3 Shocking Secrets of the Mormon Church

I’m sure from the outside, I don’t seem very standard when it comes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m a writer (a horror writer at the current moment), I have one child, and my house is a constant disaster. When people find out that I’m Mormon, they don’t say, “Oh, I thought so. You seemed like a Mormon.” They usually just give me a wide-eyed fish face and say, “Do they let people like you in the church?”

That’s just it: They do let people like me in the church.

Now, I’m not here to convert your soul or tell you a bunch of sugar-coated nonsense. I’m here to tell you the truth (as I see it). Perhaps if you know the secrets of the church, it will give you some better perspective on why we do what we do.

1. Mormons Brainwash Their Kids

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http://the143s.blogspot.com/2013/12/book-of-mormon-scripture-reading-with.html

From a very young age, children are taught tenets of the church that completely alter how they view reality. Don’t believe me? Ask a kid any question about God or church doctrine and you’ll get the same stock answers every time.

Ex.

Q: “What can we do if we are feeling confused about what is the right thing to do?”

A: “Study it in our minds, read the scriptures, pray, go to church, listen to the Spirit.”

Q: “How can we know Jesus Christ better?

A: “Study it in our minds, read the scriptures, pray, go to church, listen to the Spirit.”

Granted, there’s an argument to be made here about the validity of these stock Mormon responses.

What are the ways that we can grow closer to God? What are the ways that we can find answers? What are the ways that we can foster positive relationships with other people? If you asked any religious person in any part of the world, even people who are not Mormon, they would tell you that these answers are ones that most often bring peace and understanding.

So, sure. We brainwash our kids, and ourselves for that matter. Just like we brainwash kids to know their ABCs and count to 20. But, when it comes to the big trials of life, those times when it’s easy to lose your way and forget to hope, these answers are the ones that become anchors and lead to knowledge rather than despair.

 

2. Mormon Women Are Not Treated the Same As Men

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Hey, guys! Just in case you didn’t know, this isn’t a picture of me. This is Al Fox, and you can click it to read some of her incredible blog posts.

In the LDS church, women and men are not treated the same. Men are given ecclesiastical leadership, especially over building maintenance, financial recording, and official discipline. Women are given responsibility over the women, the children, and making sure the men are getting their jobs done.

There is some outside perception that the church demeans women by not allowing them to hold the roles of patriarchs, bishops, and priests. These people state that women should be given the exact same roles as men in order to make them equal.

Unfortunately, these individuals are operating under a false assumption or two.

A) Fair is the same as equal.

B) Perfect equality is the only way to maintain the human right of freedom.

In the LDS church, women are not treated the same as men. Much like in a marriage, each gender has a different role and responsibility. And each household has their own version of that gender responsibility. In my house, my husband takes out the trash and I put in the new trash bag. It’s not because he’s better than me, or I’m more responsible than him. It’s just the way our house works.

In the Lord’s house, women care for children, care for other women, provide music, teach classes, and preach from the pulpit. Men perform baptisms, blessings, and become prophets, bishops, or patriarchs. This is not because one gender is better or more qualified. It’s just separation of roles in order to maintain an organized household.

This is not to say that women aren’t given leadership roles in the LDS church. They are leaders over the Relief Society, the largest and oldest worldwide women’s organization. They are leaders over the Primary, the childrens’ organization. They are leaders over the Young Women’s organization. Each of these areas relies on women leading, guiding, and teaching. Their voices are heard and they are valuable role models for people in the Mormon church around the world.

 

3. Mormons Don’t Believe in Moral Relativism

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In physics, there are laws. Immutable laws that don’t break. Gravity bends and reacts to things, but it never ceases to function. Actions require energy and lead to proportional reactions. That is the same truth no matter where you go in our universe.

As Latter-day Saints, we believe that God’s laws are just as immutable. We believe that the universe is based on the concepts of faith, love, and action. We believe light and dark are diametrically opposed and yet present in each person. We believe that the ability to choose between these opposing forces (“free will”) is the most valuable gift on this planet, and that God will not interfere with our ability to prove the measure of our souls with our daily choices.

There are two kinds of choices: God-centered (or Love-centered) and self-centered. Self-centered choices (the “eat, drink, and be merry plan”) don’t fulfill our deeper need for meaning. They focus only on our own pleasure, and eventually lead to misery. I’m not talking about a pit of fire with a pitchforked devil. I’m talking about regret. About bitterness. About selfishness that consumes. These are miseries unto themselves, and the true fruits of choosing our own desires over God’s law.

God-centered choices help us grow in our capacity to truly love others. These choices lead to increasing amounts of light, goodness, and an ability to help others. These choices lead to true freedom. Not the ability to do whatever the crap we want to do all the time. That’s the world’s definition of freedom, and this kind of “free” people are often very unhappy.  No, choosing the right allows you to do as many things that bring love and goodness into the world as you want. It brings never-ending peace and joy.

And so, we can’t stand with the world that says it’s okay to do whatever you want. The fact is, you don’t know who your decisions are harming and you often want things that will not bring you long-term joy. Although you don’t feel that your self-interested choices are hurting anyone, you don’t know how they will affect your future, your marriage, your children, or your grandchildren.

But God does. And that’s why he has given you tools (scriptures, conscience, good advice, that-thing-in-your-chest-that-tells-you-not-to-steal-babies) to help you make love-centered choices.

