of this experience.

Would you be open to changing your mind about this experience if it could be recreated in a controlled experimental environment in the future? I am willing to admit that I may feel very differently had I experienced something similar myself. But I simply can not bring myself to believe that your experience represents true communication with the divine when similar transcendent feelings lead to contradictory truths. I find it far more likely that these experiences are all in the mind. I also believe that the current exponential growth rate of information technologies will allow us to test the hypothesis in the future to determine once and for all whether or not these experiences stem from within our minds or from an external source. I believe that if I am right, there will come a time when we can recreate similar experiences to show that this is nothing more than a natural phenomenon of the complex networks in our minds. At this point I believe the argument “I know it is true because I had an incredible experience with the divine” will not be respected or tolerated in the least.

Tobin
March 26th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Hi Dan,

I understand this isn’t the full story, but naturally I can only comment on what I can see in the video and read online since I do not know these people personally.

And I would welcome any test to make such a determination and would gladly take such an examination (that would only be reasonable). However, at this point, such a technology does not exist. I would also like to explain that my experience was not looked for (I was a rather content atheist at the time), happened in a locked NYC apartment, was not singular, and occurred to more than one person. That is why I honestly cannot deny that it did in fact happen. And I do not expect that you believe me either since you were not there.

Celestialbound
March 26th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

If what you say is true, your god is horrendously unjust and mean. Why would you get that experience, and many, many others would be left to suffer as Christ suffered because they did not get that experience? Why would he leave me or Dan without such an experience? How do you reconcile god as just when you have such an awesome experience and other honest truth seekers don’t and those truth seekers will have to suffer as Christ suffered because they did not recieve the strong witness you recieved.

Are you familiar with Dr. Persinger’s work on getting people to experience a presence in a room with them by stimulating the brain with magnetic waves?

Tobin
March 26th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Actually, I do not want to have what happened to me happen again in fact. It was not a pleasant experience, a life altering experience – yes, pleasant no. I was called to task you might say. And to have that assurance is hardly as comforting as it would seem (from your position, you can have honest doubt and be justified – a better position in my opinion) because you can stand before God and say I honestly did not know when you eventually meet God. Nor as I have said, am I your judge or jury and I do not know you. You may be the most kind, wonderful human being in the world (or trying to be) and full of compassion. I would hardly say such a person would be punished or even admonished by a good and kind God whether such a perons had experienced God or not. In my opinion, knowing or not knowing God hardly matters. How one conducts one’s life and treats other people is far more important.

Brian
March 26th, 2011 at 11:53 pm

“However, at this point, such a technology does not exist.”

Au contraire. Experiencing the divine can indeed be reproduced in a lab.

Adam
March 26th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

See the problem is Mormon prophets are false prophets that manipulate members by teaching them they will lose their family and exaltation if they do not “Follow the Prophet”. Once a person learns they are false prophets they can shed the fear with the threats the prophets hold over their heads.

People can believe families can be forever without the Mormon church. They can believe whatever they want.

Brian
March 26th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

@Tobin – The point is that you can’t believe anything the so-called prophets say. It doesn’t make everything they say false, but it makes everything they say suspect. They told members in the name of god to do and assert horrible, unethical things, and this pattern continues with the Prop 8 debacle. Following uninspired liars is also an odd base for belief in god.

Tobin
March 26th, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Well, my definition of a prophet and what a “typical” Mormon would consider a prophet are two different things. The geriatric society parading around as “prophets” in the Mormon church are not prophets in my opinion. I would characterize them as “caretakers” of the church when I’m in a generous mood and “morticians” when I’m not being as generous. A prophet is a courageous teller of the truth. Case in point, a modern-day prophet was Martin Luther King and those that championed and gave their lives in the courageous cause of fighting racial discrimination. I’d counter that againist the behavior and reaction of the Mormon church leaders of the time. They should be ashamed of themselves and the time it took for them to rectify the discrimination that was carried out in the church. To consider oneself a “prophet” in a holy calling and not be able to see such behavior as wrong is hardly inspiring and why I would not call them prophets.

Becca
March 27th, 2011 at 11:08 am

Tobin, I love what you said here! However, I noticed you have removed yourself from “typical” Mormons. I feel like maybe you are not a Mormon yourself but have a deep spiritual belief that you cultivated as a Mormon and therefore don’t know how to separate the two. I could be completely wrong though!
I’m one of those Exmormons that still believes in a God of some sort. I understand that it could all be in my head, but…. it’s just such a beautiful thought, and I’ve had some awesome (true meaning of the word) experiences and feelings that I can’t describe as emotions. Letting all of that go is not something I want to do, and I don’t feel I have to. If the only place it exists is inside of me, that right there is pretty incredible and I can totally live with it. But I refuse to believe that someone who doesn’t share my experience is by any way inferior. I am of the belief that every experience (inside of me and outside of me) is an expression of God. From every religious zealot to every atheist, it is all different shades of the same light that is Being, or God. I don’t see God as a man in the sky keeping a tally on my right and wrong actions. To me, that guy is NOT worth worshiping. I’ll take the one who sees purpose, beauty and power in all existence and awareness. In the form of belief, I will only give power to a God who doesn’t ask for it.

Brian
March 26th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

@Tobin – The problem with the Old Testament goes beyond King David’s immorality. WAY beyond. It’s very foundations are far, far removed from what you’ve been told in Church about it. God is definitely not unchanging and eternal if you believe the OT.

Paul
March 26th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

brilliant; loved it. Thanks for sharing. Of course the bulk of the early demented teachings of the pimp/prophets is indefensible which is why new manuals are continually written….as they re-invent a message which is palatable to society with its evolving norms and values.
I appreciate your integrity, sensible reaction to your discovery about the dark teachings of charlatans who pose as gods mouthpieces and new knowledge about physics (truth – not religious dogma) which indicates our best chance of being and remaining connected with our loved ones
love it….and will share it with my friends
awesome!

Gnosticeye
March 26th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I loved this story… it made me reflect on an experience I had on my mission. We approached a woman who was a recent widower…. (always a good opportunity for a missionary)…. I remember telling her that with our church’s belief in eternal families, that she could rest assured that she could be with her now deceased husband again in the afterlife (assuming she did all she was asked to do… )

She looked at me very strangely and very matter of fact like said…. oh god, please no…. I suffered enough with him in this life… the idea that I might have to live with him in some sort of after life would be hell… not heaven….

I remember turning to my companion and whispering… “I guess that approach didn’t work to well…. now what?’

;-) thanks for sharing…

Misty
March 26th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Kerri, you are so awesome! This was the first question I asked and I didn’t have the resources to research how you did. The answer I got was unfulfilling and I realized the church had no answers. It is so great to hear someone else ask the same question, and then answer it! You are such an awesome person, an awesome mom, and you truly love your family.

Misty
March 26th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I mean, now I have the resources but 15 years ago I thought that my church leaders or parents would be able to answer it. I meant to clarify that.

david
March 26th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

That was Amazing!!!! I felt the weight off your shoulders,welcome to a new life..I found that once I left I started to discover what love was really like,when you can love everyone for just who they are.Im happy you made it out of the BOX.I am happy for you.

Trent
March 26th, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Great video Kerri! I never really understood the churches perspective on families being together either. IMO what makes up a family is the affection, loyalty, experiences and memories that we share with each other. So how would we not be a family forever? I mean is God that cruel that he would take all that away from us? When I told my mom that I no longer believed, she got tears in her eyes, looked me in the face, and told me that she wanted to be together forever with me, I went up and hugged her and told her, look mom, I will always be your son and you will always be my mother, No just God would ever take that away from us.

Andrea
March 27th, 2011 at 12:15 am

How pathetic. Kerry, you disgust me.

Natalie
March 27th, 2011 at 3:54 am

Despite your personal feelings, do you think this is something akin to what Christ would say after viewing this video? Food for thought.

March 27th, 2011 at 9:20 am

Really? Disgust? You must be baiting others for a fight.

wontbefooledagain
April 8th, 2011 at 7:15 am

Your comment is pathetic Andrea. It is judgemental and reflects your typical LDS intolerance and ignorance. You should follow your own prophets who say it’s all true or all false. Which means one false thing about the church, and it’s all false. Well, look up the Book of Abraham, which was a complete fiction made up by Joseph’s Myth, and this was proven in 1965. Likewise, the forever families sales pitch is false. When you dig into the doctrine, the only way to be with your family forever is for every single one of you to pay tithing. obey the constantly changing words of self-proclaimed prophets and be perfect. In other words, no family will be together forever. Typical bait and switch tactics.

James
August 10th, 2011 at 5:28 am

pathetic? why because she is no longer a mormon?

helen
March 27th, 2011 at 12:24 am

This was really good Kerri! My mother, father, brothers, uncles, aunts, counsins, and everyone I was friends with could not go to my temple wedding. I thought I was doing the right thing. This only served to lengthen the distance between me and them. And in the end, the marriage was a sham.
“Families are important?”
My missionary son, like all missionaries, was required to pretty much disconnect with family. Even prisoners have more contact with family. I wonder what would happen if missionary son was required for 2 years to disconnect with LDS church instead. Would that strengthen the family and give cause to reconsider what the hell their doing in a cult they thought was a church?
“Families are important?” How many hours a week do you estimate your life was sucked up working for free for the church and how could those hours have more wisely been spent?
“Families are important?” Then how come there were vacations for youth only, in the form of week long camp trips to SLC, or girl’s camp, etc. When those trips started, that is where our family vacation money refunneled, to those teen-only trips. When they are teens and have part time summer jobs, a week is about all they can take off. Which leaves no more time for family trips, does it?
It was only when I got my mind back and realized what a sham this whole lds thing is that my mom and I reconnected. 14 months later, unexpectedly, she passed away in November. I miss her and miss all those years being lds that I never had with her because the church took priority over family and I bought into this crap.
Yes, it is a cruel doctrine, and we threw 10% of our money to our tormenters, which made it even worse.
When you can think and see clearly, we have every right to be angry.

March 27th, 2011 at 1:23 am

This is my favorite video thus far.

Thank you for telling your story!

wontbefooledagain
March 27th, 2011 at 6:39 am

Wow, what a powerful witness.

“The Families can be together forever” doctrine always bothered me for the same reason because the real message is that families probably won’t be together. And if they are, it is conditional on members paying tithing, which is then used to invest in real estate, not help people.

Like most unique doctrines, this one falls apart when you look any deeper than what is taught in primary. They fall apart based on logic, history and truth.

Thank you for this.

P.S. I’m also from Edmonton!

Eva
March 27th, 2011 at 10:03 am

That was incredible. Very true, they use fear not love. Guilt and fear ALWAYS, to obey blindly. Now that I’m gone I’m also much happier. I’m very happy for you!!! What a great story, those are words that every mother in the church needs to hear…. All my best~~

george
March 27th, 2011 at 11:03 am

I really like these videos and stories that are shared here. I feel the same way. I joined the Church in 2008. I do not think I was intentionally lied to or misled when I joined, but I do get the sense of a cult mentality whenever I try to voice my concerns, and that scares me. I think a lot about philosophy and great thinkers when I consider religion.

For Kierkegaard, religion was a personal and emotive phenomena. Every time a person made a choice, they were put in the “instant,” a choice where their eternal salvation was in a state of confluence with their temporal being. For Pascal, if you wagered on the side of religion, and God wasn’t real, you didn’t lose anything, but if you chose not to believe in a God and there was one, you might be screwed.

Whenever I had a concern, such as the fairness of Proposition 8, I was told that I was not being “faithful enough” or “praying enough.” Maybe if I “fasted more and paid my tithing more faithfully,” my concerns would go away. Okay…

At the end of the day, people are individuals and are emotionally driven beings. They have a right to be treated fairly, and to be told the truth to. The culture of the Church, and its leadership, sometimes forget the needs of the one, and if the needs of the one are forgotten about, maybe the Church is not the true church upon the face of the earth that it claims to be.

Tobin
March 27th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

George, I just ignore the hyperventilating geriatric society currently in charge of the church. Ok, that was unkind, but when I see them get up on their hind legs and do the things they do sometimes like this, I tend to get a little upset at them. I fully understand why they are doing what they are doing. In their eyes, marriage is a sacred, religious ceremony from God and allowing gays (“deviants” in their opinion) to engage in this is an affront to them and God. However, considering how most people behave in marriage (look at the high divorce and abuse rate within the United States), I would argue they have more problems than this with the institution. Personally, I don’t care if people marry their favorite pet goat if they want. I think the problem we have with the religious zealot types is the word “marriage”. I would say, just make civil union (let’s give it some cool name like “connubiality”) equal to “marriage” legally in the US, let anyone marry anything they want and move on. It’s really a stupid thing to fight about.

Rich
March 27th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

And mildly-scholarly or even objective study of Mormon history will lead to only one conclusion – pure nonsense created by a delusional genius. If Joseph Smith were alive today he would be Bill Clinton – smart, seductive, selfish and delusions of grandeur. JS was very smart but uneducated. Being a prophet paid better than being a scam artist and there were no jobs in film directing, script writing, political speech writing or acting available to him at the time. He simply picked the career path that permitted him to survive and reproduce. The religion he started is NOTHING like the church that exists today – Mormons have rewritten their history more than the Japanese have rewritten their account of Pearl Harbor. Peace – Out!

Sophia
March 28th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Kerri! Your words could be my words. “I always knew (not thought) we would be LDS” and your experiences mirror mine pretty closely. My exit was easy and relation to the temple and our practices there. I was getting no real answers to satisfy my soul. At the end of the day I had to do what I knew was right and let the church go. The aftermath has been to my utter delight one of enrichment. More satisfying connections with my fellowman, my eternal companion, and our children. Peace unlike anything I have ever experienced! I made the right choice. I am so glad I am not the only one! Well done you beautiful, brilliant, and wonderful woman!!
Namaste

Phil
March 28th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Wonderful! You said it all for me too! You and your family are very special. Wish I’d had your wisdom 30 years ago. Enjoy the freedom, bless you.

Truth
March 28th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Kerri, Marvelous, simply marvelous. Your words and what they stand for sent chills up my spine, a lump in my throat, heaviness in my heart and brought tears to my eyes.
Love and hugs
Truth

res ipsa
March 28th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Kerri,

Fantastic video, thanks for sharing.

Avon
March 28th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Rich – I loved your post, you sum up JS perfectly. I’m trying to work JS out at the moment – I’m coming to the conclusion that as time went on, he became as convinced as his followers that he was a prophet. The writing of the BOM was a conspiracy between Sydney Rigdon, Oliver Cowedry and JS himself – they must have all been in on the fraud. They would never have gotten away with it in this day!

