Mormon PR: Redefining History at the Expense of Integrity

Its time to start getting into the specifics of why I made the decision to leave the LDS church.

To review, I’ve established that:

  •    I don’t mind debate – feel free to ask your questions and challenge my positions.
  •    I do mind assumptions about my character and don’t have to respond to personal attacks.
  •    I truly believed in the LDS church, worked hard on my mission, had “spiritual” experiences, and a vibrant testimony.
  •    My family is diverse and this lent an urgency to finding answers most people just put on the shelf, engendered from a desire to help bring them back to the gospel.
  •    I value truth as a principle, don’t believe there is a different truth for everyone, but recognize my bias and am tolerant and respectful of [most] faiths, though that doesn’t undercut the value of debate and cool-headed reasoning with those of other ideologies.

And now – to the heart of it.

I left Mormonism, in large part, because it is deceptive.    

Now, wait.  Pause.  If you’re LDS, right now the feeling you’re having likely isn’t a good one.  No one likes to hear the words I just said, but please stay and hear me out – I’m not an unbalanced person who’s about to go on an hour long tirade about how the church tricked me into doing this or that.  What I’m talking about is a serious issue that I can only hope will be rectified by the church’s future generations.

As a child our minds are open, and when someone we trust says something is true we believe them.  The world is simple, the truth easy because there’s no reason to question, and that’s inspiring.  Its inspiring to sit in general conference and hear that you were one of the valiant, foreordained to come to the earth at this time, entrusted with the responsibility of taking the true, restored gospel to the ends of the earth, that you have with you the power to save people from their heartache and pain in this life and from eternal suffering for the life to come.  Christ had come, died, taken upon himself our sins, and established his power and authority to last through his apostles, the great people who, through persecution, rejection, pain, and martyrdom, preached boldly that the savior of mankind had come and his truth was here to save.  That Church, that authority, and that message had been lost, and for generations people had stumbled in darkness, trying their best to understand god.  But others twisted the doctrine for their benefit, and over time truths were lost and distorted, the full power of god lost on the earth.  Now, however, 2,000 years later, you were here to take those truths back out to the world.  God had called a prophet again, given him power, authority, new scripture, and all the laws and ordinances that had been lost were restored to the earth.  And God, since you are his messenger, would be with you, giving you guidance, teaching you, and giving you spiritual power to open the eyes of the humble, confound the wicked, and teach the exact things God wanted the people to hear.  You were to be His instrument.

Whew, that feels good.  It feels important.  Believing that, 100%, as I did, gives you some urgency.

And then to find out the church’s claims were bolstered by lies, information had purposefully been withheld from me, and history had been misrepresented . . . to find out I was lied to . . .

It was terrible.

I had come to the Apostles with an open mind, expecting truth.  Answers.  Clarity.  They gave me PR messages, half-truths, and misrepresentation.  While struggling under the heavy weight of doubts and unanswered questions and working and praying to have those doubts resolved, my foundation of trust was slowly rotting beneath my feet.  I couldn’t believe in the church if I didn’t trust it – and it had earned my distrust.

My claim is simple: the Mormon church is dishonest about their history and doctrines and have chosen to misrepresent them to their own membership and to the world so they can have a better public image, so that current members will be less likely to leave and non members will be more likely to convert.  I believe that decision is deliberate.

Lets face it – the LDS membership has its work cut out for them.  They have a long history with, honestly, some pretty crazy stuff in it, they can’t just discount the men who said that crazy stuff,  and they’ve had active antagonism from day one.  The result is, to be transparent, a lot of misconception and misinformation on both sides.

Other Christian churches don’t have the problem of having to justify a sketchy history for a simple reason: if Pastor Bob is confronted by hippie Susie about how most Baptist ministers of the 1800’s used the bible to justify slavery he can simply say, “Well, they were wrong.”  Each church, while connected by common ideologies, share a loose structure and look to God and the Scriptures as the source of truth; any one person’s statements don’t need to be justified if they were contradictory to what the Bible “really” teaches (according to Bob and our society’s current interpretation, of course).  Catholics and Mormons don’t have that luxury.  They both have a long history, a rigid authority, and a tight organization; however, they deal with their history in a very different way.