 

In Summary: Cookies

Mormons aren’t here to make you feel bad. We’re not self-righteously applauding our amazingness and pitying your stupidity for not being as good as we are. We don’t knock on doors to increase our membership numbers so that we can win some invisible Race of Righteousness.

Instead, we tell people what we know because we believe that it will bring them long-term happiness. We believe that the laws of God are given as guides so that we can find joy in this world and in the next. All we want to do is share them with people. All we want to do is tell our secrets and give others a chance to test the secrets for themselves.

And, of course, we also make amazing cookies.
Mormons

 

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151 thoughts on “3 Shocking Secrets of the Mormon Church

  1. Excellent comments. I, too, grew up in the church, but at age 56, stopped believing in the metaphysical and dogmatic portions of church doctrine and all other religious doctrines.
    I really pitty conservative Christians for how unnecessarily restrictive and problematic they are. Needless suffering. And tons of pseudo-justifications covering up this unjustified imposition.

  2. t out of curiosity, I went to a mormon church yesterday for the first and most likely the last time. Not once did they reference scripture from the Holy Bible. They only referenced the book of mormon, which is pretty much a bunch of hogwash. The men in the church building did not smile. They all walked around in their suits like they were on a mission to make sure everyone followed directions and were dressed properly. Which, I have to say, the children were dressed rather smashingly. Quite cute in their little white shirts and ties. And the girls in their Sunday best. Even the teenagers! The women however, although dressed nice, were walking around with their noses so far up in the air one would wonder if they would drown if it were raining. They did sing hymns. Course, they were unknown by me and I know most all hymns.

  3. Just out of pure curiosity, I went to a mormon church yesterday for the first and probably last time. Not once did they read scripture from the Bible. They read out of the book of mormon though which, I find is questionable…and not of God. They all dress proper though, I will give them that. The men don’t smile. They just walk around like stuffed suits. And some of the women hold their noses so high up in the air, it makes one wonder if they would drown if it were raining.

  4. Excellent. I joined the Mormon Church not too long ago and I couldn’t be happier. It’s given me a new view on llife and I’m loving it. As for brainwashing …We are all born into a brainwashing sys tem since the day we’re born into this world.

  5. Main life lesson I learned about after leaving the mormon church. I can be happy with my own life choices. I still have a core moral compass and can choose to he moral and live normal. I do not need a church to guide me to heaven. My children can grow up normal knowing that god loces them and they dont have to be perfect. I am perfect without being told how to act. I dont have to be a mother of nine children to be fulfilled. Two children are just as wonderful. And I can have a career and make money and be a leader without being told by men that I cant. Life is easier as a Presbytarian.

  6. the only problem is people are people. we need our space to make right n wrong decisions on our own, other wise we don’t grow as individuals. the parents need to forgive. the only time someone is wrong is when they don’t learn from their personal mistake..
    we are all human and guilt happens when we hurt another, the father and mother set an example of truth and love for thy neighbor.. I respect your beliefs but we should rely on morals between different people. respect, space, and faith that we’ll find what we are looking for on our own.

  7. Willow, what a lovely reply. I am so disheartened when LDS get offensive about other peoples comments. You are an excellent example that I will try to emulate. Thanks.

  8. Karen,

    I assume your question was directing to me. If not, I apologize. My husband and I was hard core, true blue believers and practically gave our lives to the church for 20 plus years. We have held a few highest callings in the stake. We raised our kids in the Mormon culture and that’s all they know.

    To be fair, the church teaches VERY GOOD things. It strengthens and nurtures families (as long as they are straight people families with both parents dedicated to the church). And there are wonderful members in local levels. There are often teaching and believes that cause me to cringe, but they are from good intention and honest believe.

    After such a long time making this our lives, it’s not easy to break away. After all, this is our social system.

    I have a problem with the leadership and policies and insincere motives, hypocrisy of the ecclesiastical head quarter policy makers. I have a problem with them packaging God’s words into a product that sells for a lot of money. However, we love our good bishop and local leaders.

    Being a bishop’s wife, stake presidency counselor wife, I am pretty sure I’ve seen a bit more than many members.

    I am serving in my calling right now hoping I could bring the more of love of Christ into those I have stewardship over and not the worshiping of the priesthood leadership.

    My children do enjoy their association with other youth and ward members because that’s what they know growing up. But they are not brainwashed.

    We each have to find our path to the Savior, either through the church or not. But I personally seriously doubt that these men own God…

    Hope this makes some sense.

  9. Brian,

    Uhhh… First, this is not regard to the parents’ opinion. Doesn’t matter they say yes or no, the church does not allow children from gays/les parents to get baptized.

    Second, isn’t it a matter of salvation / damnation, eternal life/ spiritual death we are talking about?

    I might have said this already in some other post, but, is there any incidents that Jesus forbade anyone to come to Him? Or did He say “suffer the little children to come unto me, unless they are from gay parents”

    Look to the Savior and trust in Him and follow His doctrines. It’s dangerous to put your trust in men. They are all the arm of flesh…

  10. I was just wondering if you believe all of that .Why do you still take your kids to the LADS church. Not judging, but confusing? ?