Catherine
March 29th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

>>>mildly-scholarly or even objective study of Mormon history will lead to only one conclusion – pure nonsense created by a delusional genius.<<<

So true! I remember, even when I was a true-believer, when the church would declare that part of the 'proof' that JS must have been a prophet who was given divine ability to translate/write the BOM was that he had so little formal education and could therefore never normally have the ability to creat such a book of his own doing. I absolutely believe without a shadow of a doubt that a person can have little or no education and still be brilliant. I have no doubt that he could have written that book on his own, or with a little help from his buddies (heck, half of it is plagarized portions of the bible anyhoo or else those gazillion "and it came to pass-es" too.

Tobin
March 29th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Catherine,

JS always hangs or dies on whether there is a God or not. If God doesn’t show up and say, “Yep, he’s my guy…” I think the jury has come in and determined he is a fraud. It really is that basic. I really don’t understand why an ex-mormon needs to point at the BOM, Book of Abraham, that he was a polygamist or anything else. Who are you going to convince by going there? A deist is going to be unimpressed by anything you bring up, and can easily just dismiss anything you say as simple as this – “Dodos are birds. Birds can fly. Dodos can fly.” Now the real question is, “Is JS a Dodo?” :)

Catherine
March 29th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

>>> Who are you going to convince by going there? <<<

Part of me thinks I should not engage you by giving a response because I'll be honest, I get the feeling from reading your other posts on this website that you are a very clever person who enjoys playing with words and scenarios and ways to get us to run down your rabbit hole. My gut is telling me that I will be thowing my pearls before wine. However, I'm sharing my feelings on an experience I lived through for decades that had a profound effect, for good and for bad, in my life. I'm sharing the conclusions I've come to from my own life events and my own studies.

I have come to find that there is a lot of positive healing when like-minded folks coming together to share their experiences with each other. It's not unlike when folks find it works when they stand up in a 12-step program to say "Hi, I'm John and I'm a —-… " and the circle of support says "Hi John…" and you feel like maybe you're not so alone, or not so crazy, or that hopefully you're going to come out the other side of this bad time and be okay. I have a sibling (a never-mo) who is 7 years sober… and he and I have very similar healing stories. And we have very similar support circles around us. And we find strength in sharing our stories and sharing how we overcame our challenges, and we find strength listening to others' stories.

There is a strength and healing that comes from dissecting your own history and experiences and ah-ha! moments to make heads and tails of what you lived through and what you now understand to be your truth.

I'm also a survivor of childhood incest (completely separate experience from my LDS church experience) and my thereapy for that period of my life is very much like the help and support I feel here. I meet/met with other survivors and we tell our stories and we feel uplifted and not so alone in our experiences.

Parts of my LDS story are actually very very similar to Kerri's story here in this thread. I am a mother of 5 and I had many feelings like Kerri did. So hearing her story uplifted me (Thanks Kerri!)

Tobin
March 29th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I understand… I actually enjoy many of the stories here. Most are exiting a church and religious experience I certainly don’t like (modern-day Mormonism has as much appeal to me as a funeral) and I have a tough time understanding how people put up with it for so long. It definitely isn’t true, but traditional Mormonism is a bad reflection of the truth. Personally, if anyone tried to pull half the crap on me as most of the people have had to go through with Church leaders, I’d introduce their nose to my fist. My feeling is enlightenment (if you are interested in that) is safest when it is between you and God, Allah, oneness with the Universe, or whatever you call it. When you start listening relying on GAs, stake presidents, bishops or anyone else – life is full of inconsistencies and large disappointments (alot of do what I say and not as I do goes on). The thing I like about JS is he was interested in finding out (the thing I don’t like about him is he was a very flawed human being – but many of us are). So if you don’t like what he said or who he was, then go ask for yourself SHOULD be the mesage of Mormonism (and what people decide should be respected). Unfortunately, that isn’t the practice today.

Catherine
March 29th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

>>>My feeling is enlightenment (if you are interested in that) is safest when it is between you and God, Allah, oneness with the Universe, or whatever you call it.<<<

I agree.

Catherine
March 29th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

“pearls before SWINE”… hahaha… not wine. Although I do enjoy a glass of wine now and then now!

;-)

Tobin
March 29th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Dont’ we all… :)

Natalie
March 30th, 2011 at 4:28 am

Tobin, you confuse the hell out of me. I’ve got to meet you some day.

I like reading what you have to say here on this board and do agree with you on many things (including wine drinking). Why don’t you just join us on this side of the coin once and for all? You’d make such a great ex-mo and you know it! Then again, the last thing anyone could do is peg you…

Cheers.

Thomas
March 30th, 2011 at 8:02 am

Wonderful, Kerri! Thank you, thank you for your courage to share your feeling and experiences in this way. I have come to realize that the Church (and most religions, but mainly the very prescriptive ones like Mormonism) sets up a co-dependency for its members. *They* tell you you have a problem (you are fallen, you need saving, you’re going to be lost & separated from your loved ones) for which only *they* can provide the solution (full commitment to the organization). So glad you have broken free!

luvuyo merile
March 30th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I am a mormon. I’ve investigated the mormon religion over the past couple of years. I’ve read both the mormon and the anti-mormon doctrine published by both friends and foes to the church. I’ve weighed it all, thought long and prayed hard. I have a witness that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. The book of mormon bears testimony of Jesus Christ. I love going to the temple. It is the house of God. I’ve have come to know that those who are enemies to the church are either bitter because they transgressed the laws of God which are strict, have had differences with individuals in the church, feel more comfortable living in the world without law or principle, or have been deceived by the father of lies because they accommodated him and his doctrine into their lives and sat and supped with him for hours of lectures. The Saviour has been known for both good and evil and its not suprising that his servants will be so hated and loved in like manner. Interestingly enough, its was easier for the meek and the poor in spirit to follow Christ than it was for the rich, the proud, and the learned pharisees who in their minds and hearts believe and professed to love God more than the rest of the world. Your guys are not the first nor the last enemies of the church of God. Many have come before you and they did a much better job than what you, and many others shall follow. Some of you know the truth. Some know very little about mormonism. For those of you who know or once knew, How long will you kick against the pricks and deny the Holy Ghost which has and does bear testimony in your hearts of the truthfulness of this work? How long will you fight against God? Your hands are stained with the blood of the innocent. Repent if you care… You’ll be a lot happier. Pray to know the truth. Mormons have as I know them have on fears. They love God and his commandments. They do good to all men. They have love for life and have hope for greater things in the future. If anyone really wants to know what mormons believe in, first-hand and not from an opposition, Visit our meeting house and join us for our sunday services which usually start at 9am, visit the churches website http://www.mormon.org or http://www.lds.org, or contact the missionaries. Do it for yourself and not for the crowd, and them cast your judgement. I am a black african in South Africa, and I love the church. I will defend the name of God against blaspheme. I have found the truth. With it i’ll live and with it i’ll did. COME UNTO CHRIST! He’s ready to recieve you. He loves you and so do I.

Dan Johnson (admin)
March 30th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Thanks for your comment. I know you left it here out of love and I hope you understand that I respect that very much.

I understand we have different beliefs and disagree on a fundamental level, but I hope you can understand that the purpose of this website is coming from the same desire to help others as your comment- I do it because I care for others. Jeff Ricks video is a great example of what you may be missing with this website (and others):

http://www.iamanexmormon.com/2011/01/my-name-is-jeff-and-im-a-post-mormon/

In his video he describes one of his friends that almost committed suicide after leaving the church. Many like his friend feel isolated and lonely. I think the reason for this is echoed in your comment- we are labeled as sinful, bitter, offended, deceived and simply weak. So when this man was about to kill himself, where was he able to turn? Was he about to turn to the very people who ostracized him? Who blame him for leaving? Who call him a sinner and look down on him as being weak and deceived? No. He found hope through sites like this. He found friendship and love where it was freely given. A place where he was understood and accepted. These “anti-Mormon” websites saved this man’s life.

How many times have I wished my friends cared for me enough to reach out and talk to me about the church! They believe these issues are of eternal significance and yet here I am, willing, pleading and even begging to discuss these issues with my loved ones because I care about THEM… but they do not talk to me. I have had one conversation with a few people close to me. Then the conversation dies. They do not come back to continue discussing the issues that they believe will save my immortal soul. Instead I find comments from people like yourself, strangers, anonymously posting on my site. And I sincerely say thank you for showing that you care. But don’t reach out to me- reach out to those close to you who are lost. Pray for faith and answers to their questions. Go and show them that you love them and want what is best for them. Because I am left to wonder if those close to me are in fear of what I have to say, or don’t care about me enough to put their faith in God and continue talking to me about my eternal salvation.

Rayzor
March 31st, 2011 at 9:57 am

luvuyo merile,

You wrote, “I’ve have come to know that those who are enemies to the church are either bitter because they transgressed the laws of God which are strict, have had differences with individuals in the church, feel more comfortable living in the world without law or principle, or have been deceived by the father of lies because they accommodated him and his doctrine into their lives and sat and supped with him for hours of lectures.”

That is a very large “judgment brush” that you just painted a great deal of people with. I’ll just use myself as an example. I’ve been a member of the church for almost 20 years. Up until November of 2008 I was as faithfully engaged in the church as you appear to be. And guess what? I, without realizing it, judged people just as harshly as you appear to; holding them to a standard that is pretty much impossible to live up to. Why? Well, because I had the truth of course. Without killing you with details, in 2008 I like many before me began my quest into church history. Note: At that time in my life I had been serving in my local bishopric for about 7 years and my son had just come home from a successful two-year mission. So, yes I was a faithful member with a testimony; doing all in my power to move the kingdom forward. Why did I begin to study church history? I began because through my own personal experience and personal study things simply were not adding up. Two plus two does not equal five. I began to quickly understand that if you fully embrace the doctrines of the church, you also have to embrace fuzzy math. This coupled with my clear rational understanding of psychology and how the human mind operates has led me to know that the church in fact isn’t what it reports to be.

In 2008 I ASKED to be released from the bishopric because I could not stand as a leader in an organization that expected me to believe and testify of things that I felt were simply not true. It wasn’t something that I would consider a bad experience, but as most people who leave the church can attest to, finding out that you have believed a lie (not to mention taught it) for so long is a fairly traumatic experience. It took the better part of two years to release myself from the bonds of fear and guilt that Mormonism had injected into my psyche for so long. Thankfully I am free of those feelings today, and a much happier person because of that freedom. Interestingly, since that time I have had a few labels placed on me; ones that you suggested right there in your message. Guess what, none of them apply. So, my advice to you is stop judging people. Yes, some individuals may leave the church because of the reasons you listed, however many more leave because something is wrong with the church, not because something is wrong with them.

By the way, atheists are some of the most principled people I know, so that argument doesn’t work either…

Dan (admin), great website… Keep up the good work. You’re helping a lot of people. Peace

Thomas
March 30th, 2011 at 11:41 pm

luvuyo,

Please at least do some investigation so you are more aware of what your religion is about. I have, for example, a replica first edition Book of Mormon, where two references to King Benjamin were changed to King Mosiah (Mosiah 21:28, changed in 1837, and Ether 4:1, changed in 1849). The context of these changes indicates to me that they were not simply translation errors, but systematic changes made to bring the narrative back into conformity with itself. You can verify this with online sources of the first edition.

The more you learn about the real issues confronting Mormonism, the less judgmental you will be of those who choose to leave. In many ways it is more courageous to leave than to remain and just go with the flow.

Samantha
March 31st, 2011 at 8:40 pm

It is true that people have problems with the church. But, please listen to me when i say that the church is not trying to control you. It is not trying to scare you into being good. I’d like to share a story about this. It was General Conference of April 2009. I had gotten tickets. I was fifteen. I was going to meet some friends there with my mom. We got seperated in the crowd on the other side of the street from the conference center. There were so many people, most of which were screaming at me for attending. I was trying to make my way to our door number to meet my mom when a man grabbed my by the arm. He turned me around and grabbed my shoulders. He started yelling at me. He told me I was being brainwashed by the church and if i questioned it I would leave the church and be glad, just like he was. I have never been more frightened in my entire life. I will never forget the darkness i saw in that man’s eyes. l will never forget the grip he had on my shoulders. I was starting to cry and tried to break away. He finally let me go but was still yelling at me. I ran to the other side of the street, shaky and scared. An older man, a missionary, cam over to me and told me, “It’s alright. You’re safe here.”

You go ahead and stand there and tell me this church is trying to scare me into being good. You go ahead. Truth is, I want to be good. I’m not scared of what might happen if i’m not because CHRIST IS MERCIFUL BEYOND MEASURE. I know this more than i know anything. He told me to question. Guess what? I have. I have researched and of course i have questioned. I’m going to tell you now, It is true! He lives! I know this! I will never leave my savior.

Tobin
March 31st, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Hi Samantha,

Well, it has been my experience that many ex-mormons don’t have a visceral reaction to Mormons. Usually that is the anti-mormon lunatic fringe that are such a joy to talk to – well, if you enjoy talking to someone, that only has one volume “LOUD”, shouting in your ear. They usually go through phases starting with disappointment with Mormonism (many having dedicated a good portion of their lives to it) after having “discovered” many of the beliefs they held are not true, and then moving through a range of other emotions including at times rage, depression and so on. Personally, I don’t know why they held those beliefs for so long, but eventually most usually end up rather content atheists. Some become flavor-of-the-month Christians (those aren’t as fun to talk to), but if they avoid doing that, they are much more interesting to talk to than they used to be when they were a “traditional” Mormon. Anyway, I think you’ll find that here. So, I don’t think you need to bear your testimony to them. I’m sure they’ve heard the message before.

Catherine
April 1st, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Samantha, thank you for sharing your feelings about that terrible experience you had to endure. I am sorry you had that happen to you and that it scared you.

I hope you will be open to the fact that not all former-mormons are like that. There are angry people out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and there are even angry people IN the LDS church.

I hope you took a moment to watch Kerri’s video from begining to end and saw that she is a great mom, not unlike YOUR mom. She tenderly loves her children, cares for them, provides for them, worries about them, wants only the very best for them. I do the same for my 5 children who I love SOOOO much. I would dare bet that Kerri is not a “mormon shaker”. I have never shaken and/or screamed at a church member EVER in my entire life. I have never shaken any of my friends who are still active in the LDS church. I have many friends who are still mormon. In fact we hug every time we see each other.

When ex-mormons tell their story about leaving the church, and how their life has improved since leaving, we do it so others will know that there is happiness and joy beyond the LDS church. Life can be wonderful after the LDS church. It doesn’t mean we hate church members.

I tell my story about leaving the church because I’m hoping it will give someone else strength and reassurance. The internet didn’t exist when I left the church and for me it would have been SO nice to have the support of like-minded people at that time in my life. These videos aren’t meant to hurt still-active mormons, they are meant to support those like us who have chosen to leave, and to show that we are indeed happy, healthy, flourishing, nice, and not mormon-shakers.

Caroline
April 1st, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I’m also an exmormon. Now that the Lord has allowed you come to this point, I would encourage you to seek the true God of the Bible as I have!