How?  Catholics can claim an individual Pope was fallen and that doesn’t undermine the truthfulness of the church: the authority of the priesthood can pass through any man regardless of their level of righteousness (after all, we’re all sinners to a certain degree), and so even though this and that pope were genuinely terrible people who used the Church to gain power, money, and women, often exploiting the weakest and poorest in the quest to do so, the Church authority continued through them.  Mormons . . . well, Mormons can’t really do that as easily.  In Mormonism the President of the Church is also seen as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, the mouthpiece of God on the earth, the tool of God to keep the Church on the true doctrines and spiritual power.

“I bear you my solemn witness that we have a living prophet, seer, and revelator. We are not dependent only upon the revelations given in the past . . . we have a mouthpiece to whom God is revealing his mind and will. God will never permit him to lead us astray. As has been said, God would remove us out of our place if we should attempt to do it. You have not concern. Let the management and government of God, then, be with the Lord. Do not try to find fault with the management and affairs that pertain to him alone and by revelation through his prophet.”  (Harold B. Lee, “The Place of the Living Prophet, Seer, and Revelator,” in Charge, p. 112.)

Where Catholics can throw a bad pope under the bus completely, Mormons can only try to throw some of their strange ideas under the bus but have to keep intact the dignity of the person overall.  “A prophet is still a human being, after all.  They’re not perfect.  They still make mistakes.”

So yes, 207 years (since Joseph Smith’s birth), 16 prophets, 96 Apostles, and who knows how many General Authorities are bound to turn up some interesting statements and teachings antagonists can use to poke fun at the LDS and make them seem like a strange fringe group, especially when you consider how many social changes America has seen since 1830.  I get that, and I respect a Mormon’s right to say, “Hey, we just don’t believe that.”  While I think those more strange topics are very interesting lets not waste time quibbling over doctrines that haven’t been believed for 50 years.  Instead lets focus on the “biggies” that, I think, show the established pattern used by Mormon leaders in every other area of their history and doctrine.

Below you’ll find an index of articles I’ll write (and later I’ll have them linked from this index) about ways the LDS church has been or is being deceptive about its history and teachings.

  • Polygamy
  • Blacks and the Priesthood
  • “Millet Mormonism” (my own term – the shift into grace to appease and quiet antagonistic evangelicals)
  • “Milk Before Meat” (and other justifications for not showing your followers the whole picture)
  • Pointless things brushed over or misrepresented because they’re “weird,” but honestly not important (i.e. Joseph Smith never actually looking at the gold plates to translate them – instead, looking into a hat with two stones while keeping the plates covered)
  • The Missionary Scriptures – using bible passages to prove that the LDS church was prophesied of by biblical prophets and that they believed and taught some of the same unique doctrines the LDS believe today (temples, authority, baptism for the dead, three kingdoms of glory, eternal marriage, etc.)
  • More to come . . .

I think we can all agree that the church has changed.  I’m glad it has – I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up as a polygamist and I wouldn’t have wanted to be part of a church where blacks weren’t equal members.  What I’m challenging here is the approach the church has taken towards defining that change.  Recognizing the church’s approach on these two main issues can help us see what they’re doing with current changes still being made today, anticipate changes to come in the future, and interpret the fringe doctrines and statements most Mormons would prefer to forget about.

p.s. If you don’t think public image effects the way the LDS leaders present doctrine and history you’re probably one of those people that accepts every statement a politician makes without thinking first about how they have to attract voters and offend the least amount of people as possible.  Their answers are all carefully formulated to do just that.  Public relations is like sales: its done best when no one realizes its happening at all.  It is influencing every decision the church makes.  I’m not saying that’s bad (though I’d think “Christ’s true church” would just present its doctrine boldly and bluntly).  Its understandable – they are a huge organization and have many antagonists.  My issue here is with the way they’ve used PR – to distort, hide, and misrepresent their real history and doctrine.