  11. Sir we really appreciate your comment but to tell you we do perform baptism at the age of 8 years old not 18.

  12. Sorry, babe, but will they let you in their precious “temple” with tats all over your arms?

    I also disagree with your comment:
    “Mormons aren’t here to make you feel bad. We’re not self-righteously applauding our amazingness and pitying your stupidity for not being as good as we are. We don’t knock on doors to increase our membership numbers so that we can win some invisible Race of Righteousness.”

    Sorry, I’m just telling the truth. And, FYI, Utah Mormons are vastly different from Mormons anywhere else. Judgmental hypocrites.

    1. Great questions!

      Yes, you can definitely go to the temple with tattoos. As far as Utah vs. Other Mormons go, I have lived here in Utah for about 2 years. There are some members of the LDS church who really have lost sight of the doctrine of Christ when it comes to judging others. At the same time, I’ve see members of many other churches do the same. I don’t think it matters which church you happen to be in, there are some people who are good about accepting and loving others without judgement and those who are still working to overcome their natural inclination to be judgmental. We are all on a journey. It makes no sense to throw stones at those who are doing it differently or at a different pace as we are.

      Thank you for your comments!

  13. You can “accept” Christ easily enough, but just believing isn’t enough…faith without works is dead!
    You must walk the walk, not just talk. Believe me, easier said than done, nonetheless…it is absolute biblical truth.
    Don’t belive me? Know the Biblical context first before you attack Mormon doctrine…

  14. There are many places in the world that won’t allow children to be baptised into the LDS church until they are 18 or considered adults, regardless of what the parents must think. I just don’t see that a child is punished in those families where the church policy doesn’t allow it until they are 18. The church won’t allow any child to be baptised in any family if the parents won’t give permission. I have never heard it said that those children are punished. In same sex parent families there is always one other situation when it comes to the children. One of the parents of that child is not in the family (I realize it could be possible that both parents could live in the same household) That usually eliminates one parent from deciding on what they want for their child. If a child isn’t allowed to be baptised until 18 in a family with same sex couple and the parents tell their child how wrong the church is for not allowing them to be baptised, it already suggests conflicts may be inevitable. Those who tell a child in these situations that the LDS church is punishing them (and it is happening) may me well be causing the child anxiety and self esteem issues. And for a simple reason. The church is not doing it as a punIshment.

  15. Karen! Thanks for responding. It’s so disappointing to read so many haters. I was thrilled to read your testimony. And Willow look at your awesomeness! How fun to still get to be around your spunky personality! Love you both!

  16. Karen! Thanks for responding. It’s so disappointing to read so many haters. I was thrilled yo read your testimony. And Willow look at your awesomeness! How fun to still get to be around your spunky personality! Love you both!

  17. Many people are somewhat child like even after their 18th birthday. The church respects the child – parent relationship. At 18 the child can decide to be baptized as desired.

  18. The “megamall” in downtown Salt Lake City was created as an “urban renewal project” by the Church to benefit people living in Salt Lake City. It replaced old buildings in disrepair which were a fire hazard. It provided places for people to get jobs, eat, relax, and shop. You don’t have to spend money in the mall to stroll through and enjoy its fountains, streams, and benches. The cleanest parking garage in the city is located below it.

  19. Brian,

    I got it! Make sense!

    And I think we should have Nephi change his writing in 2 Nephi 31:

    5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! BUT THE CHILDREN FROM GAYS’ FAMILIES DON’T HAVE THIS NEED. OR IF THEY DID, IGNORE IT.

    11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son, EXCEPT THE CHILDREN FROM GAY FAMILIES.

    Keep in mind that when we use the word “children”, we refer to human beings who are younger than the age of 18. Once they turn 18, they are no longer called children. It’s not a postponing baptism, it’s a banning children of gays’ families.

  20. Mindy,

    I don’t think you’re being abrasive at all. I know for me, it is easy to have this type of conversation in a respectful way because I know how it feels to have all those questions that you have. I had a roommate my first semester of school at BYU Idaho who asked me why I didn’t believe in the church and I just laid out my issues in a kind way and he ended up calling me an idiot and he said I was ignorant. I know how it feels to be judged for having these types of questions. It sucks to raise a question about something and then instantly be attacked. That is why I never attacked anyone for having a question. I love discussing these questions.

    So with the whole mall thing I am not really sure why they have stores like those. My guess is that they just want it to be like any other mall. I think if they would have built it without those stores people would have attacked them and said they are trying to “push their values on us” or something. I am not sure though. My other guess is they have to have a mall in Salt Lake with these stores because Salt Lake is the capital of Utah so there are going to be a lot of non mormons who go through there. It’s like if you were to go into any other major city in America. If the mall were in Provo then yeah I wouldn’t understand why these expensive places are there. I could be completely wrong on this though so don’t quote me haha. Just a side not, I personally don’t think true religion should be in any mall. I think their clothing is way over priced and it doesn’t even look that good lol.

    You might be able to answer this question for me. Did the church pay for the mall and then the companies came to them and asked to open shops in the mall or did the church go to these places and ask them to be in the mall?

    Now for the kids in the homosexual families I am also not 100% sure and my response might be similar to the response on the LDS website. I never really looked at their response but my guess is that they made this a change because they had some issue with it or else they would have never created this in the first place. I think the church did this because they didn’t want to cause contention in the homes of these people. Even though the church does not believe in same sex marriage, they still don’t want to tear up a family. And obviously once the kid turns 18 they can then be baptized. But just imagine how hard it would be for the kid though. They have to go to church and hear about how what their parents are doing is wrong. My dad has told me about how it was hard for him to be taught that drinking and smoking was bad and then he would go home to a dad who did those things. And then obviously when my dad tried to get him to stop it just caused contention.