Tobin
April 1st, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Well – you never know, it IS April Fools today. :)

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 1st, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I received the following comment:

Thank you so much for these beautiful Ex Mormon videos. I feel such joy and peace as I watch them and you speak what I am feeling! I lovingly laughed out loud when I read one of the posts of testimony of the church. I wonder how many members have never read the Journal of Discourses and thought to “ponder” on all of the information and history about the church. I believe, in order to fully understand and commit to any organization, you have to want to know it and understand it fully, which includes the good, the bad and the ugly. I don’t want to take anything away from anyone else, but I so want my life back. I was only in the church for a short time and began to be terribly confused. When I reached the point of going the temple, I ran and left the church. I haven’t sent my letter to remove my name yet, and lately the Sister Missionaries have been visiting me weekly. I am too nice to say no, but end up in tears of frustration and sadness at the limiting view of the church and the inability of the missionaries to “think” beyond what they have been programmed to see and speak. I am open to the fact that I might be wrong. But, I will not be controlled by fear and choose to live out of love rather than rules. There are wonderful things about the church and some of the nicest people I’ve ever met are members. But, that doesn’t change how I feel about the doctrines and foundation of the church. I really appreciate your videos so much! I may show one or two to the sisters to communicate how I’m feeling. It’s hard for me to put into words how I feel and what I think, especially when they talk circles around me and have a justification for everything. I just wanted to relate the joy, love and freedom I feel as I watch your videos and know that what I am feeling is MY truth!

Carlos
April 1st, 2011 at 10:39 pm

The approach that people use to either testify of what they say is the truth of the gospel or on the other hand make a statement about the lies of the LDS church do not change the facts. The fact that anti-mormons yell in your face does not mean that the church is true. Mormons threatening you with burning in hell for fighting against God does not mean that the church is not true.
The church has many good things and I am thankful that I was part of it for so many years (35 years and now I am 46). I was always away from drugs and bad company and grew up close to my family. Obviously I realized that the church is good organization, but is an organization of men. 2 years ago I found out that I could not be part of the church any longer and that the doctrine of the church was not the making of God but of men. I am now happiest than I have ever been.

Carlos

Chuck
April 2nd, 2011 at 9:43 am

Adam said it best. You can believe whatever you want. Create your own ideas and doctrine, even your own religion. Do whatever makes you feel better about yourself. You decide. I’m sure that’s how God wants it. LOL.

Brittnee
April 2nd, 2011 at 2:26 pm

This is an absolutely ridiculous video. I’m a wife, future mother, I believe in the gospel doctrine families can be together, and I believe you can love your children fully and the same as anyone else can while still being able to maintain the doctrine, and I’m a mormon!

Avon
April 2nd, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Yes Britnee, you are obviously a Mormon – a very judgemental one too. You know, the flipside to free agency is letting people practise it!

Catherine
April 2nd, 2011 at 8:15 pm

>>>This is an absolutely ridiculous video<<<

Haha… my goodness Brittnee… how on earth did you even SEE the video past that mote in your eye? ;-)

Thomas
April 3rd, 2011 at 8:16 am

>>>mote in your eye?<<<

Or is it a beam? ;)

Catherine
April 3rd, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Ok… so I flunked out of Seminary. Was that one Scripture Mastery? I should call my daughter, she was our regional champ one year. …she’s out now too. *whew*

Tobin
April 3rd, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Count your blessings – you could have been raised baptist and be spewing out Bible scriptures in your sleep. Mormons typically know their scriptures as well as Miss Teen South Carolina knows what a map looks like.

Host: “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?”

Miss Teen South Carolina: “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

Fortunately for her, she still had looks to rely on – she ended up getting 3rd place.

Monica
April 3rd, 2011 at 4:50 pm

So disapointed in this

Robin
April 4th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

This almost would me laugh if it weren’t so pathetic. It is so obvious that this person never was Mormon just by the things she says. But I must say a pretty actor with the tears that she turns on so easily. What I don’t understand is why there is this group of people that can’t stand it that Mormons are happy with themselves. Why are they obsessed with other people believing something they don’t. That’s what makes the world go round. We should embrace our differences and love each other no matter what our beliefs are. Just be kind to each other and stop hurting each other.

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 4th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

“What I don’t understand is why there is this group of people that can’t stand it that Mormons are happy with themselves.”

I think it’s great when Mormons are happy. If you look at the stats on Utah however, you will see that unfortunately many are unhappy.

A question you might ask yourself is: Why would I go to such lengths to try to discredit this person- even to the point of believing that she is an actor that was never Mormon?

“We should embrace our differences and love each other no matter what our beliefs are. Just be kind to each other and stop hurting each other.”

Well said my friend. Let us speak our truth. We believe it helps others, and I’m sure you disagree, but we aim to do good in this world and make it better.

Just have faith that this will help the church in the long run!

“Experience shows that seasons of negative publicity about the Church can help accomplish the Lord’s purposes.”
-ELDER ROBERT D. HALES (Here is the link to the full talk)

Tobin
April 4th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Hehe – I’m going to say it. Now this is a classic “No True Scotsman” fallacy!!! And she’s a tone troll (your tone is bad therefore I don’t like what you say). Way to go Robin!

Catherine
April 4th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

>>>Why are they obsessed with other people believing something they don’t.<<<

Ummmm… what does she call thousands of missionaries all over the world knocking on doors interrupting dinners everywhere? Now THERE's an obsession! LOL!

Catherine
April 4th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

>>>It is so obvious that this person never was Mormon just by the things she says.<<<

Robin, I'm curious what you think those things are? What exactly is it that she says?

kilingo
April 4th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

you do not have an understanding in the gospel at all. i can assure you that you will not lose your family. the prophets are not false. the Church is true. its the persons testimony and their faith that has faded. im a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and i dont agree with this. i dont live in fear of losing my family. i know God lives, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I know the Book of Mormon to be another testimony of Jesus Christ. I know Thomas S. Monson to be the true living Prophet of God. i know if we keep the commandments and ordinances of the gospel, blessings will pour into our lives. we may not receive what we ask for but we will receive what we need. i may not be perfect but i know that this knowledge from the gospel is perfect in every way. i leave you with my testimony and i love you all, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tobin
April 4th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Oh boy… you do realize you aren’t going to convince many people with your testimony? Ah well, I’ll let the ex-mormons express how impressed they are (maybe I’m wrong and they’ll all come back to the church). Then again, maybe pigs will sprout wing and fly. Umbrellas anyone?

Celestialbound
April 5th, 2011 at 10:27 am

Zing! Haha, well said!

Pirlo
April 5th, 2011 at 1:21 am

…. ” I believe that IF I am right, there will come a time when we can recreate similar experiences to show that this is nothing more than a natural phenomenon of the complex networks in our minds. At this point I believe the argument “I know it is true because I had an incredible experience with the divine” will not be respected or tolerated in the least.”

….well I beleive that if I am right, in beleiving my incredible experiance with the devine then there will come a time when all will beleive that there is a God and that He has a son Jesus the Christ who is the head of The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.

ive got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 5th, 2011 at 2:50 am

What you are describing is called “Pascal’s Wager.” You believe you have nothing to lose, when in fact you will lose the following if you are wrong:

You lose 10% of your income. You lose your self identity. You lose your Sundays and so much time during the week (if you are an active participating member). Basically, you lose your life.

Every decision you make is based on the foundational belief that the church is true. This means that every decision in your life is not aligned with reality (if you are wrong). I propose that there is a way to know if you are right or wrong. It takes an honest search of the facts. I suggest starting your search with mormonthink.com and Steven Hassan’s BITE model. Do not be afraid of truth. You have everything to gain: Your life.

Tobin
April 5th, 2011 at 4:26 am

Hi Dan,

Let him be. I know the facts – I also know God. You can do both. You can have a very good life, be Mormon, and be very familiar with the facts. I also do not pay tithing, rarely attend Mormon meetings because they are such a drag (working on changing that), and don’t feel I waste my time either in my interests or serving other people in need.These things are not diametrically opposed. I have a theoretical question for you – If one day God shows up and answers all your questions to your satisfaction, should it make that much of a difference in your life? I would argue that it really shouldn’t. You should conduct you life in such a way that you would be proud of how you conducted yourself one way or the other. I certainly have little concerns about what would happen if you were correct.

Trent
April 5th, 2011 at 9:06 am

Hi Tobin,
You sound like a “cafeteria mormon” to me, Elder Nelson warned about that in this last general conference. The mormon church is an all or nothing religion. There is no middle ground. When I believed in the church I tried to do everything that prophets told me, because that is what I felt the Lord expected of me. The reason why I don’t believe anymore is because I feel that the church is only interested in promoting faith and will sacrifice truth to accomplish that, something I don’t feel a perfect god would do.
“Some things that are true are not very useful.” -Elder Packer

Tobin
April 5th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Hi Trent,

I’ve been called worse by the GAs, as have members of my family. My uncle was Eugene England and Bother McConkie had some choice words for him as well. :) Anyway, I know “cafeteria mormon” isn’t meant as a compliment. However, I’ll take it as such and define it as a Mormon that takes the “good” parts of Mormonism and rejects the “bad” parts. I live a good life and am pretty happy all round. After all, my salvation is between me and God, NOT between me and any man so I really don’t care what the GAs think or say. I’m sure some of the geriatric society would dearly love to excumminicate me for some of the other things I’ve published and said; and maybe someday they will get their wish. But again, I’m unphased and will continue to do what I think is best.

Ryan
April 5th, 2011 at 10:42 am

I love the church. I’m 17 years old and have been a member my whole life. But even though I’ve been a member I haven’t been truly converted until recently, in these past few years. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my Savior, Jesus Christ died for me and saved me. I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father… and guess what? So do all of you. Did Christ not say in the scriptures “They will hate you, but know that they hated me first.” All of these comments just add to my testimony that I am a part of the one Church that holds all of the truths. In all my years of attending Church meetings, I have never heard anything that makes me remotely believe I am being “scared into doing whats right.” And even if it were true, what is so bad about being “scared into doing whats RIGHT?” If it’s right you should be doing it anyways. Families can be together for eternity. I know that to be true. I love President Monson with all of my heart, mind, and soul and I know that he is a true prophet of God. God speaks through him and through all of his servants. “I will go and do the things the Lord commands.” I’m proud to say that I followed the influence of God’s spirit and posted these things. I do not say these to judge any of you, “Who am I to judge another, when I walk imperfectly?” but I say them that I might enlighten you to consider them in your hearts, not just in your heads.
Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and I will not live to hear him called delusional. I know he translated to BOM by and through the Holy Power of the God Almighty. I ask that you consider these things and if you are so inclined, pray about them. I know that God will answer if you ask Him.

Celestialbound
April 5th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Ahhhhhh, the brainwashing, it burns!!!!!

kourtney
April 5th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

you know, i strongly disagree with this video. im 17 years old and have been going to the lds church my whole life. ive been to kirtland, palmyra and other historic grounds of the church. i KNOW this church to be true. it has been the best thing in my life. and what really irks me is that people accuse the church on their family problems. well ONE its not the churchs’ fault that your family is unhappy. its simpily yours. you cant blame a church for unhappyness. you can only blame yourself. my parents separated when i was 16 and it was beyond one of the hardest things ive gone through. but the people in the chuch helped me realize that because im sealed to my parents we will be together. my best friend died of a heart attack when i was 9 years old. she was my grandma and to know that because of the temples i can be with her again. and if you dont know about temples go to http://www.mormon.org or http://www.lds.org or simpily the bible, book of mormon, doctrine and covenants and the pearl of great price. its all there.

this is comming from a girl that has RECIEVED revelation that this is the only true church on the face of the earth

Trent
April 5th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hi kourtney,
If there is an afterlife, what makes you think that you won’t be together with your grandma again if there was no church? What does the church have to do with whether or not you will be with your grandma again?

What really irks me is when religions project negative stereotypes on people that think differently then them. What really irks me is the division that religions can cause.

Ryan
April 5th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Trent
You asked Kourtney about a situation; “If there is an afterlife, what makes you think that you won’t be together with your grandma again if there was no church?” What makes you think that Kourtney can be with her grandma again if both of them live totally different lives? What if (hypothetically speaking) Kourtney’s Grandma lived a more righteous life than Kourtney. Where does she go? Is she subjected to be in the same place with all of the other people of the world who don’t share her same ideals and values? In our Church we believe in a plan in which we can make it back to live with our Heavenly Father and everyone else we love IF WE CAN DO WHAT GOD ASKS OF US. God didn’t send us down here to Earth just so we could hang out and get to know more people. This life is a test, a trial, something to test our faith. If we all got to live “happily ever after” after this life then this earthly probation would have been completely pointless. If this were the way it was, it would be like playing a football game with no opponent. Running a race where they don’t time any of the contestants. God is testing us in this life. He would not have sent His Only Begotten Son down to this earth if we all could make it back to Him otherwise. Christ suffered our sins so that (if we come to him and ask for forgiveness) we could be forgiven. That is why many people think that fear rules the Church of Jesus Christ. Because we need to do what is right in order to make it back to where we came from. God will not give us a free pass. And I’m sorry but it is selfish to say “no matter where I go, I want my family there with me.” If I am judged by my Redeemer and I am found unworthy, I would not want my family to be damned with me. No matter how much I love them I don’t want that fate for them. I know that even if I am separated from my family that in some form I can see them again. God is a merciful, loving Father who bases His Church on the strengths of families.

Trent
April 6th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Hi Ryan
I am well familiar with the church, I was a baptized member for 21 years and I served a mission in Brazil. I see where you are coming from, I used to think the same way.
Apparently now we have a very different perspective on diety and the purpose of life. I feel that your views are based on judgement and seperation and here are my reasons:

>>>>What makes you think that Kourtney can be with her grandma again if both of them live totally different lives?

-so is there only one correct way to live life?

>>>>What if (hypothetically speaking) Kourtney’s Grandma lived a more righteous life than Kourtney.

-define your idea of righteousness. My idea of righteousness is love and acceptance of other people. I believe a person can not love others unless they first love and accept themselves first.

>>>>Where does she go? Is she subjected to be in the same place with all of the other people of the world who don’t share her same ideals and values?

-again the idea is that there is only one correct way to live life.

>>>In our Church we believe in a plan in which we can make it back to live with our Heavenly Father and everyone else we love IF WE CAN DO WHAT GOD ASKS OF US.

-is you idea of a perfect god that egotistical?

>>>>God didn’t send us down here to Earth just so we could hang out and get to know more people. This life is a test, a trial, something to test our faith.

-Why would a loving god do that?

>>>If we all got to live “happily ever after” after this life then this earthly probation would have been completely pointless.

-why? So God’s purpose in sending us here is to have us prove to him that we are “worthy” enough to live with him again? What kind of loving god is that?

>>>>If this were the way it was, it would be like playing a football game with no opponent. Running a race where they don’t time any of the contestants. God is testing us in this life.

-so the idea of life is to compete against each other, and only the winners get to live with God?

