Several months ago, I was ignorant of my own ignorance, at least in regards to the Mormon church. My story is like many others’ who have questioned the truth claims of the church. I was born in the covenant, spent many Sundays waiting around after church for my parents’ meetings to end, attended seminary, served a mission, and served in many leadership and teaching positions in the church. I loved my mission and loved teaching the gospel. I spent many hours studying the gospel and could give a talk or give a lesson at a moment’s notice, and did so many times.
I had heard many “anti-mormon” things about the church and church history, but never looked very closely at them. I chalked most of them up to lies and didn’t worry about them. Spending some time on the “evil” internet”, I came across the recording of the Swedish Rescue (http://www.mormonthink.com/swedish-rescue.htm). Since there were several people in Sweden struggling with issues in church history, and some GAs went to answer their questions, I figured it was a good place to hear the issues but get trustworthy issues. I listed to the recording of that meeting and was sorely disappointed. They traveled thousands of miles to say “we don’t have time to discuss that” for almost every issue.
When I heard that Joseph had married women who were already married to men who were still living, and having it confirmed by church leadership, my world shattered. This wasn’t the Joseph of my youth. This wasn’t the Joseph I had studied, that I had revered, or that I had sung songs about. What was the doctrinal justification for this? How could a man of God do something so insidious?
That was the beginning of the end. So much for the swedish rescue being safe for learning about issues in church history. I spent the next several months devouring any information I could get about church history. I waited for answers from the church to the major issues. Each essay that came out was just a disappointment as they mostly obfuscated the details, emphasized only the faith-promoting parts, and deceptively withheld information. Reading the essay on the Book of Abraham, I wanted to scream, “Just be honest!” Conference talks praising Joseph as a righteous and honest man made me angry.
Enough of my story. It is special to me, but isn’t particularly unique. Future posts will be analyzing what the church is teaching, and where they are only sharing part of the truth (lying). It may be that nobody reads this, but it will help me to process the hurt and feelings of betrayal.