    Mindy I love how you said that “the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.” There have been so many times in my life, and even recently, where I have said man I dislike this church sometimes but I love the Gospel. And yes there is a difference and I am sure you know that there is a difference. Now when the times that I have said I disliked the church were during weak times in my life. Sometimes the leaders in the church will do or say something that makes me question everything. But then I realize that even the leaders of the church are not perfect. I think thats how I started to finally accept Joseph Smith. I saw how amazing it was that God could restore His Gospel through such an imperfect person.

    Mindy I have to say, I have so much respect for you. Even though you have all these questions, you still continue to believe in the gospel and attend church. So many people now a days come across an issue and their first inclination is to leave the church. Even a lot of returned missionaries have done this. But you continue to push forward. Just keep pushing forward. My stake president once told me that the answers to your questions will come the more you serve God. I have seen this come true and I am sure you will see this as you continue to serve in your church callings.

    If you haven’t already, read the books rough stone rolling, the crucible of doubt, and our search for happiness. They really helped me. Also read some of Hugh Nibleys writings. Hugh Nibley once talked about how he had always had questions but he continued to search for answers. He even talked about how he had written down questions that he wanted to ask God when he died.

  21. Mindy, the Lord is simply postponing their baptism. Just like my neighbor kid who’s parents are straight, divorced, and dad says no. He simply says, the parents opinions matter more to me than another baptism, so as to never interested interfere with parenting, let’s wait for adulthood.

  22. Agency is not true agency unless you exercise it to obey the prophet, everything else doesn’t matter.

  23. Willow , If I remember right, Lucifer said in the garden that if Eve ate of the fruit that they would become as the Gods.And she did eat.But she was deceived.The L.D.S.believe they will become Gods if they Pay tithing, go to the Temple,Baptize for the dead,accept calling,If the prophet speaks end of discussions . What happened to free agency? who is being deceived ?
    That’s not the gospel of Christ. If we believe that Christ is the Son of God,and accept his sacrifice for us ,we will be saved. That is the Gospel of Christ…

  24. Kevin,

    It’s refreshing to be able to discuss a sensitive matter such as this one on a respectful ground. I recognized that I was a bit abrasive and you took it so well, for that I truly commend you.

    I first heard about the Megamall back in April 2012 and blew it off. By the way, it costs around 2B, not 5, according to Salt Lake tribune. And does it make any huge fundamental difference if it was 5 or 2? What is the doctrine/ principles laying under it? Fairmormon is an apologetic site, of course writers there would find ways to justify and defend the church. The money is from dividends, but where did the dividends come from? And is there anything better to use that money than supporting merchants of luxury, worldly goods like Tiffany’s $14,000 rings, Porsche Design $500 jackets “True Religion” $200 jeans? The things that were referred to as “moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal”?

    Who knows, maybe I’m poor so I’m bitter LOL. People in Utah must be all very rich and that shopping style is within their means.

    But you know, I am STILLpaying tithing (appropriate amount), and specially fast offering! You know why? The Lord blesses those who have the willing hearts to give up substance for others, what the receivers do with that money, either they treat it as sacred or they defile it, it’s the question between them and the Lord. I’m not surprised that your aunt (right?) is still giving tithing.

    After all, humans are human. Did Joseph Smith open the Zion bank and lost all members’ money away?

    Looking back from even the time of the great revered Patriarch Abraham, if we really believe in it, wouldn’t we be troubled that he tossed his son Ishmael and that little boy’s mother out in the dessert with just a bottle of water and some bread?

    I agree with one of the comments here that’s it’s not cool to come and bash the Mormon church leadership. This is a place where people want to feel good about their religion and share the same opinion. For that, I apologize.

    I was willing to overlook at many things, from the history of the church, black and the priesthood, polygamy, etc, even to all the current practice (even tithing LOL) , but the new policy that bans Gay/Lesbian children from being baptized is unacceptable to me (all my children at this point are heterosexual as they appear, so this is not emotional, irrational speaking).

    The 2th article of faith “ 2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” Why are these children punished for their parents’ sin?

    There’s an article on the LDS website about why people need the church. They have all the right reasons why. But the more right the reasons are, the more cruel it appears to ban the children of Gay couples.

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, but I believe it’s not owned by this LDS church. The church is only one of many vehicles to bring people to Christ. It’s cheap advertising to convince people that this is the only true church and salvation only comes through it.

    I guess I could wrap my lengthy post in one verse that Nephi say so beautifully “2 Nephi 4: 34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.”

    And this from Paul :
    8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    By the way, I LOVE the people in my ward and our bishop is the most wonderful, humble and kind man and I still take my family to church every week and fulfill my calling.

  25. Mormons are definitely moral relativists but don’t like to think so. This is seen in Mormon history, doctrine/scriptures, and current practices:

    -Historical
    Joseph Smith lying about polygamy to his wife and to non-Mormons, including the in sworn affidavits.
    Brigham Young’s cover up about the Mountains Meadow massacre, blaming it on Native American’s for years.
    Mormon’s continued practice of polygamy for years despite it being illegal, bending Article of Faith 12 in order to comply.
    The precedent of Lying for the Lord.