>>>>He would not have sent His Only Begotten Son down to this earth if we all could make it back to Him otherwise. Christ suffered our sins so that (if we come to him and ask for forgiveness) we could be forgiven. That is why many people think that fear rules the Church of Jesus Christ. Because we need to do what is right in order to make it back to where we came from.

-well if life is a competition, remember that fear is a great motivator.

>>>>God will not give us a free pass.

-of coarse not, he only wants the best.

>>>>And I’m sorry but it is selfish to say “no matter where I go, I want my family there with me.”

- I don’t think that it is a selfish desire to want to be with the people that you love.

>>>>If I am judged by my Redeemer and I am found unworthy, I would not want my family to be damned with me. No matter how much I love them I don’t want that fate for them.

-Ya it sucks that you didn’t make the cut, Im sure your family will be very dissapointted that you weren’t as good as they were.

>>>> I know that even if I am separated from my family that in some form I can see them again. God is a merciful, loving Father who bases His Church on the strengths of families.

-I tell my parents that they can come down and visit me when ever they want. They can tell me how creating and managing their own world is going, and I’ll let them know how I and my friends that love and accept me for who I am are doing.

>>>>God is a merciful, loving Father who bases His Church on the strengths of families.

-apparently, if your not good enough, you get the boot.

Im sorry to say bro, your perspective on the purpose of life do not sound very Christ-like to me.

Ryan
April 7th, 2011 at 7:38 am

Trent,
>>>>Im sorry to say bro, your perspective on the purpose of life do not sound very Christ-like to me.<<<<
Did Christ not say to the hypocrites, the lawyers and pharisees, that they would not make it to heaven if they dragged others down? Christ's earthly mission here was based on trying to keep families together by telling them that if they wanted to be together forever, they needed to follow the commandments of God.
And I'm sorry to say, but in my mind all of your other points were absolutely absurd. I absolutely, 100% agree with all of the points that you tried to contradict. God may be merciful, but if you do not do what your asked you will not make the cut. I know that to be true, and it may be hard, but it makes people become the person God knows they can be. The Savior is the ultimate judge after this life and He will be merciful.

London
April 14th, 2011 at 10:49 am

In our Church we believe in a plan in which we can make it back to live with our Heavenly Father and everyone else we love IF WE CAN DO WHAT GOD ASKS OF US.”

Are you doing EVERYTHING god asks of you? How do you know you are doing just enough to make it? I am pretty certain you do not live a perfect life. I do not live a perfect life. At what point is the grace of Christ good enough to get you into the Celestial Kingdom? What if one person helps all those around him, is totally non-judgmental, keeps the law of chastity, but no matter how much he tries, he can’t give up coffee. Is he going to hell because he can not attend the Temple? And you…so full of judgement will go to heaven because you meet all of the pharisidical requirements for admittance. Didn’t Jesus say, judge not lest ye be judged? Fact is, that the facts make “The Gospel” which is supposed to be plain and simple confusing as hell. If this was the Lord’s Church, I would think he could build the foundations of the restoration in a way that would reduce confusion, not create it. Don’t the scriptures say that confusion is of the devil. Read the history of the Church, the real history, and tell me if it leaves you more or less confused. For me, I know if I go back to Church, I will be constantly chasing that carrot on a stick. No one will ever say, well done thou good and faithful servant. They will only expect more, more, more until they choke the life out of me. Seriously…attend any sacrement meeting in the SLC area and 30-40% are morbidly obese, yet this is obeying the Word of Wisdom? Do you know that obesity will kill you faster than a morning cup of coffee?

Brooke
April 5th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Ryan, I agree with you 100% The gospel is true and its so sad to see that there are so many who have been tricked by the adversary. So sad.

Trent
April 5th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Hi Tobin,
I’m curious, what are your beliefs, you obviously are not a faithful mormon, so what do you believe.

“[I am] a Mormon that takes the “good” parts of Mormonism and rejects the “bad” parts.”

-I couldn’t agree more. I feel that I have learned alot of good things from the church that have contributed to the person that I am now.

Tobin
April 5th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Hi Trent,
I believe there is a real God that you can talk to. I am a deist. I was an atheist. I did not the “I had a feeling/heartburn thing” that most Mormons have. That is the main problem with most Mormons from my point of view. They are Mormon and join the church because of feelings which is nice – but so are puppies – doesn’t mean it is true. The acid test to if the main thesis of Mormonism is true is IF there is a God, and that God needs to show up and let you know. Anything else and it’s NOT true. JS and many people have said as much. Faith, belief and everything else is nice – but if it doesn’t lead you to knowledge of the truth (ie an encounter with God), you are just wasting your time. Better to be an atheist in that case, less sloppy thinking IMO.

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 5th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Hey Tobin, I’m curious what your view of people who have seen God but have been told other religions are true. How do you view them, deceived by some evil force, hallucinating, or do you have a way of accepting everyone’s revelations at once? (or some other way?)

Tobin
April 5th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Hi Dan,

Seeing God is only useful as a common frame of reference. I can discuss religious topics till I’m blue in the face with an atheist and at the end of the day – it still comes down to “Is there are God or not?” I have met other religious people that have had similar experiences to my own. Those discussions are much more fruitful because we aren’t discussing the merits of if there is a God. It is also much better than speaking to the typical Christian or Mormon believer – Christians will just quote scriptures “magic sayings” at you all day – the typical Mormons will just tell you what to believe and might quote a GA to you (a few know their scriptures, but that is less likely since Mormons don’t know their scriptures very well). This isn’t something I seek as a deist. I’m not out to prove anything to you nor have you join my beliefs. I would encourage you to seek the truth (but remain skeptical) – be open to the “possibility” that there is more out there and experience life and other ways of thinking since the journey is just as important if not more important than the destination.

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 6th, 2011 at 5:03 am

Well, my goal is to remain open to any and all truth, even if I don’t like it! :)

Thanks for your response by the way- you are very active on the site! Thanks for your participation!

April 5th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hello.

I have been a Mormon my whole life and I have NO question that The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints is the only right church in this Earth.I strongly disagree of this video you must not have ever been a faithful person for having doubts about the church.I leave my testimony that is so strong to me even though there just words; I know that The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints is the only truthful church.That the Book of Mormon and the Bible are true.I believe that the prophet that lives today Thomas S. Monson is the only man in the world who speaks face to face with God.I know that Jesus came to Earth to pay for my sins and for everybody else’s.I know that he lives and I will return to his presence one day with my family.I love my family more than anything else in this world.I am blessed that two young men met my mother and father and taught them the truth.It’s been the biggest blessing in my life.It’s NOT the church’s fault that YOUR family is unhappy.If you think that it’s the church’s fault I feel VERY bad for you.Im grateful that I am in the Young Womens.A ENORMOUS blessing.I KNOW this is true.

This comes from a girl who LOVES and RESPECTS her church unlike you.

April 5th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Oh yeah and one more thing.If I ever had a mother like you thank god I don’t I would be very ashamed.

April 5th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

As a stake president I am absolutely disgusted at this video.

Catherine
April 5th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

>>>As a stake president I am absolutely disgusted at this video.<<<

Well Bill, as a human being I am grateful for this video and I respect Kerri's right to say the things of her heart.

~~Catherine, since we're throwing out our "credentials" here: as a former Primary President, Young Women's President, Sunday School Teacher, Seminary Teacher, Visiting Teacher, Girl's Camp leader, Activities Committee Chairman, Sign Language Interpreter, Meetinghouse Librarian, Temple Worker, Bishop's Wife, Mom…. I could keep going.

Ryan
April 7th, 2011 at 10:44 am

No offense Cathrine, but the difference is that your credentials (all but the Mom category) are former. Bill’s are present. The only message I get from your comment is that you fell away from those callings. Again, I’m not saying that’s a horrible thing but if your trying to make a point, it didn’t work very well.

Trent
April 8th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Also Catherine, you’re a woman and never held the priesthood, so your credentials will never be as strong as our beloved “President” Bill Paternoster. ^_^

I love his blog, I’m a big fan!!

Brooke Hammond
April 5th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

This is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. And you can totally tell that it was edited HARD CORE. I mean every five seconds they stop and then continue.. I think this video is a false… I bet this girl got set up. Don’t listen to this garbage. You can’t just go off of what you hear. I mean haven’t we all heard a rumor or two in our lives. By the way… LDS (Mormans) are like the coolest people I know. I have a lot of friends that are. Their families are just fit and happy and together. When I enter their homes I can just feel this warm, happy secure feeling. I can’t believe this garbage for one second because I’m a real witness to it. If you honestly want to know the truth about it take a lesson or just ask a missionary. They always answer my questions when I ask. I don’t think that the LDS religion is false. It’s honestly like the only religion that makes sense when I enter the building and listen to what they have to say… And they answer my questions so amazing and they don’t beat around the bush they just get to it.. And I just know it’s true with all my heart that what they’re testifying it true. So, if you want to know about it ask a missionary yourself.. It doesn’t hurt.. Right?

Tobin
April 5th, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Umbrellas anyone? :)

Alexa Flores
April 6th, 2011 at 1:46 am

I agree with Perla. I don’t think you ever had a testimony of the atonement, and never had a testimony of Jesus Christ and why he had to suffer to atone for our sins, so one day we we can have an eternal family. And that’s our purpose here on Earth. I feel really bad for you. You should be grateful for so many things, and keep your bad thoughts to yourself and not make them public. A lot of people (like me) have just discovered the gospel in their lives, and are willing to do anything to go into the temple and be sealed to their families. And your negative thoughts don’t help. I’m sorry but I’m sad that you’ve had the gospel in your life for many year and are not thankful for it. I wish I’ve discovered that families can be together forever when I was 8-years-old! But I didn’t. Hope you keep praying and getting answers from Heavenly Father, I know he loves you, he sent his only begotten son to atone for your sins. You should be grateful for that, and for being here on Earth. Please get to know Him better and as you get closer to the spirit, it will testify to you of the truth.

Tobin
April 6th, 2011 at 1:52 am

Umbrellas and No True Scotsman! This just gets better and better…

Celestialbound
April 6th, 2011 at 11:08 am

Hahah, you stole my job ;)

Tobin
April 6th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Celestialbound,
I do love Mormons, but sometimes I have to agree with you guys. They clearly have suffered brain damage at some point in their lives. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but the evidence is there.

Celestialbound
April 6th, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Bahahahahahahah. To funny. On a serious note, I was wondering what you thought about Elder Bednar’s talk in relation to your views about belief in god?

April 6th, 2011 at 6:56 am

I agree with Perla that this person must have never been a faithful member for having doubts about the church. Personally I have never doubted the truthfulness of the gospel and am appalled as a stake president at how many people are leaving the church over such ridiculous issues. I would encourage the faithful to read through the conference talks at lds.org or click on my name to read my faith promoting blog rather than spending too much time on sites such as this.

President Paternoster

Catherine
April 6th, 2011 at 7:29 am

Aw geez! I totally went for the bait!!! LOL! Very good. Hahahaha… :-D

Tobin
April 6th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

HAHAHAHA – The funniest part about this blog is the fact that there are Stake Presidents in the church that think this way. Nice job. Too funny. Added it to my favorities. I’ll look forward to your next installment.

jean
April 6th, 2011 at 9:39 am

Brooke, what would convince you that this ‘actress’ as you call her was a bona fide, faithful member of the church?
Would you like to see her baptismal certificate, patriarchal blessing, temple wedding photos?

For goodness sake take off that judge’s wig and robe and act like a human being with human emotions. You have a 10 foot thick wall separating you from reality. Of course people change their minds about their religions, were it not so, nobody new would ever join the LDS Church would they? Think about that! Missionaries go knocking on doors in countries all over the world trying to get people to leave their religions and join the Mormon Church – why? Why bother if nobody would ever change.

Love and respect are to be earned not just awarded because…

April 6th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

The idea that “being together forever” is a reward for faithfully living Mormonism, and the implied thrreat of not-”being together forever” if you do not, actually is incoherent:

http://byzantium.wordpress.com/2007/02/24/incoherent-eternal-families/

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 6th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Wow, I read your thoughts- they are absolutely brilliant!

April 6th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Thank you; I’m flattered.

Trent
April 6th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Wow! You my friend elaborated my thoughts exactly on the idea of “eternal families”. In my opinion, what makes a family is the memories, affections, and loyalties you share with each other. It makes you wonder, is God that malicious that he would take all that way from us, if we don’t do what he says?

-again well said. ^_^

April 6th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

It’s not a question of our opinion about what family is. It’s an objective look at what “family” as a social construct means. If the government legally declared my wife and I to be no longer married, it would change our legal rights and our legal position, but would not affect our relationship in any way. We would no longer legally be “family,” but that only matters legally. Why would that make any difference in the eternities?

London
April 14th, 2011 at 11:19 am

I think the argument that we may get neutered is weak, due to the fact the Book of Mormon says we will be resurrected exactly as we are and not one hair will be lost and also the Proclamation says gender is a part of our eternal identity. I mean, would would be the point if you could be resurrected with eyes and not see, ears and not hear, nose and not smell, and penis/clitoris and not…well…

Tobin
April 6th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Celestialbound,
Well, let’s start with how I approach General Conference each year. First, not many members know this, but almost none of these guys write their own talks. My uncle wrote a few of these as have some of my close friends and the church has a board to review each talk before it is given. The problem I have with this is that I find it rather disingenuous to start with since you have to wonder why are these guys in-charge, making speechs like this, and not be able to come up with the material themselves? So, anyway – I’m trying to guess who the real writer of each speech is by how it sounds and based on the material I’ve read written by the original author (this game also keeps me from putting my foot through the TV when I get irritated with what one of these genetlemen says).
The next problem I have is the themes they develop in General Conference is not “how do I become a better human being or how do I help improve the world” – it is almost always about “how to become a better Mormon”. I’m sorry but I don’t find that particularly uplifting. After that, I just have a problem with their delivery – it is nasal, often condescending, and pedantic. If one of them suddenly caught on fire while speaking – I might miss it because I’m pretty much snoozing half way through their speech.
Anyway, to answer your question, what did I think of his talk? It was alright, but a few things about it:
Revelation is primarily about revealing something generally not known. Since all of us are by definition atheists when we come into this life, and many of us leave this life as atheists – I’d point out that God’s existence would be my big numero UNO as being the most important function of revelation. Small quiet voices, feelings, and talking robotic chickens just don’t cut it IMO. If one believes in revelation, you MUST admit that the opening salvo is needed to establish some facts.
As for the rest of the talks, well, when I wasn’t shouting at the TV about stupid stuff they were saying and wondering aloud how it was possible that they were self-congratulating themselves about their aid to Japan and how Elder Holland was ministering to Japan as an apostle a few weeks before the quake. Maybe, just maybe, he might have skipped some ministering (aka administrative meetings and empty media soundbites) and MAYBE he could have ummmm, mentioned something about the upcoming quake and tsunami that were about to hit? Hence my general impression these guys are all act and no action and why I call them “caretakers” of the church and NOT prophets, seers and revelators.

