My Coming Out pt1
To Whom It May Concern,
This is my letter to the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to any member of said church, to my friends and family, and to anyone who will read it with an open heart and more importantly an open mind. To follow the thought process of the church I will give the “Milk” before the “Meat.” I do not write this letter with the intentions of enraging anyone, I write this letter to inform the masses about the Church. I will warn you that there will be errors, I am human and aint much good with the laws of English. I hope you understand the majority of the information in the face of these errors. If you think I have made a mistake on something: investigate it for yourself and when you find out either way let me know. I will include contact information for friendly debate at the end of the letter.
I was introduced to the church in the summer of 2007. I met a lovely girl, now my wife, who wanted to share her religion, community, and family with me; they accepted me fully, green hair and all. I informed her that I was not a religious person and had not been in quite a while. I began “investigating” the church and its teachings quickly, looking back now it was too quick of a conversion to be believable. During my investigation I was advised to learn from the missionaries and other members and to pray about the truth of the gospel, the church, and its leaders.
The missionaries that I had, although not by name I can still remember, were two great guys. They did their duty as best they could to ensure I knew the most basic principles of the church’s teachings; the preexistence, the trueness and fullness of the church and its gospel, the spirit realm, and the kingdoms of heaven. None of these topics were “deal breakers,” I had thought about the possibilities of each of these things before I knew anything of the Mormons and their teachings, so, I continued through learning the basics of the faith. My, now, wife’s family were excited to be able to teach and convert a new person to the faith and made sure we made it to church when we were able. I was also advised to avoid the “bad press,” the nay-sayers, and most especially… the internet.
Avoid the internet. Why? I made my way through college at Austin Peay using the internet to study. I met my wife, the person who was to introduce me to this religion, on the internet. Why suddenly am I being told to not use the internet to study this religion? My only thought is that they must be hiding something. Through quick internet searches I found that most people thought the church was trying to hide some of its stranger beliefs from new members to avoid scaring them away. Most of these (becoming a god yourself, blacks/Indians being cursed, Masonic-like temple rituals, and more) seemed wrong and actually scientifically inaccurate but actually did not scare me so I felt they were off base on telling “investigators” to not use this technology. I did not necessarily believe or agree with what I found but it didn’t immediately deter me from the church. I have come to see why they warn the use of the internet, more on that later in this letter.
I have very few quarrels with the lifestyle of the members of the church, but I have been battling issues. My issues surround the founding of the church, the teachings (and the changes to said teachings), and the treatment of women in the church. I have not been wronged by a member or leader, nor do I have hurt feelings.
To church members: please think and act for yourself. Blind faith and obedience is no way to live your precious life. If you look to the evidences I bring forward and still believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Joseph Smith, Jr., I will say thank you for at least looking at the evidence presented and be on my way.
To the family and community that accepted me, please think and act for yourself. I love you all and I am grateful that you took me in even though I was different. I will still love you that has never changed.
To my dearest wife, I love you. Through all of this, I love you. I will say it once again, please think and act for yourself. Blind faith and obedience in the face of evidence to the contrary is no way to live. I will not shun you if you decide to remain in the faith you were raised, just think, it was the faith in which you were raised. You didn’t choose the religion. It was chosen for you. You were taught it since before you knew what was right and wrong.
I do not believe Joseph Smith, Jr. or any of his following “prophets” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had any power greater than a power with words. I believe he was an intelligent man who used his abilities of fraud and deceit to gain his following. I do not believe human beings born with dark skin are a cursed race. I do not believe men have any dominion or power greater than women. I do not believe there are people living on the far side of the moon (dressed in the style of the Quakers, no less). I do not believe the American Indians are in ANY way the descendants of a group of travelers from Jerusalem. I believe the church has been forced to change the introduction to the Book of Mormon because of the scientific evidence against this claim.
There has been, to my knowledge, zero evidence found to support any claim in the Book of Mormon. Although, actual evidence has been found to suggest Joseph was deceitful in his life before “finding” the golden plates, in his ability to translate (the golden plates, the Egyptian Papyri, and the Kinderhook plates), and in his prophecies. I will present as much evidence as I can to support my decision and to answer questions for anyone else who has doubts about the ever changing “eternal” doctrine of the church. I will offer this quote to those who wish to not see any evidence against their beliefs.
“If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.”
-George Albert Smith, 1st Counselor to Brigham Young
Answer this question truthfully, to yourself if you must; If Joseph Smith Jr. were proven to be a fraud and a liar, could the church he founded based on that fraud ever be considered true? As the founder, translator, writer of doctrine, seer, and revelator of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I say that he is the very foundation of the church, and if he were found to be false so to would the church be false. I submit, in this letter, that there is evidence against him.
Posted on April 2, 2013, in Christianity, Coming Out, Mormon-isms and tagged atheism, atheist, book of mormon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, evidence, faith, faithless, free, free thinker, free thinking, free thought, freethought, LDS, Mormon, open. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.