    -Doctrinal/Scriptural
    Abraham being commanded to lie about his wife being his sister (lying is okay sometimes).
    Abraham being commanded to human sacrifice his own son (human sacrifice is fine sometimes).
    Nephi being commanded to murder Laban (murder is okay sometimes and can be commanded by God).
    Genocide/mass rape are commanded in the Old Testament (not relative today…aka genocide and forcing people against their will to marry you were morally correct once, but no longer).

    -Current Practices
    Hinckley lying/misleading on 60 minutes about the church’s teachings on becoming like God (I don’t know that we emphasize that).
    Denying that the church practices polygamy (we do in temples; polygamy remains a significant doctrine in scriptures and current teachings)
    Observance of the Sabbath is highly relative (in most Western places, it’s practiced on Sundays, in Israel it’s practiced on Saturday, in Muslim countries it’s practiced on Fridays).
    The church denying top brass involvement in high profile excommunication cases including Michael D. Quinn, John Dehlin, Denver Snuffer, Kate Kelly, etc. and saying that all excommunications were locally done.
    Denial of involvement of Strengthening the Members Committee.
    Whitewashing history (translation of the Book of Mormon/use of seer stone in art.
    Immoral to criticize leaders of the church even if the criticism is correct (Oaks-goes against honesty).
    Infamous Ronald Poelman general conference talk, including false cough track and false Amens added after the fact.
    Elder Neil Andersen denying anything troubling about Joseph Smith’s behavior in general conference (most would find marrying a 14 year old girl, lying about polygamy to your wife/legal courts, marrying over 30 women including sister pairs, mother/daughter pairs, etc. slightly disturbing).

    So we have that murder is acceptable in certain cases, human sacrifice is acceptable in certain cases, lying, deceit, and withholding information is also acceptable in certain cases, the Sabbath is relative to the local culture, genocide and rape were once okay and commanded. If that isn’t moral relativism, I don’t know is.

    1. Oh my gosh!! I love you guys so much! How are you doing? Follow me on Facebook and we can catch up a little. 🙂

  26. When you received confirmation that Joseph Smith was a con, can you describe the event. Was it a spiritual event?

  27. Hmm.. sounds like a bunch of hate mongering to me.. Sorry, but I don’t think you really know what you’re talking about.. I am pretty sure you weren’t there when JS was around. Your reply makes you sound petty and hateful.. I don’t care what you believe, you should consider peoples feelings when thinking about bashing someone’s beliefs. If you have come to inner peace with yourself without God or religion, or just simply believing a different way than you were raised, I commend you, but you don’t need to tear down other peoples faith just to feel better and justified in leaving a faith that you no longer believe in and may have loved ones and family in.. Its just a horrible way to have to live your life.

  28. I was raised mormon, I’ve read the books and prayed about it. I received my answer, and that Smith was a con man that used his power to marry children and married women.
    Even to this day the lds church protects rapists like my father.
    Yet there is a porn model up in logan by the name of kitty star smith that is a temple recommend holder. Probably had sex with her bishop to get it.

    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Despite our differences of opinion, it’s vital to recognize the value in every person’s journey. I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to express yourself here. You are just one of the billions of people on this earth, but you are infinitely worthwhile and loved.

  29. I think you’re missing one part about Mormon Women that members don’t think about because of the language we use. Most people not of our faith associate “Priesthood” with the responsibility to preach, pray, and teach in front of their congregation. They don’t realize that Mormon women do it (arguably) as much as the men in our congregational meetings. Therefore they share in those Priesthood Responsibilities.

  30. I think that most of the people that leave the church try to tell friends and members the truth that they have learned because they love them and don’t want them to be deceived .They don’t want to heart them,But that is what happens . Know one wants something that they have believed their hole life to be falls . Most wont even give it an intelligent look to see what it is all about.

  31. The most concerning part of this was the piece on moral relativism.

    Can I ask if murder is ok?

    Think carefully before answering – i mean the author insists LDS morality is objective, fixed, anchored. Therefore the answer is either a Yes or a No. What it can’t be is ‘it depends’ because ‘it depends’ is morally relative and according to this.

    So if murder is immoral then explain Laban. If murder is moral then hey, i’m staying out of Utah.

    With regard to brainwashing. Children are taught to read and write and learn how to use numerals. These three elements are common across cultures (almost) the world over. However, at no point does the secular and indecent study of RRR translate into brainwashing or behavioural conditioning. By comparison, telling your child from a young age that if they don’t pray to God they might not get into heaven and therefore live separate from mom and dad is concerning. As might be many aspects of mormonism. By the time they are teens, sending them on missions and depriving them of sleep, any literature with an unbiased view point, and pressuring them to follow a strict code with the use of guilt trips and coerced confessions does indeed sound like social conditioning.

    When children learn from childhood that all of the adults believe in something specific, then it is highly likely the children will adopt the same beliefs. This isn’t just the case in Mormonism, it also perfectly accounts for why children in Arabic nations tend to be Muslim. So tell me again about how you don’t condition children viewpoints?

    And if you are still so sure that your viewpoint is independent and attained rationally, then please take the time to read the cesletter.com or visit mormonthink.com to test that reality.