Trent
April 6th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Hi Tobin,
I like your views, I sort of believe the same way. When I first left the church I was so disgusted with the church that I became atheist also. However, after seeing how good my life has been since I have left, I often wonder now if there is a God. I guess that when I left, I just wanted to distance myself from all church doctrine, because even though I knew that the church wasn’t what it claimed to be, I still felt guilt from leaving and basically felt subconciously that God was going to punish me. (a common theme in the Book of Mormon). However, it has been the complete opposite, I feel more “blessed” now then I have ever felt before. I remember thinking when I was a TBM that i would go off the deep end if I ever left the church, because, as my parents put it, I was special, and I wouldn’t be successful in life unless I had God’s help. Again, it is the complete opposite. In fact it has been so good, that I am alot more open to the idea of a God, and wonder blessing really do come from him, as I was taught in the church. If there is a God, then I feel like he really does accept me unconditionally for who I am and has a perfect understanding of me. Sometimes, I just wonder if I am just more intune with myself, and these thoughts are a reflection of my feeling towards myself. Regardless, I don’t ever think that I can claim honestly ever again, after discovering that emotions are not indicators of truth, that there is a god. I hope for one, but I can’t say I believe in one. I appreciate your thoughts on God, and would love to learn more about your thoughts as well as anyone elses HONEST thoughts and experiences (not brainwashed propaganda) with the ideas of deity.

Trent
April 6th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

>>>>The next problem I have is the themes they develop in General Conference is not “how do I become a better human being or how do I help improve the world” – it is almost always about “how to become a better Mormon”.

So true. This last general conference Elder Ballard gave a good talk on love and service. He basically said that if we love and serve our neighbors that the church will grow.
“Through our heartfelt kindness and service we can make friends with those whom we serve. From these friendships come better understanding of our devotion to the gospel and a desire to learn more about the Church.”
Why can’t it be love and serve your neighbor because you think that they are great people? There always has to be an agenda behind it. How can you really love and accept someone when you have a secret agenda to change them?

jean
April 6th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Does that mean then that if we don’t serve our fellow man the church will NOT grow. That puts me in a real dilemma. I want to serve my fellow beings but I don’t want the church to grow; hmm what to do? j/k

What you say here rings true about the hidden agenda; it is all about church growth. Why does the church need to grow? What is this a game of Risk tm? It only needs to grow if it is the one and only true church and all those members of the whore of all the earth church are wrong. What if everyone is wrong including the Mormons? What if helping other beings is all that we need to do instead of converting them? What a novel idea; we should try it.

To all the mind controlled children who have posted on here with your lovely recitations about “knowing” that the church is true yada yada. You are not old enough, informed enough or mature enough to understand anything about religion yet; give it a bit of time.

Avon
April 6th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Ryan
“Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and I will not live to hear him called delusional. I know he translated to BOM by and through the Holy Power of the God Almighty. I ask that you consider these things and if you are so inclined, pray about them. I know that God will answer if you ask Him”

I’m sorry, but Joseph Smith was in no way a prophet of God – his behavior (especially toward women) was discusting. You obviously have no knowledge of the ‘true’ history of your church, which has been misrepresented for decades. As for Joseph’s ability to translate, are you familiar with the contraversy over the Book of Abraham? – this has been going on since the1960′s when the origional documents were found. When translated by LDS experts, even they had to admit that Joseph’s translation bore no resemblence to what was really on the transcripts (see link)

http://www.irr.org/mit/bhoh-pt1.html

So many members are discovering the awful truth about the origins of the church, and are coming to the same conclusion as I did. Unfortunately ‘Presidend Paternoster’ thinks that these reasons are trivial – then, he would wouldn’t he.

Tobin
April 6th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

You do realize that President Paternoster is a spoof site? He’s playing the role of a conservative Mormon Stake President and doing a bang-up job. :)

Avon
April 7th, 2011 at 9:40 am

Thanks for that Tobin – he had me fooled LOL. Enjoy your posts, you have a very interesting alternative LDS view on things.

Tobin
April 7th, 2011 at 5:05 am

Hi Trent,
I would be the last person on the earth to tell you what to believe. That being said, here is what I believe about God.
First, belief in a God is completely reasonable proposition. The reason I say that is given the age of the universe and its size, it is hard to believe that intelligent life hasn’t developed elsewhere in this universe and done so long before we evolved. Given that (and if they didn’t blow themselves up with their own atomic weapons and used their weapons to keep their own world from being destroyed by GIANT flying space rocks) and let’s suppose this happened even a few million years ago (let alone billions of years ago). Would it be that difficult to imagine just how advanced they might be now? Advanced enough to colonize other worlds and to even transcend reality as we know it. Wouldn’t you even say they would have God-like attributes now in comparison to us? That is how I imagine God is to us (not as the typical Christian imagines God).
Second, I do not believe that those that have studied being one with the universe are wrong (achieving enlightenment). Many eastern religions (buddhism and others in which I’d also throw in Mormonism if you chuck the western religious traditions that have been “introduced” to it) are built around becoming one with this pervasive intelligence to the universe. How one does that is then the question? One thing you “might” do is as Gautama did, and sit a Bodhi tree until you achieve enlightenment. Another is you might seek this intelligence through diligent study of science, literature, culture, philosophy, and the physicals arts to shape both body and mind. I have often been asked how do you know when this higher intelligence is communicating to you to which I answer, “It’s easy. Think of your best impulses and desires. Those are from this higher intelligence.” So, to seek the truth and acknowledge it (like any good scientist would) is in perfect keeping with seeking enlightenment and why I don’t have a problem with people that doubt what I say or those that want to stick only to the facts.
Third, once you achieve a “sense of enlightenment”, do not confuse that with being “enlightened” which is an almost endless process. When you feel at one with the universe, you recognize that things are imperfect and it requires our patience and understanding. That is where I am at now. I understand my flaws. I understand other people’s flaws. And I understand that we need to be kind to each other and understand each other to achieve enlightenment together. That is also how I understand Mormonism. It is not “perfect” as so many who practice it believe and it is filled with flawed people, like the GAs for example, who are far from perfect and that is why I choose to rely on God and my own good sense instead.

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 7th, 2011 at 6:30 am

Your description of belief in God being a reasonable position is wonderful. I used this same line of reasoning before to convince people that God could exist when I was Mormon.

I am still open to this idea- but I don’t see any evidence of it’s reality.

Tobin
April 7th, 2011 at 7:04 am

Dan, I understand that as well. From my point of view, it is inevitable though. You will encounter God in this life or the next (and then we will have a different conversation). Also, I am not saying that in any type of judgemental way. It is perfectly reasonable to doubt and wait till you have evidence of things unseen. That doesn’t prevent you from doing other things though, such as seeking to fill your mind with truth and the “best” learning and knowledge available, to seek fine art, culture, music, explore your talents, and learn to love other people, treat them with kindness and understanding, and help those that are in need and so on. I feel deeply that it should make no difference in this life to know if there is a God or not. It is far more important how you conduct your life and how you deploy your talents in the service of other people.

Trent
April 8th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Hi, Tobin
I really enjoyed reading your response. I wanted to respond earlier, but I am in the middle of finals for school right now and don’t have much free time to collect my thoughts and write about them.
I agree with you that a belief in God is completely reasonable. I believe in a spiritual side of people and often wonder where that comes from. Did evolution create us to be this way, because it carries some sort of value to the survival of our species? I believe that people can connect somehow through some sort of spiritual energy. I can often sense when something is wrong with people that I am close to before they even say something. I often wonder if that has anything to do with the way our brains interpret body language, yet it feels. When someone expresses true emotion such as, happiness, anger, saddness, joy, zest, or fear, I feel some sort of connection with them as well.
As I study science, I am in awe at how everything works. I remember as a believer I used to praise the creator because of the beauty of this world. I used to think that people that don’t believe in God couldn’t possible enjoy the beauty of the earth as much as someone that believes in him. I find now though that I enjoy it so much more because of the mystery of everything. I often wonder when I see a beautiful sunset, why is this so beautiful in my mind? What is it about the splash of colors in the sky mixing together in a perfect rhythm that tells my brain that this is beautiful? As I think these things I get an enlightened spiritual feeling, and feel a connection with the world.
I also feel enlightenment, when I am in tune with myself. As an introvert I often focus my thoughts inward, and when I feel an awakening of my inner self, I feel a spiritual peaceful feeling. It seems like the more in tune I am with myself the more at peace I am with myself. As I learn to accept the real Trent, I feel more connected to people, and the more grateful I feel to be a part of this great world. I often wonder where this feeling of spiritual connection and enlightenment comes from. That is why I am open to the idea of deity.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 2:51 am

Excellent. I applaud your thinking and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. I would encourage you to seek out the truth in everything – be skeptical – but if something is true, skepticism is NEVER a problem. I would recommend one more thing to you that might help. Take 10 minutues each day – find a quiet place – turn off everything – clear your mind and just meditate. That really is both good as a way relax, relieve stress, and MOST importantly – gives you a great opportunity to commune with this intelligence. DO NOT do that stupid little Mormon prayer thing. When I had my experiences with God, I promise you it wasn’t after I said in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen and God appeared on queue. It doesn’t work like that. When God chooses (very important) to talk to us – we need to be able to listen (or in my case have it coming) – and we need to be ready for the message (or have it coming as I did). I hope you have a positive experience when it happens. Mine was less so, but life-altering.

Catherine
April 7th, 2011 at 8:34 am

>>>You will encounter God in this life or the next (and then we will have a different conversation). Also, I am not saying that in any type of judgemental way.<<<

But that *is* judging, isn't it? Haven't you already judged, according to your own personal evidence, and thus pronounced your sentence that Dan will indeed 'encounter God in this life or the next'?

Tobin
April 7th, 2011 at 8:41 am

Catherine, as Dan knows, I’m a Deist. So from my perspective, I know there is a God. So, I fully anticipate that Dan will inevitably have evidence of a God as well at some future point. Once that is established, then the conversation moves on to other topics since we then have a common frame a reference to discuss things.

Catherine
April 7th, 2011 at 8:52 am

But that means you ARE being judgemental then, right? That was my point.

Tobin
April 7th, 2011 at 9:01 am

I’m just stating the facts as I they will develop… to be judgemental is of or denoting an attitude in which judgments about other people’s conduct are made. It doesn’t matter what Dan’s conduct is, he will inevitably encounter God (ie death is unavoidable).

Catherine
April 7th, 2011 at 9:44 am

But you still have used YOUR evidence (your New York experience) to judge Dan’s conclusion. That’s judgemental.

Tobin
April 7th, 2011 at 9:53 am

Oh not at all. Death is the ultimate decider in this case (not I). If there is life after death (as I am confident there is), Dan and I can have a talk then. If not, we all get to rot in the ground and it doesn’t matter. Now, as I pointed out, it doesn’t matter which of us is correct, you can still be a moral agent in either event and do alot of good.

Catherine
April 7th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Hehe… I’m obviously not making myself clear. I bet I would have a similar talk with my grandson about whether or not the tooth fairy exists. ;-)

George
April 7th, 2011 at 9:50 am

You are all blinded form the things that Satan wants you to see!!!!

April 7th, 2011 at 11:14 am

Wait, blinded from or blinded by?

Catherine
April 7th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

>>>You are all blinded form the things that Satan wants you to see!!!!<<<

Oh thank goodness! Cuz I don't want to see those nasty things that Satan wants me to see! :-D

kourtney
April 7th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

honestly, i know everyone is just voicing their opinions out here. but like i said i know that the LDS church is true. and like my last comment my grandma was never LDS. but she did everything in her power to keep me strong in the faith. i dont know if ill be in the same kingdom as her when i die, thats not my place to decide its christs. but what i can do is live a worthy life. whay i really dont understand is why do people who dislike the lds church try so hard to tear it apart??? well, its simply this, they know its true but dont want to believe it, because they want to be in control. i dont understand why someone would want to murder us who are lds because we believe in the truth. have you ever heard of an lds member who has killed someone because of what they believe? no. but lds members where killed all throughout joseph smiths time because we were doing what the LORD wanted.
all you have to do is pray and he will answer you.

Catherine
April 7th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Kourtney… I have prayed and fasted and prayed and fasted enough for many many lifetimes. I was probably a member of the LDS church longer than you’ve been alive.

>>>whay i really dont understand is why do people who dislike the lds church try so hard to tear it apart??? <<<

It is purely a wonderful blessing of living in a democracy. Just as the lds.org website has the right to post their MASSIVE website on the internet proclaiming the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, ex-members have the SAME right to proclaim the non-gospel. (I hope you’ll note your church doesn’t have a “comments” section allowing non-members to speak their mind like this wonderful site provides for you! I would LOVE to leave some comments on their site! ;-)

>>>i dont understand why someone would want to murder us who are lds because we believe in the truth. have you ever heard of an lds member who has killed someone because of what they believe?<<<

Firstly, I don't recall anyone ANYWHERE here wanting to murder any members of the LDS church. Nowhere. Certainly I don't want to… I have many MANY friends to this very day who are active, valiant members of the LDS church.

Secondly, if you are ready to hear the answer to your question as to whether the lds church has killed anyone (and as a mom, I am concerned because I get the impression you are young and it isn't my intention to upset you) you could start with a Google search of "Mountain Meadows Massacre". You may not like what you will read.

Avon
April 8th, 2011 at 7:21 am

Catherine is right Kourtney, the early Saints do have blood on their hands – lots of it.
Brigham Youngs Utah saints were taught that it was lawful for Apostates to be put to death, and Blood Atonement was practised widely – anyone who went against the Church in those days put their lives in grave danger. Read your true church history, not the fabricated official LDS version – you will find alot of info in the Journals of Discourses and Times and Seasons – all official LDS literature of the time, just like the Ensign of today.

People are leaving the church in their droves, because of the internet they are discovering the awful truth about the early church. I often worder how many of todays saints would have joined the early church had they been alive in the 19th century – not many!
I’m afraid that the church is very much a product of it’s time, and is still very much a 19th century creation when you look closely. I have many LDS friends, and love them dearly – but I reserve the right to practice my free agency, which I do.

Migwell
April 8th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Does anyone else have a hard time believing the whole part where she vamps off into quantum physics? I’m sorry, but having watched the video and read the multiple reasons she gives, I can’t buy that she really uses that as a basis for her belief (or disbelief if you will). It made me think that someone else wrote all that stuff and then she said, “Oh, yeah. Me too.” I know Mormons don’t drink or smoke and they are supposed to be sexually pure and all that. Lots of people leave churches because they don’t want to live a lifestyle limited by rules of conduct and I wonder which of the Mormon rules she could comply with.

Kerri Bodie
April 9th, 2011 at 10:12 am

So what’s the matter Migwell? I couldn’t have thought up on my own the relationship between science and the fraud of Mormonism? Is it because I’m a woman? I don’t understand your doubt here. Do YOU understand what I am talking about in my write up or do you find it confusing?