29 thoughts on “Mormon PR: Redefining History at the Expense of Integrity

  1. I find it confusing when leaders state that prophets cannot lead the church astray or they would “be removed,” in light of the following quotation from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

    Section Five 1842-43, p.237
    President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel–said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church–that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls–applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall–that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds,…

    Of course, late on, Brigham Young (as prophet) stated that every word from his mouth — whether in church or on the street — was scripture and should be taken as such. Hard to believe, when he also stated that there were tall people, who wore Quaker-type clothing, living on the dark side of the moon. I prefer what Joseph said, above: I am accountable for my own beliefs and my own choice, for MY OWN relationship with/to God. To give up individual accountability and just follow ANYONE, no matter their title, is to abdicate responsibility for my life.

    1. Interested in where you are getting your quote, because brigham young said exactly the opposite…
      I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.

      1. Hey Delta – Tyler? Anyways – I think you’ll find that trying to figure out Brigham Young can be pretty confusing . . . because there are quotes ALL OVER the place from that man. So, honestly, its very likely he said both what Rea posted and what you said – possibly in different contexts in response to different events.

        The question is – when one prophet says “Listen to us, we literally CANNOT lead you astray” and another prophet says, “Don’t follow us blindly, test the things we say and rely on the Lord,” which prophet do you listen to?

        And when a man DIDN’T believe what Joseph Smith was teaching (say . . . about polygamy for example) was there any tolerance for the idea that “well, maybe the spirit told him it isn’t true”? I don’t think so – rather I think you’ll find that man condemned for being hardened to the spirit because he was too prideful to follow god’s prophet. So how and when can your belief that following the spirit first and god’s prophet second be used?

      2. The two references aren’t opposites, just two different angles of the same thing. Like a balance between what D&C 68:4 (Rea’s quote’s angle) and Christ’s invitation to ask, seek, and knock (your quote’s angle).

      1. Yeah, this is tyler. i dont know how to post as myself and not the name of the blog i was going to start a while back!
        Its plausible he said both. 🙂 i guess that was rather coarse of me to be so assumptive, my apologies. but i would love to see the quote and source because i find that a lot of these things are heresay. and a lot of confusion can be ironed out by getting the quotes and context.
        in addition, that would go against joseph smiths quote “A prophet is a prophet only when he is acting as such.” which i assume would take precedent over brigham young, if we can get our hands on the origional statement. And it would counter the current position of the church that:
        “Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.”
        All in all, my point is that were not dealing with infallibility here. were dealing with men who are conduits to receive necessary revelation, and it shouldnt suprise us if some of their opinions get mixed in along the way.

      2. Oh, and with your question- I think you listen to the one that urges you to seek the spirit for confirmation, that seems to be the more commonly communicated idea.

        as for your hypothetical- i think you are assuming in your question that polygamy was wrong, which i disagree with. It wasnt ended because it was wrong. -but beyond that for church members to be condemning an inquisitive mind would also be wrong, a cultural phenomenon. In my experience, as one who is counterculture in many issues, like evolution, people dont hate you for it if you can give well reasoned scriptural support, unless i am flippant. 🙂

      3. I’m not assuming polygamy is wrong in this question. I’m isolating this to the people who genuinely DID believe it was wrong, and believed that according to the “spirit.” There were many people like this when polygamy was revealed.

  2. This is an excellent post. I will be looking forward to hearing what you have to say on the index of topics.

    One of the PR issues I have always had with the church concerns church finances. Endless talks and ensign articles are catered towards making sure even the poorest of the poor are paying their tithing. Meanwhile, the church is enjoying the luxurious mall they have just finished in downtown SLC(I know, no “tithing” was used to fund this project). They also just donated over 5 million to the U of U law school(because the church could always use a few more lawyers).