    Finally, and yes i’m addressing these in reverse order, gender bias. Nature gives us what we have and are, but it is mankind that takes those outward differences and places limitations on our rights, duties, and options. For many decades mormonism placed limitations on the roles of black people on the grounds of their skin colour and the mormon reality that skin colour directly equated to immoral choices in the pre-existence or a mark of Cain. Apparently generations of mormons teaching this have been undone, disavowed. But the discrimination arguments remain in place in the exact same manner but are now applied to women. Woman are different – therefore they don’t have access to the same roles and responsibilities. I’m sure many women would be happy for a man to give birth if science achieves that option, so please, don’t waste time with moot arguments about how genders are made different, it is racism rebundled – i mean whether gender or skin colour its discrimination.

    All one needs to do is read LDS conference talks from the 1950s and it is very apparent what the church sees the female role as being. In fact, in watching talk after talk after talk, we see no moral leadership here, nothing that indicates the church leading the way in human rights. Instead we see resistance at each instance, with oddly the final acceptance and trumping the acceptance as if it had always been the ads view.

    I know you are trying to normalise mormonism, but it currently faces much bigger issues.

    Let me ask you, the official position of the LDS church on the marriage of Joseph Smith to Helen Mar Kimball (who was only 14 at the time of the marriage) is that it was the will of God. Therefore, LDS God thinks it is ok for older married men to marry minors.

    I mean, that IS the church’s official position on the event. God initiated it and willed it. Therefore LDS God is totally ok with old mormon males marrying what are effectively kids. And, please, don’t try to argue about customs of the times, as we’re not talking about customs, or whether Joseph Smith was a man of his times, we’re talking about what an eternal being who exists outside of time and is unchanging thinks – either it is his will or it isn’t.

    Then tell me about why LDS kids can’t date until they’re 16 again and remind me of that bit on moral relativism.

    You begin to see my point?

    Today, the official view of the LDS church is that what Joseph Smith did in marrying HMK at age 14 is the will of God. Therefore when you look at Warren Jeff’s and the FLDS church and think of all the nasty vile stuff that guy gets up to, just remember, what Jeff’s is doing IS illegal – but it is not (according to LDS God) immoral.

    And if you want to tell me that it is moral if God says so, then all that tells me is moral relativism 🙂

    Thanks for reading.

  32. Great article! Well written. I agree with all of it except for the cookie part… That brought a chuckle!

  33. Hmm, the folks making negative comments really do sound like Laman and Lemuel. With honest interest and investigation in the gospel, not just of the LDS church, with a desire to lead a serving life to others, many would find life much more rewarding. Thanks for your story Willow, to testify of Christ and His goodness. Press forward.

  34. First thing I want to say to you Sister Pearson is never listen to those people. Growing up I always blamed the church whenever someone would talk badly about me at church. But what I came to realize is that the gospel is perfect, the people are not. Ignore those people. Recently I had to come home from my mission early because I got so sick and the doctors could not figure out what was wrong. I was nervous about coming home because I didn’t want people to judge my parents. I could careless about what people thought of me. But then someone in my district said this, “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Remember that sister Pearson. There are plenty of guys who could care less if you came home early from your mission. And if you meet a guy who judges you for it, well then move on, because that isn’t a good person to marry. Don’t give up just yet on the church. Not all mormons are cocky jerks. Just because a few are doesn’t mean they all are.

  35. What a great article! I agree 100%. And I have been thinking on my own for many,many years.

  36. My 2 cents… my mission president at Salt Lake Temple Square was a jerk and the men at Salt Lake Mission Square were closed minded jerks too. After 11 weeks on a mission I consided commiting suicide! Luckily I left before doing so. I would never recommend anyone send their daughter on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints!!! Nor will I ever volunteer to be a member again! Some of the church leaders are the biggest cocky jerks of the face of the planet earth! Before leaving, one even had the ….. to tell me if you leave the mission early you will never marry an LDS man in the temple. I told him upon leaving, that was fine, I would be just as happy to live alone in a small modest cottage home surrounded by loving pets and people who loved me and treated me with love and kindness. He was not expecting that answer. And was a little flustered that my one goal in life was NOT I HAVE TO GET MARRIED IN THE TEMPLE! But, instead it was deep down inside to live a good life and love God and my fellow men and women, and that did not require me to marry in the temple. There are greater callings for some, and some do not involve getting married in the temple or having more spirit babies. And it is a good thing that my dream and vision is life was not that as I was not able to have children so Gods vision and mine were one in the same. And my lifes mission is still the same… live a good life and love one another. Very simple, and the greatest gift is LOVE.

  37. Loved loved this article. Nice to see something positive and funny about the LDS Church. Because we really are funny people. Love it. I have never understood how come people that leave the church can’t leave the church. They must constantly be leaving nasty, vile comments or interjecting their nastyness. They say they leave the church, but can’t leave it alone.

    Thanks for this refreshing article. Loved it. I never make chocolate cookies because you can buy the dough and it is cut and bake! Much easier! THANKS!! God Bless. I think you are a class act.

  38. Wonderful read! I know many people have adverse views about this faith that we share, but as for me, I think I’ve become a better person because of it.