It really is quite simple. It was a big piece of the puzzle for me when I learned about string theory/M theory about 4 years ago and realized we are all, at the base level, made of energy. This really made me ponder our connection with our loved ones.

I realized that there could very well be connections that reside under NO religious framework whatsoever. This thought brought great peace into my soul. I had always thought that if there really is a loving celestial parent, methods of being with your loved ones would need to be available to every living human being, not restricted for the “lucky” ones who happen to come in contact with the LDS church. This idea of infinite energy, which can neither be created nor destroyed, means that if a loving celestial parent exists, we are all connected forever already.

This, to me, is where unconditional love comes in. An infinite, indestructible energy connection to my loving celestial parent and my family and friends would absolutely represent unconditional love. We may be sent here to test ourselves, but we are always loved and always connected. Some of us may take longer to learn our lessons than others, but we all make it in the end.

Did you know that some of the LDS temples have architecture that includes “Saturn” stones? Go have a look at information about your own buildings. Why are there Saturn stones on LDS temples and why do the church leaders never discuss this or give an explanation for their symbolism? Through some simple research, I discovered that Saturn, not surprisingly, represents “CONDITIONAL LOVE and control”.

Here is the lie of conditional love in the LDS religion – if you want to be with your family forever, you must go to the temple. To go to the temple you must have a recommend. To have a recommend you MUST be a full tithe payer. Gratefully, I can now see through this lie of conditional love. There is no way that a loving celestial parent would link something as important as eternal life and families to something as material as money, the root of all evil. No matter which way you look at it, this is just a subtle, cleverly disguised version of the Catholic “sale of indulgences” that we all know is a fraud.

I also realized that until 1978, the African race was not only being restricted from holding the priesthood, but that they were also being restricted from going to the temple because they did not hold the priesthood. I realized that this meant that families from the African race were being restricted from being sealed to their families forever as well. This would mean that God is a racist, when of course this is impossible if God is the loving celestial parent we are all taught he/she/it is. This is something that no LDS person can deny – it involves NO anti-Mormon literature – it is straight from the church’s own doctrine.

If God exists, the love that is extended to every human being would of course be unconditional. The LDS religion, and every other religion for that matter, presents to humanity CONDITIONAL love with it’s accompanying fear. “By their fruits ye shall know them” means any organization that operates from conditional love, fear and control is certainly NOT speaking for God.

See how I came to that conclusion without one spec of anti-Mormon literature? Learn to love yourself and those around you unconditionally and you will see your world transform around you. Isn’t that what we all want ultimately? Your religion is NOT linked to your survival, temporally nor spiritually. Religion is a masquerade party. Hopefully when your mask is removed, you will have nothing to hide from God. I did not leave the church so I could sin – I have NOTHING to hide from God.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 10:39 am

Hi Kerrie,

I have an alternate theory to offer you. Is it possible that the LDS leaders themselves were just racists and just imposed this doctrine and it had nothing to do with the gospel? And I do agree with you about the temple, but I believe the whole temple thing is corrupt from the get-go. Imagine a building, dedicated to God and experiencing the divine that NOBODY can go to unless they past some sort of man-made test. The test being this: Do you support what a man says (ie the Mormon prophet is the only one allowed to talk to God)? Do you give us money? Do you live the Word of Wisdom (but if you are fat and out-of-shape we’ll just let you in anyway – wink wink)? Now, I’ll offer you an alternate about how it should be.

The LDS temple as it should a place where we celebrate God. It should be full of culture, a place where the great philosophies of the world are discussed, it should be inviting, warm, joyou, LOUD, ALIVE with places that are boisterous and full music (I’d have the Lords Prayer being sung in Swahili – listen to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJiHDmyhE1A&feature=related and imagine a place filled with music and spirit like that – I’d go EVERYDAY), ALL should be welcome, and the divine should be manifest in everything thing that goes on there. Instead, we get a dead, silent, tomb where everyone dresses up in funny costumes and it is used as a club to beat people with (ie if you haven’t been to the temple – you are still going to hell and your kids and family are never going to see you again – ok, that is a bit over-the -top but not by too much. That is what I mean when I say not all is right with Mormonism and it is corrupt.

Kerri Bodie
April 9th, 2011 at 11:05 am

I totally agree Tobin. And yes, implied in my comment was the thought that of course God is not a racist and that these men just made up the doctrine.

Many other religions say that Mormons are not Christian. I never understood that when “Jesus Christ” is right in the name of the church. After a bit of research, I discovered that temple work negates the atonement.

Christ said basically – I am the way, the truth and the light and no one returns to God except by me. Yet the Mormons add a little addendum: “uh…yah…that’s true, but you also have to have these special endowment rituals or you still won’t get into heaven. Yes, the atonement is wonderful, but it doesn’t quite cut it on it’s own.”

I was stunned by that realization and it helped me see that much of LDS doctrine is the “teachings of men mingled with scripture” type thing.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 11:16 am

Agreed. And it is too bad. The temple should be the pinnacle of your spiritual journey here on Earth. It should a place where everyone celebrates God – where you broaden your love of life and other people – ideas – culture – art – music – all of it. A place where you can go and feel filled with the spirit of God – either to reflect in silence or while boisterously proclaiming your love of God through music, discussion, or how ever you are moved upon by the spirit. I remember the first time I went to the temple and went through the “process”. I then reflected on it and saw the corruption. This isn’t what God meant by a holy house devoted to God. Not at all, but this empty shell is what we are left with. One day, the temples will be restored and brought back to life. Unfortunately, that isn’t today.

Charby
May 13th, 2011 at 11:25 am

To put in my two cents..

As a person with a degree in physics, it’s refreshing to see a citizen of the world educated in such a complex topic, and able to put it in simple terms, relating it to her life. Kerri Bodie has a good understanding of quantum physics, and relates it to her spirituality in a very valid way.

So no, Migwell, I don’t have a hard time believing her at all when she goes off about quantum physics. In fact, it makes me respect her character all the more, since quantum physics is among the most difficult applicable concepts to understand that I am aware of.

Trent
April 8th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

>>>>Trent,
>>>>Im sorry to say bro, your perspective on the purpose of life do not sound very Christ-like to me.<<<<
Did Christ not say to the hypocrites, the lawyers and pharisees, that they would not make it to heaven if they dragged others down? Christ's earthly mission here was based on trying to keep families together by telling them that if they wanted to be together forever, they needed to follow the commandments of God.
And I'm sorry to say, but in my mind all of your other points were absolutely absurd. I absolutely, 100% agree with all of the points that you tried to contradict. God may be merciful, but if you do not do what your asked you will not make the cut. I know that to be true, and it may be hard, but it makes people become the person God knows they can be. The Savior is the ultimate judge after this life and He will be merciful.<<<<

Hi Ryan,

In my 29 years in the mormon church, I don't recall anywhere in the scriptures where Christ says that his mission on earth was to, "keep families together by telling them that if they wanted to be together forever, they needed to follow the commandments of God."

My original point was to call to your attention that your idea of a perfect god, is more of a slave driver, than a loving merciful god. Your view that only certain people or groups DERSERVE favored treatment by virtue of their percieved superiority (obedience) is completely in line with the philosophy and elitism of the Sadducees and Pharicees. According to my knowledge, they were the only people that Christ despised. I'll leave you with the words of the person that you claim to worship.

"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me." Matthew 15:8

Robert
April 8th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Kerri and everyone else
You have been caught up by people that are against the LDS church, theses days LDS church is the proper name for my religion, you are believing the lies and is being decieved by people that dont understand things. You need to stop believing those lies, Anyone that questions any of this that is truely LDS, I suggest you consult your church leaders. Because everything people like Kerri has fallen into the trap of lies that people have Made up, So quit telling your lies.

Avon
April 8th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

So did Brigham Young tell lies then Robert? – because that is what you are saying. Much of ‘the lies’ that you are accusing us of telling on here come from Church literature that is available from Deseret Book. You say we don’t understand things, you are the one who is misinformed – big time.
I invite you to read up on early church history, look at how many wives Joseph Smith had, also see how many of them were already married when he took them to wife. Then ask your church leaders about it – they won’t give you answers, because they can’t.

Tobin
April 8th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

You clearly don’t understand Avon.

There are lies, damn lies and then the official Mormon doctrine, sponsored by Monson and Co. :)

Avon
April 9th, 2011 at 6:25 am

I’ve been associated with the church for 47 years, and have been familiar with the ‘meat’ of the church for most of them, so please don’t tell me that I don’t understand! I see things very clearly – but I am always teachable, so please enlighten me Tobin as to my non understanding.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 9:15 am

As Catherine says, “Hehe… I’m obviously not making myself clear”. I was actually agreeing with you there. Now I know how she feels when talking to me. :)

Catherine
April 8th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

>>>You have been caught up by people that are against the LDS church,<<>>theses days LDS church is the proper name for my religion<<>>you are believing the lies and is being decieved by people that dont understand things. You need to stop believing those lies, Anyone that questions any of this that is truely LDS, I suggest you consult your church leaders.<<<

Actually Robert, it was LDS CHURCH LEADERS themselves who lead me to my decision to leave the church. They lied to me. They deceived me. They conveyed ‘half-truths’ and proclaimed only “part” of their history. As I said, up until my resignation I hadn’t dared to read any anti-literature. I was that devout.

My decision to leave the LDS church came about the same way as my decision to join — a profound witness to the core of my very being. While partaking the sacrament one Sunday I asked Heavenly Father “Is it possible that none of this is true?” and I received my answer so profoundly I could not deny it.

>>>Because everything people like Kerri has fallen into the trap of lies that people have Made up, So quit telling your lies.<<<

Kerri is simply telling her story, her truth. She has the right to do that. She has the legal right to do that, and actually YOUR church even gives her permission to do that as stated in your Articles of Faith #11: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

Kerri has simply chosen NOT to worship god in your way.

Tobin
April 8th, 2011 at 7:50 pm

LOL Catherine,

I love this!!! “While partaking the sacrament one Sunday I asked Heavenly Father “Is it possible that none of this is true?” and I received my answer so profoundly I could not deny it.” You aren’t going to read that in any missionary pamphlet. BIG HUGS!!! That made my day. :) BTW – to all your Mormons out there, I’m Mormon. I just don’t have any love for what Mormonism is right now. It disgusts me. The sooner it dies, the happier we’ll all be. This perversion of the gospel that imposes a guilt complex on everyone that believes in it has got to go away. It isn’t true, it isn’t right, and makes so many people so terribly unhappy that it is sad. Why can’t you all see it (talking to the TBMs)? If you transformed this thing you have into a loving, welcoming, embracing, understanding religion – where tithes went to help the needy and those disadvantaged, where people truely lived a health code instead of those fat cows I’ve sat next to in the temple, who had a temple recommend and swore up-and-down they were living the word of wisdom while violating the very spirit of living it (and then they look down on people that have wine which has been shown in small amounts to be very good for you). Can’t you see the hypocricy in the whole thing? IT JUST ISN’T TRUE.

Trent
April 8th, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Hi Tobin,
I still don’t understand why you call yourself mormon. Being mormon is not an ethnicity like being jewish. If you don’t believe in the doctrine, why do you still call yourself a mormon?

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 2:13 am

Hi Trent, but I do believe the doctrine. The problem I have is the other Mormons aren’t living it the way they should. Let’s take a look at some of the corruptions in Mormonism vs how it should be. Tithing – it should be used for helping the poor, disadvantaged and those in need and done so in a responsible, transparent and accountable way for anyone to see. Now compare that to how tithing is handled today in the Mormon church. It is secretive, it is wasted, it is used to build Malls in Salt Lake City and monuments to the church. Would anyone here have a problem with an organization (or religion) whose members dedicated 10% or more of their surpluse to help the needy, feed the hungry, and right the wrongs of the world? I know I sure wouldn’t have a problem contributing to that. Having fun? I can touch alot of areas in Mormonism that are corrupt from how they deal with their history, prophets, the word of wisdom, temples, church meetings and so on. All of them are corrupt and not lived or conducted in a honest – transparent – kind and understanding way. This corrupted version is what TBMs are convinced it is the truth when it is a lie and why I am not shocked to see people eventually tire of it and reject it like ex-mormons do. That is why I think it is more important to get in touch with God first – then discover the truth for yourself and use your good sense for heavens sake. The truth MAKES sense. It is transparent and obvious. You can see the truth through the corruption and that is why I reject the Mormonism of today.

Catherine
April 9th, 2011 at 7:25 am

I know! I find it hilarious too because that day actually confirmed to me that a ‘spiritual experience’ is really no different than an emotion-provoking tender scene from a Disney cartoon. I mean who doesn’t get choked up when Dumbo’s mother rocks him through the jail bars and sings “Baby Mine”??? Gets me every time! So while that question, and my gut reaction were the catalyst in AND out of the LDS organization… it was those same ‘spiritual experiences’ that also led me down the path to becoming a happy atheist.

Kerri Bodie
April 9th, 2011 at 10:26 am

Tobin – I respect your stand and your openness toward your religion’s shortcomings. I appreciate your honest commentary.

I have come to the understanding that the phrase “straight is the path and narrow is the way” refers to choosing a personal spiritual path and forging your own relationship with God.

Choosing a religion with an alpha male to follow is easy – it really is the “broad” path – there are thousands to choose from and “everyone” is doing it.

The “road less traveled” is a private spiritual path with a personal connection to God and needing no one to tell you to do it. I perceive that this is what you are doing and I applaud you for that.

Are there good things about the LDS church? Of course. Hang on to those things and you too have nothing to hide from God. Tobin, in or out of the LDS church, you are authentic, I am impressed, you don’t find many people living authentically these days.

Avon
April 9th, 2011 at 6:41 am

Interesting Tobin, you really are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. For me, I reject it all, I have come to the conclusion that JS was a pius fraud – a very clever one. IMO there is no way that any God would have ever spoken to the likes of these people. As for dear Brother Brigham, he was even worse – not a man I would ever want to know. It really is all the Mormon delusion, and I believe that by 2210 it will all be over – Christ will STILL not have come and people will realize that they have been duped. Temple Square will be a momument to history and the temple will be open to the public like English Cathedrals are today, as a monument.

Avon
April 9th, 2011 at 6:56 am

An afterthought Tobin – you remind me alot of my deceased father, he despised the present day church for all the reasons that you are giving here. But, he believed JS to be a prophet, and he liked Brigham Young’s teachings – I grew up with the Journals of Discourses/Times and Seasons on the shelf. When you really look at it all it is very Victorian in it’s ideaology, and a product of it’s day – hell, fire and brimstone and all that. I can understand why the present LDS church is trying to distance itself from those times – as time goes on all this 19thC stuff is becoming more and more bizarre – and now we have the internet…………..the cat really is out of the bag.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 9:21 am

I’m actually worse than your father. I detest alot about JS and BY. For example, I believe that polygamy as lived by the LDS was a sin. That is why the federal government almost wiped them out a few times. After all, how do the Mormon justify such a practice, claim to be God’s true church, then have a man-made government be able to come in and dictate what doctrines they should or should not practice? Because it was NOT from God is why not!!!