    No one on the outside of the corporation is allowed to know how much money the church has or where it is all going to. We are just told we don’t need to worry about it, it’s all going to righteous causes because the brethren are making the decisions. During the latest conference one of the speakers said “President Monson, when we are deciding on how to distribute funds often asks ‘What would Jesus do?'” I am really curious about which one of the apostles received the revelation to build that giant mall.

    1. Im confused. If its not tithing money, whats the problem?

      I think its great that the church has for profit businesses. And the fact that they have control over part of the environment surrounding temple square is also a plus.

      Lastly, tithing is about faith first, finances second. Its an attempt to help people exercise faith and grow. but if you want to view it as a coffer-filling technique thats your call. 🙂

      1. All money the church controls is either a donation from individuals or interest from investments made with the donations of individuals. People gave that money in faith to help build the kingdom. So I’m just curious which of the three prongs(perfect the saints, redeem the dead, proclaim the gospel) does a big ass mall(BAM) fall under?

        I think the church has really outdone itself on this one, the main attraction of downtown used to be the temple and conference center, now it is the retractable roof and the many fountains and other features of the BAM. Its no longer come and see the temple and learn about Mormon history. Now it consists of ‘we won’t say it out loud, but if you don’t shop at our stores then you aren’t supporting the church’s industry’. How long before temple square is overrun by pamphlets for the businesses in the BAM, or advertisements to rent an apartment in the BAM. They are taking a holy spot and making it a den of thieves. However, I don’t believe Jesus will be there to throw them out this time around.

        Focusing back on the original post basically my problem is, how the church spends its money is very different from how the PR side shows it spending its money. At least once a conference there will be a talk about how there is $X Million going to relief funds and how many humanitarian aid packets were sent to such and such country, the programming between sessions almost always shows on the ground reporters in some country with shots of the recipients of that aid. Meanwhile, looking at the bigger picture the figures of humanitarian aid given are always a tiny fraction of the churches income, and a tiny fraction of how much was spent on the BAM.

      1. I can see where you are coming from, for sure. But I think it makes sense for the church to be investing that money. Whether it is in a BAM 🙂 or anything else that improves upon the original contribution, especially if it gives a good impression. To not maximize these donations, leaving them sitting for “the right cause”, would be a bigger crime in my mind.
        In addition i think it does fall under proclaiming the gospel, in a way- though not as obviously as other activities- because the church is getting its name out there outside of the religious sphere. Its improving and beautifying a community, its creating jobs, and its bringing money into utahs economy. yes they make money, yes not everyone likes malls, but i dont see it as a bad thing- not that you have to agree or anything- i just dont think there are any boundaries being crossed. especially since for-profit church businesses arent unprecedented.

    1. Andrew – thanks for the feedback. I held on to this post for about a week because I wasn’t sure how people would respond and wanted to be honest about what I believe while remaining respectful and open – so I’m glad most people weren’t offended. Stay tuned!

  3. I enjoyed this post, and i too am looking forward to these topics you mentioned. 🙂

    regarding the quote you posted about prophets not being allowed to lead us astray. I disagree with that teaching. Its not doctrinal, its a cultural belief. there is no scriptural support for it. I feel its the personal belief of that general authority, and in reality quite a few others. This isnt uncommon. there are many cultural aspects of the church that MUST be changed to reflect our doctrine. its a weakness.

    so that being said, im confused as to what you feel was deceptive. It seems to me you take issue with church culture, rather than doctrine. general beliefs even, but not doctrine. Is it deception for someone to communicate a sincere opinion when he is trying to build faith if it turns out not to be true? (though i agree, if that situation occurs, he has most likely outstepped his bounds)

    I really feel you’re discussing culture more than the church, and your articles (which i sincerely have enjoyed reading) might be more impactful if they reflected a concern with culture- which we can each impact. but i guess that depends on the purpose of your blog. is it to hurt peoples faith, or fix problems? i hope you will reply.