  39. I was a young boy in the church with my mother and sister.My dad didn’t like it much ,But let us go to the Mormon church .I took my Fathers way and didn’t try to be active in it.I would go with Mom and sis,and liked the things we learned and did.All the members were great and I liked all of them.I have been in Mormon churches all over the world and the U.S.A.. I have the same feelings for all the members. They are a great loving and intelligent people.Largely because of the church’s teachings and programs.
    I taught all the lessons ,read church history ,went to the Temples ,defended the church to anti Mormons and others.Now at 75+ I find in the Joseph Smith papers and other church publications and U-tube that the church uses as well, that the foundation of the church is not told in an honest and forthright way.Most people don’t have the time or inclination to read church history (7 volumes )1950 copy ,and other church books like first Book of Mormon copy or D.&C. first copy.These books were first hand and from Christ to Joseph Smith ,and He could not go on till what He had written was correct in the book of Mormon.Many things have been changed by adding to or taking away from what was given .That is not taking in to account the punctuation and spelling and grammar changes.
    The book of Abraham has been proven not to be a correct translation .and was not written by Abraham or about Him.The church puts pictures of Joseph Smith reading from Gold plates for the book of Mormon,then last year showed the rock that He put in a hat and put his face in the hat to give the book of Mormon translation.But the church never show that in a picture . Plus if the book of Mormon plats were 7″x 6″ X 8″ of Gold plates they would be 200 Lb Things don’t add up.I can list 50 more thing.But look for the truth.

  40. I was raised Lutheran for about 33 years. I was in an abusive marriage. I kept asking God “why are you doing this to me” not realizing God had a plan. Then one day I snapped and just left. He got charged with domestic violence and child abuse 4 anyways I left Michigan and moved my butt right here to Chicago. My daughter was and still is back home safe sound happy and healthy.
    Anyways another battle was me going to rehab I was falling down drunk. So I went . After a few days in o saw a phamflet about it and I just read through it. And really thought nothing more of it
    I did take it with me back home. I thought nothing of it for 2 years
    Finally one day around October of 2015 I was reading an article on the LDS church I read like for a few hours. It felt so right to me. So the Mormon.org had missionary’s on line. So I emailed him. Like 24/7 I had ALOT of questions to ask . So after 5 days I asked him where there was a church to me. He told me and that Sunday I went. I was totally scared and nervous right away . But I found the elder and his companion and right away
    I also met the elder sisters they made me even more comfortable. From that day I knew I belong here. That day I was also given King James Version of the bible and The Book of Mormon. I’m still trying to read through that . Old English is kinda hard for me. And on Dec 6 I was baptized.

    So this is my testimony and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ . Amen

    Hope this is not to much of a read

  41. So what do you all think of me? I’m a lesbian, tattooed Mormon standing at 4’9″ tall, an army veteran who’s seen more of the world then one cares to, from NYC originally, born with a Cleft Lip and Palate Birth Defect and I have a brain.

    I’ve tried other religions, I’ve been bullied, I’ve had hate thruster upon me and the one thing the church has taught me even when I’ve given up on myself because of my sexuality is LOVE.

    No matter what I’ve done in my life the hurt, the trials and tribulations, the bible thumping of other religions thrown at me and told I was going to hell for everything I am I have love. Love from my friends, family, my home Ward, wards I visit because the church is about love and family.

    So I’m going to get a little non Mormon on you for a second. Take a step back and look with your judgement f***ing eyes and see the world as is.

    We are taught to be Christ like but, hating on another religion or race of people is not being Christ like. Want to find me and fight with me on this some more. I will gladly give you my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, email and phone number information.

    1. I truly admire you for being who you are and recognize the difference between love and religion. It’s admirable!

      I hope your children (or future children) will be able to learn that same thing from the church. Will they be able to? Or would /will they be banned from the gospel and salvation? Would you be able to give them the chance to be “brainwashed” as this article outlined?

      When the Savior was walking the earth, he did not forbid anyone to come to Him

      I was a true blue believer until that policy was made in November last year. Since then I took a step back to evaluate all things…

      There is no doubt that the church is teaching about love and the Savior. But is that true that the words of God is sold with a price?

      If you do not know, tithing had been changed from paying from interest earned from owning real estate property in Joseph Smith’s time to 10% of ALL income. There are actual studies and prove of that.

      By common consent is a website of articles from scholars in the church. This article below was written from a law professor, who spent much time to study the matter.

      https://bycommonconsent.com/2016/02/02/tithing-interest-and-dc-119/

  42. Another one you missed: Mormons are brainwashed to obey their leaders utterly. In a nutshell: God gives you agency so you can chose to obey your priesthood leaders blindly, specially your prophets and apostles. They are next to God practically, What they say is literally the words of God and nothing else.

    And also, yes, Mormons do knock on doors to increase membership to increase tithing money, which is the bottom line of a corporation profit. There is the “corporation of the first presidency”. How much tithing money the church gets every year? Billions of dollars, where does it come from? Tithing. If they argue it’s not tithing, it’s from investment. Where do you get money to invest? Tithing! Who does these money enrich? For sure not the poor little single mother who struggles to feed her kids and be told to pay tithing first! Yet Mormon leadership will argue that the Lord will bless this poor little single mother just like the Widow’s mite. Of course he does. But the blessings from God does not erase the fact that this “corporation of the first presidency” profits from and enjoy the fruit of labors from the brainwashed believers.