Trent
April 9th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

so what part of mormonism do you believe Tobin? Do you believe in the 1st vision, restoration of the priesthood, and/or book of mormon?

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Hi Trent,
I believe in God. Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God and performed magic tricks to fool people. Now come on – do you believe him? JS can’t hold a candle to this guy. The question should be, can God appear to a man and tell him the truth? I believe so because it happened to me. Trent, you need that in your life first. Establish facts before you move on. Otherwise, it is all a lie and a fraud and believe NONE of it. But, to answer your question – JS was a very flawed uneducated young man that I believe SAW God. However, I do not forget that he still remained a very flawed, uneducated young man after that experience so I understand him. He did alot of remarkable things whether you think he was a fraud or not though. When you just try to list the accomplishments of this uneducated young man did – it is mind-boggling. But there is no way to know which he was till we have established facts as I said.

Trent
April 9th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I still don’t understand why you call yourself a mormon. you might as well call yourself a buddhist too, because you mentioned him in your posts as well. ^_^
I also believe that Joseph smith did amazing things, and I remember feeling inspired reading some of his works. I often wonder if he recieved extra-normal help. I don’t believe that he was a straight con-man, and that he purposely decieved people because he wanted money, bitches, and fame. why? because there is no evidence of what exactly he was thinking. He may of very well thought that he was a prophet of god and was just playing the part. I feel that it is just as extreme to accuse him of being completely consciously aware that he was manipulating people as it is to say that EVERYTHING he did was the will of God. The truth is, is that we really just don’t know, and I am ok with that. However, I don’t believe that Book of Mormon is a literal history, because there is no evidence of it. I don’t believe that the first vision took place like Joseph smith said it did in his official 1838 account, because of the many altered versions of it. I don’t believe that God told him to practice polygamy. I don’t believe it is right when the church says that we should accept things that we don’t understand on faith, I feel that that is manipulative and dishonest. I believe that God (if there is one) would rather have me be true to my own thoughts feelings and emotions, then pretend to accept something, because I am told that I should or because I want to fit in. I remember one of the last times that I read the book of mormon (this is before I was familiar with the disturbing details of church history), I was reading about the strippling warriors, and how they went up to battle against seasoned warrior veterans, yet none of them died. That shit doesn’t happen in real life. So I came to the conclusion, since I have never witnessed or even read a historical account of anything even remotely close to that ever happening, that I didn’t believe it. I had already come to the conclusion before this time that the “spirit” is not an accurate indicator of truth, and that it is influenced by our own feelings and emotions, so I really had nothing to indicate to me that it really happened. I felt that I would be dishonest with myself if I were to say that I believed it when I really didn’t.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Hi Trent,
That’s quite a list. But, for fun, let’s apply this treatment to Jesus Christ (or Muhammad) and the Bible (or Quran). The accounts of Jesus were written decades after his death. Does that mean he never existed or did the things he claimed? Also, the accounts contradict each other. Does that imply deception as well? There is also NO independent evidence that Christ healed the sick or performed any of the other magic tricks attributed to him. Again, is this just more examples of fraud? The Bible claims the world was covered in water in a great flood (that’s impossible). The Koran makes similar claims as well. Yet billions of people revere these books as holy scripture. Why? I would offer this, maybe the Book of Mormon has no more basis in fact than the Bible or Koran, but it can still be useful and worth of studying.

Trent
April 9th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

There are some parts of the book of mormon that I really enjoy, and others that I think are just plain absurd. However, I think that the Book of Mormon, taken literally, can cause alot of prejudice on how Mormons view other people, especially ex-mormons. The book of mormon is filled with stories that those that were not believers, hated and always set up conspiracies to kill those that did believe. I think that this is harmful in the way that mormons view nonbelievers. It creates a persecution complex and creates the idea that those that leave the church are under complete control of satan. Some of the TBM comments expressed here indicated that people want to kill them because they are mormon. “i dont understand why someone would want to murder us who are lds because we believe in the truth.” I believe this mentality stems directly from the stories that they read in the book of mormon.
I happen to really like alot of the mormons that I meet, especially those that I am classmates with. at first things were weird because they knew I was ex-mormon, but as time went on they came to realize that I really didn’t want to kill, throw them into a pit of fire, or try to bring them down to the darkside. I am very respectful of their beliefs and have only talked about my issues with the church once with one of them because they asked me why I left.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Seriously? Ex-mormons don’t have books titled “How best to serve Mormons?” – sacré bleu

Trent
April 9th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Ex-mormons don’t have books that they believe were litterally given to them by god, for our day and age.
I am not defending some of the treatment that I have seen from ex-mormons on mormons. I think that exmormons as well as any other group can be equally vicious.

Avon
April 9th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Okay Tobin, sounds like you are worse than my Father! In fairness to the church, my Dad had a great life as an LDS member – it certainly stopped him smoking and drinking, that saved his life. I believe he would have been dead by the time he was 30 if it had not been for the church, he lived until he was 72, then cancer took him. There are so many good things about the LDS church, social life, good clean living friends etc… it’s such a shame that it is based on lies.

I found something earlier this evening on Joseph Smith, someone reviewing a book ‘Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith’ he came to the conclusion that JS was a narcissist – I thought what in the blazes does that mean! When I followed the link and read the explanation it was JS to a T – have a look, here is the link;

http://www.lds-mormon.com/josephsmithmind.shtml

http://www.healthyplace.com/personality-disorders/malignant-self-love/narcissistic-personality-disorder-npd-definition/menu-id-1469/

Any comments would be appreciated.

Tobin
April 10th, 2011 at 1:49 am

It seems plausible to me. If you believe JS is a fraud, then clearly anything along these lines would make sense to explain why (and how) he did and what he did since obviously no-one of “sound mind” would do such a thing. I wonder if you could do a similar analysis of Biblical or other religious figures as well – even relatively modern-day figures like John the Revelator, Peter, Paul – even Jesus Christ (unless you just completely discount him as a purely fictional character). Since there isn’t much documentation about these figures, I guess it would be much more speculative, but I’m sure some analysis of the writings would yield an interesting psychological perspective since these figures too were clearly up to no good with their stories. I’d really love to see what the analysis of Muhammad (murderous meglomaniac?) or Buddah (self-absorbed egotists perhaps?) would be as well. :)

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 9:18 am

Of course you believe JS is a fraud. You are an atheist. That is the default position and completely rational. My view of JS is even a broken clock is right twice a day. :)

Kerri Bodie
April 9th, 2011 at 10:30 am

“even a broken clock is right twice a day” – I agree Tobin. You and I have very similar views about the LDS religion. I commented to you further in a post above.

Tobin
April 9th, 2011 at 10:52 am

Thanks Kerri,

I also commented above about the temple and how it should be. Play that song I linked and listen to it, close your eyes and imagine how the temple should have been – and then you get an image of why I’m outraged at how Mormonism is today.

Catherine
April 9th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Kerri wrote: >>>See how I came to that conclusion without one spec of anti-Mormon literature? Learn to love yourself and those around you unconditionally and you will see your world transform around you. Isn’t that what we all want ultimately? Your religion is NOT linked to your survival, temporally nor spiritually. Religion is a masquerade party. Hopefully when your mask is removed, you will have nothing to hide from God. I did not leave the church so I could sin – I have NOTHING to hide from God.<<<

(((applause)))

Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful. Thank you SO much for saying so clearly and in such a positive, uplifting way, what I feel inside my heart too!

Kerri Bodie
April 10th, 2011 at 11:50 am

Thank you Catherine for your kind reply. I am glad so many are starting to see through the fear and misleading doctrine. Wisdom brings peace of mind. :)

Trent
April 9th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. It has been very enlightening and uplifting, I love it when people honestly share what they believe. Thanks everyone!!

Avon
April 9th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I liked the musical clip Tobin, I am a musician and appreciate all kinds of uplifting music. I especially love English church music, I find it very spiritual and uplifting – I guess that’s my religion really!!

Nathaniel
April 10th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Reading this was the biggest waste of time. You can argue forever but it’s not going to change the fact that the Book of Mormon is true. And since the Book of Mormon is true then the LDS church is also true.

Also remember that “No unhollowed hand can stop the work from progressing” – Joseph Smith

Tobin
April 10th, 2011 at 11:32 pm

“What luck for rulers that men do not think.” – Adolf Hitler

BTW – quoting magic sayings at people is not very impressive. If you are impressed by magic sayings, I suggest that you just become a fundamentalist christian instead because they are better at it than you are.

Dan Johnson (admin)
April 11th, 2011 at 7:20 am

The church has programmed you to believe that if the Book of Mormon is true, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is also true. However, this is far from the truth. Here is a list of possible religions that could be true if in fact the Book of Mormon was found to be true:

http://4mormon.org/mormon-splinter-groups.php

Avon
April 11th, 2011 at 8:05 am

Nathaniel – well at least you read it, so you must be ‘thinking’ – if you care to look further you will find overwhelming evidence that the Church is man made, and the BOM is a pruduct of the 19th century. You can’t change that.

Nathaniel
April 11th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

One day you will come to me and admit that the LDS church is the one true church. Because you went wrong in all your research.

Tobin
April 11th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Nathaniel,

The problem I have with your statement is you define the LDS church as being the only organization on earth with a monopoly on the truth. However, let’s assume that was true for a moment. Then all the doctrines and practices of the LDS church have to be true as well. So let’s look how well that has worked out:

1) The LDS church taught that God wanted all celestial kingdom bound men needed to be in polygamist marriages. The US Government disagreed and invaded Utah with an army and eventually almost destroyed the Mormon church. Happily, the church changed its mind and decided that polygamy was wrong and to stop the practice and teaching the doctrine.

2) The LDS church taught that black men could not hold the priesthood because of the color of their skin. Then after the civil rights era, they suddenly decided that this was wrong and they need to let black men hold the priesthood.

So I wonder, which one is the true church? a) the polygamist, racist LDS church b) the racist LDS church or c) the new improved Mormon church (that just discriminates against women and gays now) :)

jean
April 13th, 2011 at 10:11 pm

It is all BS. The ever changing LDS church that used to be called The Church of the Latter Day Saints before they decided they needed to put the name of their supposed leader in the title. When I was taught by the missionaries they used the full name of today’s church as a ‘selling’ point. “If it be in the name of a man…etc.” Yet, in the beginning it WAS without the name of Christ.

Avon
April 13th, 2011 at 7:30 am

Even Josephs wife Emma, after all that she had seen and witnessed, did not continue with Brigham Youngs Utah branch of the church. That’s what the current LDS church is, a version (Brigham Youngs) of Joseph Smiths origional Church. As far as I know, the Church eventually split into 3 – James Strang/ Brigham Young/ RLDS, all proclaiming to be the one true church! Not exactly a picture of inspired truth is it? The whole thing is deeply flawed IMO when you look at all the facts, it’s not rocket science.

mcarp
April 11th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for sharing, Kerri. Lovely.

res ipsa
April 15th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Kourtney,

How do you reconsile the following violent and racist teachings from Brigham Young with your (whitewashed) view of church history:

“I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath my bowie knife, and conquer or die. [Great commotion in the congregation, and a simaltaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.] Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. [Voices, generally, "go it, go it."] If you say it is right, raise your hands. [All hands up.] Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work.” – JoD 1:83 (March 27, 1853)

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” – JoD: vol.10 p. 110: (March 8, 1863)

For more, see http://packham.n4m.org/byoung.htm

All members were previously encouraged to have the Journal of Discourses in their homes, until the teachings evolved and subsequent leadership asked for all copies to be returned.

Catherine
April 16th, 2011 at 6:37 am

res ipsa, you bring up such an interesting point. Kerri did too. The LDS church itself provides a myriad of conflicting information, more than enough to challenge it’s claims of being “Christ’s only true church” all on its own! I think there is more than enough contrary and confusing facts right in their own documents without ever needing to turn to ‘outside’ sources. (I still believe people should, but that’s another rant.)

For me, I can honestly say I did not read one piece of “outside anti” church literature while I was a member. I was that devout. However near the end of my membership, when I was having some questions and was looking through CHURCH LITERATURE itself, I was alarmed at what I read. It was the prophets themselves that lead to my resignation.

I remember teaching in Relief Society one Sunday. The lesson was on the life of Brigham Young. Of course back then we had been admonished to only use the manual and our scriptures as our resources for lesson preparation. The introduction in the lesson said that Brigham Young had 2 wives, that his first wife had died, and he had later remarried. It neglected to say he married again, and again, and again, ad infinitum (almost). I asked my Relief Society President because I was confused why I was supposed to teach that Brother Brigham had 2 wives when it was common knowledge he had more. (Personally, I still have no problem with polygamy so long as all participating are free to enter and free to leave.) She agreed, but simply reinforced the rules: I was to teach the lesson only using the manual and my scriptures. She said something to the effect of “the sisters who know about polygamy already know, and the sisters who haven’t yet learned about President Young’s many wives are probably in that milk-before-meat stage of their membership.”

Of course I have since read a lot of interesting stuff from other sources, but none of those things had a bearing on my choice to leave the LDS church, they only confirmed it after the fact.

res ipsa
April 17th, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Thanks Catherine. I’d also be interested to hear what Kourtney thinks of the Danites and Mountain Meadows Massacre…or did the church not teach her about THOSE parts of its history?

Donna Elaine Hepting-Carlson
April 17th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

thanks Kerri.
This really summed up much of the same conflict that I experienced.
And, you look terrific – kinda like a Shania Twain sister-look-a-like!!
Thanks also to Dan for the work you do here. You are making a great difference toward educating people and putting a profile and voice to the internet in this regard.

Donna Elaine Hepting-Carlson
April 17th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I forgot to mention that my family members were not mormon when I joined as a teenager. This particular doctrine caused quite a lot of pain between my mom and I, which unfortunately is too late to heal because she’s no longer living. This is why your video really touched me. thanks again for your courage.

Robert
April 22nd, 2011 at 4:06 pm

How gulliable you people that are against the LDS faith. Its clearly obvious how you get caught up in the lies made up by people that are against other religions. You need to stop reading those lies and repent or you wont be going to heaven. So get a life and learn to be christ like because attacking other peoples beliefs is not christian, like you guys are.

Avon
April 23rd, 2011 at 5:31 am

How gulliable YOU ARE!! You are the one who is deluded in the LDS faith. Open your eyes mate, and the Truth will set you Free. These ‘lies’ are all within the churches own literature – clearly you have no idea of your religions true history. Maybe it’s time that you got a life.

Ya Ya
May 9th, 2011 at 4:26 am

fear is never from God.

Dan Johnson (admin)
May 10th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

1 Nephi 8:3-4

“3And behold, because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam; for I have reason to suppose that they, and also many of their seed, will be saved.

4But behold, Laman and Lemuel, I fear exceedingly because of you;”

Charby
May 11th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

You have a beautiful heart. Thank you for being so candid in your feelings.