    1. This leads to a great conversation about what can be written off as “culture” and what needs to be accepted and admitted as “doctrine.” That’s why I chose the two topics of Polygamy and Blacks and the Priesthood to spearhead the conversation – these are extremely well documented topics that will, hopefully, help us stay out of speculation. Polygamy, for example, is certainly not in any way a cultural thing, it is a core doctrine in LDS theology as revealed to Joseph Smith and as still contained in D&C 133, and as still practiced in the temple for men who’s wives have passed away (they can marry others and are eternally married to both).

      But – yes – the problem of denying and brushing over LDS history could be seen as cultural, to a degree. Like when a missionary is asked about polygamy and they say “it was revealed at a time when many men had been killed and it wasn’t about sex or anything like that, it was about taking care of the women.” That’s cultural idiocy adopted so the missionary can not look weird to the person who asked them that question. That annoyed me as much when I WAS LDS as it does now – and it should change. It is also practiced by people at the very top – like President Hinckley in his 60 minutes interview. I’ll get to that in my post on Polygamy.

    2. The doctrinal issue here is broad, and could include the priesthood, revelation, or the existence/intelligence of god in general. When you’re dealing with a church that claims a direct link to divine instruction, THE direct link, it’s perfectly fair to expect honesty and transparency regarding anything doctrinal OR cultural. A church scrambling to cover its tracks or hide the words of previous “prophets” is hardly exemplary of a god-guided organization.
      A realistic, thoughtful individual can’t help but wonder if the men in charge of such actions are communicating with god at all.

      Is the church really led by god? That’s incredibly doctrinal. At least I think so.

      1. Hey Nate, this is Tyler, im just technologically inept. 🙂 you’re right, thats doctrinal. I think what we are calling dishonesty and a scramble to cover tracks may be honest attempts by simple fallible men to answer really hard questions, but i dont know what you are referencing specifically. I guess we can cross that bridge as we start discussing individual examples. I try my best to be realistic, and thoughtful, but all i am seeing is imperfect men doing their best to fill tremendous expectations.
        i hope we can be on the same page that we have both spent a lot of time studying these things, so i hope you wont discount me as ignorant. It doesnt seem fair to expect perfection from those who dont claim perfection, especially when doctrine and culture can be so difficult to differentiate. anyway, i respect where you’re coming from, i hope our conversations haven’t convinced you otherwise. I have a paper I have written for class discussing evolution and creationism that i have been wanting to get your input on it, ill FB it to you when i finish the final draft.

      2. I hope this goes under your response to me Tyler…dunno though. I would LOVE to read a paper on evolution and creationism! I spent so much time writing about and studying those two topics as interdependent schools of thought. Love those topics.

      3. I also think it perfectly fair to expect honesty in the situation you’ve described, Nate. However, I think it unfair to expect transparency, even if directly from God himself, regarding all things. My mind would explode if he gave me all knowledge I asked for at once. And because all truth is linked into one fantastic “circle,” it can be hard to reveal the next truth without explaining (e.g. being completely transparent regarding) the subsequent truths entirely.

  4. in response to the quote you used, which is a great point, i think this provides a general authorities view that offers the opposite point of view- supporting the idea that it is a cultural, not doctrinal, belief that prophets will never lead us astray. in the long run, i personally beleive that concept, we wont be led astray. but i firmly beleive that we take a lot of detours, alternate routes, and scenic routes. 🙂 this is by brigham young:

    “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.”

    1. Here’s an example of logic commonly used in the LDS church:

      Do you doubt a principle the church teaches? Well, I’m just not sure about ___
      Well, is the book of mormon true? Yes.
      Ok, so Joseph Smith had to have been a true prophet, yes? Yes.
      So – is the church the restored church of god? Yes.
      Then, is it led by a prophet today? Yes.
      Good – well, there are many questions we can have individually. God doesn’t give us the full picture. He’s given us enough, and asks us to move in faith on the things we don’t know – actually that’s what faith IS. Do you have faith? Yes.

      How often do you actually disagree with the Prophet of the church? Do you actually believe you can? When they’re dead and long past, sure – all of a sudden we have full reign to reinterpret what they say. But now?

      The church CLAIMS their membership can do this sort of thing . . . with quotes you’ve listed above. But if you don’t believe the church’s teachings and you express that . . . will your bishop really quote you what Brigham Young said above? Or will he use the logic I just listed?

      1. 🙂 that IS a fairly generic conversation. i think the assumption made is that a large majority of what we are hearing IS revelation- but there is plausible error. so if i were a bishop i would go with the logic above and let the rest be ironed out in time. I think the difficulty arises when we try to teach our own opinion.
        faith is meant to be a lasting part of our existence. to my knowledge there isnt some hurdle we cross that makes everything perfectly clear. so the question is: does that mean its false? or does that mean thats just the way it is?

  5. I can’t wait to hear about the “black curse” :). Apparently a tax exempt status for BYU was the root of ending the curse. I just love being mislead…

  6. There are so many different ways possible to interpret everything the church has done and everything the prophets have said. For example, one of your arguments is about polygamy. But one could make a good argument that Joseph Smith wasn’t actually inspired by God to carry polygamy forward or that he was but carried it out in a way contrary to what God had in mind. And eventually Joseph Smith was taken from being the prophet. Who knows if that is true or if there was a connection between the two. His being taken from being a prophet certainly didn’t end polygamy. But does that mean that no statement ever made by Joseph Smith or any prophet thereafter is not true? And polygamy did end eventually, though I guess not in theory. All of these arguments seem to be grasping at straws, since no one really knows or can know what goes on in God’s mind. Then it seems somewhat futile to try. That said, I still feel this is a very interesting topic and appreciate people sharing their insights.

  7. Very interesting post. IMHO, the leadership of the Church has done many of its members a disservice in a) not being more forthcoming about our history and b) erring towards the attitude of mindless obedience/faith over thoughtful, reasoned faith. I also believe there have been intentional efforts in our history to mislead — or at least misdirect — honest inquiry into problematic aspects of our history. It’s enough to disappoint me but, in and of itself, not enough to justify leaving the Church. I find it interesting how many people cite “dishonesty” as a reason for leaving the Church. I understand (and experience) that angst, but for me the issue has little bearing on whether the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith were what they claimed to be. The bottom line — for me at least — comes down to belief that Joseph Smith saw angels and had Golden Plates. If I can believe he really saw Moroni and was guided to the Golden Plates by him, then I can believe he witnessed an angel commanding him into polygamy. But the flip side of the coin is also true — if he made up stories about an angel with a drawn sword, it is easy to call into question his other angellic accounts. Most of the apologetics about the Book of Mormon fail to impress me except for the literary complexity argument. And in fact, many apologetics (including the Biblical prooftexts we used as missionaries) have really set me up for a hard fall from a point of unrealistic expectations. That said, i think it’s very easy to get caught up in proving the Church “false” by proving apologetics false. I am happily shedding my allegiance to believe in apologetic arguments so that I can focus on (and either accept or reject) the real issues. As you might infer, I have not come to resolution in that process.

    1. Hey Ryan, thanks for reading and giving your point of view.

      You said “…apologetics have really set me up for a hard fall from a point of unrealistic expectations.” Well said – I only dipped into apologetics for a brief amount of time, thereafter avoiding it for this exact reason – I quickly realized that many of their claims were misrepresented, just like “anti” claims were misrepresented. I chose to steer clear of anything that felt twisted with an agenda to prove something, and sought instead to read from other honest truth-seekers. It was a subjective way of ruling out things I didn’t want to read . . . but it’s what I felt comfortable doing.

      I get what you’re saying about “the bottom line,” as you call it. Understand that for many of us that was the bottom line as well – the pin holding our faith together. The problem arose for me when other pins were taken away, one by one, and too much weight was left on that one claim that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Maybe one day I’ll do some more research and come to a more firm opinion on alternative explanations for the Book of Mormon, but it wasn’t important to me; the BoM simply wasn’t enough to overcome all the other doctrines and aspects of the church (like the PR talked about it this post), so I left.

      Thanks again for reading, I hope you’ll check back in and join the conversation often!

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