Alyson
June 29th, 2011 at 11:52 pm

This is so incredibly powerful. Thank you for this. This is exactly what I needed!

Maddie
July 10th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I can understand the logical process that is being presented here. The first problem encountered is the lack of material to study about the temple. But, this to me makes perfect sense. Just like a school or playing and instrument there are certain things you must understand before moving on to higher levels. The same goes with the temple covenants. Someone who has not learned the basic doctrines of the church is not ready to try and understand those covenants. It is the same as you would not ask a first grader to how to calculate the statistical significance of a null hypothesis. They would be overwhelmed and reject math as being too hard. The temple is not a place to learn secret hand shakes and codes. Instead it is a place of education for the saints if God. Once they have prepares themselves and have dedicated themselves to the purposes of God, He opens himself up as well sharing information and promising protection. Although I agree it is occasionally terrifying that some family bonds may not remain after this life, to me it only makes sense. We came to this world to develop and learn and become more glorified individuals. If two members of a family have not developed to the same level how would they be able to remain together? If we came here to prove ourselves and enter the Kingdom of God based on our works, there is no way we will all end up together if some of us are striving for this and others are not. I do not add this comment to belittle the others here. I understand the thoughts and feelings of all of you and just wanted to share mine next to them. Imthink each person has the inherent right to believe whatever they will and whatever they think best. For those who were members of the Church and have left or for those that are not members at all, I respect that even value it just as I hope you will respect and value my deepest beliefs that I have shared with you here.

Avon
October 18th, 2011 at 8:42 am

Hi Maddie – thankyou for sharing your thoughts with us on your temple experiences, I totally respect your beliefs. No one here seems to want to answer your comment, but I believe that it deserves our respect and an answer!

My problem with it all is that I do not believe that it is based on truth. By that I mean the whole church. I can’t accept Joseph Smith as a prophet, after all that I have read about him and his family. In church circles you hear very little about Sidney Rigdon – he was a massive influence in everything that happed in the early church (exept polygamy, which he was dead against) I believe that with Joseph he wrote the D&C. If I am right, the temple cannot be true. Yes. it’s a lovely peaceful place to be – so are many places of worship in the world.

Maddie
May 28th, 2013 at 2:03 am

Hey Avon – I sincerely apologize that I am responding to your comment almost two years later. You may never see this reply but if you do I want you to know I appreciate your response and your respect. Let me start by saying I have experienced the thoughts you have expressed here. I consider myself a pretty logical person. Usually I am the type who researches and refuses to believe without proof.

Hopefully a quick background will help you understand where I am coming from. My family has been involved with the LDS church basically from its beginnings. I am descended from Brigham Young, John Taylor, and many other pioneers who struggled across the country to settle in Utah. My parents were married in the temple and believe strongly in the church. As far back as my memory goes my family read scriptures together every morning, set aside time to study the gospel each week, and attended church each Sunday. My parents were wonderful, constantly teaching me about the LDS church but making clear I was free to choose my own path.

After I graduated high school I found it difficult to read my scriptures with as much diligence or attend church as often. Without their influence my devotion to the church seemed to momentarily slip. Eventually, I saw the need to decide how committed I was to the LDS church.

I started attending other churches, reading biographies and books of LDS church leaders, researching church history from both positive and negative views. Soon I was overwhelmed with the facts and questions filling my mind. That is when I turned to the Book of Mormon. It was not the first time I had read it, but this time I was more intent. The Book of Mormon is often referred to as the cornerstone of the LDS church. I reasoned I could not accept or deny the church without first understanding its foundation.

As I first started to read I felt no difference. I studied the timelines and asked myself if I believed the stories in that book. Passages would often confuse me and occassionally I would become frustrated. Soon everything began to change. No longer was I reading for the stories, I was reading for the testimonies. The consistent testimonies of Christ. All questions I had were either answered or suddenly unimportant. There was no amazing revelation or moment when I certainly knew, but slowly over time a rock solid testimony of the LDS church grew within me.

Lately, I have been reading about an experiment done in the 50s when the pleasure center of the brain was discovered. Two rats were placed in a cage with a lever in one corner. Whenever the rats pushed the lever an electrical current was sent to the pleasure center of their brains. The rats soon began pushing the lever so frequently they died of exhaustion. This may seem a strange thing to bring up I see quite a bit of this in the world, and in myself. So many distractions and temptations offer us quick shots of happiness, but soon we are left exhausted. One of the biggest reasons I am a member of the LDS church is the world scares me. What I see around me scares me. But, my strength in the church gives me hope, rejuvenation, and most importantly real lasting happiness.

Through this church I have come to know my Savior. I am comforted by His presence. He knows me and sees the potential within me. I believe with His help I can become better, that the world can become better. Rarely in my life do I believe in something I cannot prove and yet I cannot deny the love I have for my Savior and the love I know He has for me.

As for Joseph Smith, you seem to have done a fair amount of studying so I went delve into too much history. I would however like to quote an ancestor of mine, “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood.” (Referenced from the Doctrine and Covenants, section 135, verse 3)

I put my testimony next to John Taylor’s that Joseph Smith was a man of God. But, I also referenced this scripture for another reason. Simply reading a small bit of what he did in twenty years as a young man astounds me. He was no perfect man, but could any mortal man have done better under the same ridicule and persecution. As a church we do not worship him, but instead praise him for bringing us the knowledge of our Savior.

Again I must apologize for this response is quite lengthy. But, your comment gave me insight and I wanted to answer it in full. Personally I have found happiness in the LDS church. I would invite you, if you have not already, to read the Book of Mormon or speak with some LDS missionaries. While I can post this hoping you might see it and respond, the missionaries can provide you with the answers to your questions about the temple, Joseph Smith, and Sidney Rigdon much more efficiently.

Of course having extended that invitation I would like to add that I recognize i know very little about you. You may be happily involved in another religion or have another set of beliefs outside religion. In fact, if you would like to share with me your beliefs I would really appreciate and enjoy it. I do not mean to make you feel like I am pushing my religion on you. I am simply trying to share understanding that has brought me happiness.

October 31st, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Kerri,
Thank you for sharing. I’ve never thought of the temple in the way you described it, that the church essentially teaches that Jesus Christ’s atonement is not enough. I always just accepted what everyone says, that temple work for the dead actually shows the love of God because then everyone has a chance to be saved. But you’re right. Christ’s atonement is supposed to do that–we shouldn’t need anything else if we truly believe in Christ. It’s absolutely bogus (and this is coming from someone who has submitted hundreds of family names for temple work).

Yesterday was the last day I will be attending church. I’m sad about that, but after research similar to yours, I know it’s the right thing for my family. But I’m scared of how I will be treated by my friends and family. It’s good to know I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing.

Louise Savely
December 4th, 2011 at 6:51 am

Awesome job!It was like a step by step guide thanks a bunch.

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December 29th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

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Gap
August 14th, 2012 at 5:35 am

Thanks Kerri… It was that whole Families can be together forever that did it for me… I loved that principle as a child but i don’t do the whole temple thing… My divine doesn’t require it and I never pushed it on my child but when out if the blue he was in tears because if we didn’t go to the temple we couldn’t be together – I was done ! I told him that nobody will keep his dad and I away from him and that we don’t have to go to the temple to be a family forever.
For years I believed I was the bad person because I couldn’t accept such elitist views but the fear they try use (our children) was what made me see sense.
This mama bear won’t allow you to damage my child!

August 30th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

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peter eriksson
September 25th, 2012 at 8:10 am

I am Peter Eriksson, an active lds and sealed in the temple with my wife and we have six wonderful children. The most important thing in the world are our families and of course many mormons are concerned with the question what will happen if our children are disobedient and particularly when it comes to different kingdoms and so on. Here we need to trust in our faith and that missionary work are in progress in the spirit world. My friend who is not a member of the church but is a “christian” tells me that my father is in hell forever because he didn`t believed in christ and now is dead and everything will be settled directly when we die. Is this uplifting doctrine from my “christian” friend? Would God be a loving and a righteoust God if he is right? My friend also tells me that mormons are in great danger of going to hell…for ever and ever more.
I am saying that I haven`t found a better doctrine than the lds church about salvation for the dead and temple work. My friend , a member of the pentacostalchurch tells me that we are probally not married in the next life and not enyoing familyties like we do here on earth because we have God and thats all we need. I can´t see this doctrine as an uplifting doctrine and it is false.
Don´t forget, we have the spirit world, we have the millenium before the last judgement, we have our love for our children and if we really want our families to be together forever i think we can make it even because of disobedient children, somehow but we need faith in gods love for us. I am sorry to hear that you really think you are happier outside the church and at the same time loving you family and instead of bringing your family together you eventually seperate yourself from each other since you need the sealing power. Ironic you love your family but you don´t do the best for them and are trapped by a feeling that doesn´t come from God.
Turning to christianity is in vain since they believe in eternal hell for MANY FAMILYMEMBERS. My son is on a mission and met a woman who felt bad because her husband can´t believe in christ and the church she belongs to teach that he will eventually go down to hell forever without hope. In the lds church I learn that the good news are for all, both living and dead but christianity doesn´t seems to believ that…
Still i understand your point but take your faith back by reading in the book of Mormon….
Sincere Peter Eriksson

Marlyn
December 10th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Awesome video. Our creator loves us all unconditionally and wouldn’t let trivial matters, such as religious beliefs, separate families. Thankyou for posting.

Tan
December 11th, 2012 at 11:26 pm

This is a great video for this couple and truly hope they find true joy and happiness in their lives. http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/FTND-Videos/?video_id=15

Shatch1
January 14th, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Kerry,
It’s so sad to read you saying that your home is now a heaven on earth. Truth is once satan has you in his power, no need to tempt and try you. You’ve lost, at least for now. I want to testify of the temple. It is the only place on earth where people can make covenants with God. The key to exaltation and eternal families is found in making and keeping covenants with God. Sure, all who are born, with the exception of a few who lose any kind of heaven, will receive a judgment where they are most comfortable. The Lord never forces His will on others. He simply says “come unto me” “Learn of Me”. He said “this is life eternal to know me and the Father who sent me”
. Our challenge in this life isn’t just to accept Christ and live the way we want, but to truly become like Him and live his teachings. The reason the temple is rarely mentioned especially what goes on inside is due to the sacred nature of what takes place. Christ said to not cast pearls before swine. The temple is for those who are prepared spiritually. Inside the temple we learn of the need for a savior. Everything in the temple teaches of Christ. We learn line upon line and precept upon precept. Had Kerry kept coming to the temple she would have learned great wisdom and treasures. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is True! I wasn’t brain washed, I wasn’t told other churches were false. I was taught to bring my beliefs and the LDS church would add to them until my knowledge is complete. I’m not there yet but the more I study, the stronger my beliefs become. The more I read about Christ both in the Bible(stick of Judah) and in the Book of Mormon (stick of Joseph) (Ezekiel 37). the more I’m becoming like Christ. When we are resurrected we will be the same people we are now, except immortal. I want to become like God through the Atonement of Christ, and be found spotless at the day of judgment. Covenants are the only way! Christ said except a man be born of water (baptism) and of the spirit (holy ghost) he cannot enter. Baptism by one holding the proper authority is the only true baptism. Else why did Christ walk all the way to the river Jordan to be baptized by John? Simple, because John was the only on with the priesthood authority. The authority to act in the name of God. I know I’m rambling on but I know the Church is true and I love it. The teachings of the church has brought me closer to God and to my Family! My family is very close, I have felt the Redeeming love of our Savior. I know He lives and loves us all. You will not hear anyone in a church meeting ever sleek bad about other religions. We simply teach correct principles and let the people govern themselves. I’m so sorry you hatters pick up on one or two statements a prophet said, perhaps not even speaking for the church but as a man. If you study all of the teachings of prophets both dead and especially the living prophets you will find truth and love even the love of god to not leave us without his word. I know the priesthood is restored and that we have a living prophet upon the earth. You to can know this, through study and prayer. I say this in the name of our savior Jesus Christ Amen

Dale
September 26th, 2013 at 6:02 pm

My dearest Kerri,
How do you know that the church is false? How do you know that it is not true? Do not ever go looking for answers to Lds doctrine in places that do not hold the answers. Have you ever thought to go to the source of the question? Your father in heaven loves you and cares for you. The temple is a very sacred thing and your questions about it cannot be answered through Google. I challenge you to pray in faith and I know that you that you will receive an answer.

zinacan
January 12th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

I just have an example to convey the way I feel about those who doubt the true church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The definition of “Faith” is the belief of things not seen. Men are not perfect but our father in heaven is. This is my example & I hope it makes sense. In science , men say & have proof that Dinosaurs existed and roamed the earth but religion says they did not. Man has more than enough proof that they existed. If I immersed myself in that idea and took the words & works of “men” as my first position and then took the gospel as my second and least position to
Try and prove men wrong – ignoring This thing called “faith” or what I like to refer to as the feeling in my heart – I think I could possibly falter in my faith. I truely believe ALL answers are found in Prayer, Scripture study and more importantly Faith. When we go to great lengths to find the answers that we WANT and then feel like we never received them – maybe it might be because the answers were there all along but as the prompting, revelations etc came and were not heart then these prompting of the spirit became dim and then non existent and what was left was the teaching of man mingled with scripture which is just not good enough. These are my 2 cents and I offer them with the best of intentions.

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Ann Martin
July 24th, 2014 at 9:23 am

If you believe the bible to be true, then only belief in Jesus Christ as your savior will “keep us all connected” after death. Those that don’t want a relationship with Him in this life will continue on in that pattern after death. You have your own choice to make as do your children.

Tony
August 16th, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I’m a Mormon convert , my conversion took place when I was approx 42 ,I was 12 months previously a hard drinking heavy smoking manual worker, a year after giving up smoking an drinking alcohol I came in contact with Mormon missionary’s,to cut a long story short
on my own I got down on my knees an asked the lord if the LDS church was the true church ,was Joseph Smith a prophet of God , was the book of Mormon a testimony of Jesus Christ ,well no answer so I went to bed , at three in the morning I was given the knowledge all this was true , I typed it up on my word processor an went to sleep, when I awoke in the morning I thought I maybe dreamed it but there it all was on an A4 sheet of paper in the printer .I was widowed after 28 years , divorced after 6 years , an am happily married now 12 years , two out of three isn’t bad, to some it is given to know , some can beleave on the words of others , I have great peace of mind which I’m grateful for,I’ve had three maybe four heart attacks the last 25 years and have been told by Dr’s for the last 20 years I have only a few months to live ,I died over 20 years ago an was sent back , no I didn’t want to come back ,I did have certain work to complete and I’m almost sure I have now completed it , I can tell you were here to overcome the trials an tribulations an temptations of this world an be nice and gentle an kind . sounds to easy doesn’t it , beleave that Jesus Christ is the son of God love him an keep his commandments ,when we leave this world we get graded , higher the grade greater the glory for eternity .

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