    “Follow the prophet and don’t go astray” is the theme little children are brained washed everyday. There are numerous times in church meetings and lessons, Jesus Christ is not once mentioned. Lessons are no longer from the scriptures but mostly revolved around “the priesthood”(which is the male leadership), keep the commandments (Mormon’s rules that can easily summed up to: no smoking, drinking, no sex before marriage, pay tithing, obey and sustain church leadership, do your calling, which is free labor to church).

    Now we have a more complete picture!

    1. Part of the money that is donated to the church is to help those in need. Growing up in the church I thought the same thing as you Mindy. But as I got older, and saw those who were being helped by the church, I realized how amazing this church is. I have seen people who would have been homeless if it weren’t for the church. Even people who are no longer active in the church. I saw a woman who was pregnant, had 3 other children, hadn’t been active in the church for more than 10 years, her and her husband were unemployed, and they were helped out by the church. The church helped them with food, helped them receive housing, and helped her husband get a job. On top of that, members from the ward, including my mom, went over there daily to help the family. This is just one instance of this happening.

      Only a few of the men in the first presidency receive money because they, and their families, need help. Some of the men in the first presidency got called in those positions at very young ages. Long before retirement ages so they were never able to get enough money. Many men gave up jobs that would have earned them much more then what the church pays them. Then these men never retire from their calling. There have been leaders of the church in the past who have actually said that sometimes it would be nice to just relax but they know that they have been called of God to do something important.

      I too thought it was always brain washy for the church to always say, “Follow the prophet and don’t go astray.” But as I started to listen more and more to the prophet, and his teachings, I realized how important it is to listen to him. He doesn’t tell you outlandish things. He gives you tips on how to have happier lives. Things that will help your family grow. Things to avoid and things to do.

      It took me 20 years to finally realize how incredible the church is. I grew up as a cynical kid. I constantly attacked my parents with anti mormon stuff. I ridiculed them for being apart of the mormon church. But they never stopped loving me. They never disowned me. They even respected my beliefs. But as I continued to study the mormon church, the Book of Mormon, and Mormon history, I came to realize the truth of it all. I came to know the truth on my own. I wasn’t brain washed or tricked into it. Do I still have questions, of course. But I will continue to search for the answers.

      I am not trying to attack you at all Mindy. I just wanted to give you my side of the story. I am an awful writer by the way so I hope you can understand what I am saying haha. Whether the church is true or not it still brings a lot of people happiness and that is not a bad thing at all.

      1. The money that helps the needy is fast offering. Tithing is NOT used for that purpose. Tithing has been used for mainly building maintenance supplies and little for activities. Each stake/ ward is received money according to how much their member contribution, not everyone knows this, and not even every bishop knows this if they are not bishops in poor inner city wards full of immigrants. But, if a ward is not generating the tithing they are expected, their budgets get cut, their buildings get neglected, the snow on the sidewalk will not be plowed by Facility management (the FM).

        Have you heard of the City Creek Center Mega Mall that cost about $2B owned by the church? Did you see the photo of our beloved prophet to cheer on to Utah citizens, which are more likely church member, to go shopping? Stores like Tiffany’s? How do you make good sense of the two conflicting messages. One is telling members that they should pay tithing even they can’t pay their bills because it’s God’s money, but the other one is to lure them into extravagant spending of worldly treasures?

        Their words are beautiful and full of truth. Faithful members are definitely blessed by listening to them. But watch their actions…

        What did Jesus say about the pharisees in his time? Didn’t they also claim the ownership Deity?

        Matthew 23: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.—
        i
        The church does bring happiness and changes life. But that’s what the Gospel of Christ does. The church, or more specifically, the “prophet and apostles” do not own Christ and His Gospel as they claim. People are not denied of salvation because they don’t belong to this church. Christ did not and still does not deny people to come to him. But this church has since it made the announcement of the policy regarding Homosexual families’s children.

        Anyone that dedicate their lives to package Christ’s words will teach good things, God’s things. But the question is “Are God’s words intended for sale?”. And what are their real intention?

        I do not write well either, English is my second language, and you will find my grammar errors or my strange way of saying things, but I can’t see and correct them to save my life LOL.

        I joined the church 23 years ago in the face of opposition and disowning from my parents. It did change my life for better. My spouse and I have served in a few “highest”, so to speak, positions locally. I am not a stranger to this faith. My spouse and I have brushed shoulders against higher leaders ship one too many times that I came to realized things are not really as they claim…

        The book of Mormon is true, but that free copy is not really free, my friend! and it is intended to be given to the whole world, not exclusively through a religion.

        I guess my take is – this church, if one “has” to compare religion, is the best out there. BUT, it also the most costly one. If one needs religion, then by all means embrace this. But seeking for true spirituality without paying high dollars for, you might be able to find it with God yourself.

        After all, is religious the same as spiritual? Does Jesus Christ deny a person because he or she doesn’t accept the LDS church? I guess one of the most disturbing things to me is that that message is constantly pounded on people, that this church owns Christ’s salvation.

        1. Wow! This is a truly excellent response. Thank you for your heartfelt and insightful comments. I think it is vital that we, as members of the LDS church, begin to open and expand the dialogue about what the “Church” of Christ really is. I think it is a term that defines all those that live and love the gospel of Jesus Christ, complete with the saving doctrines and ordinances. No, Mormons aren’t the only ones who go to heaven. But, we have the fullness of the gospel as it exists on the earth right now. It doesn’t mean other churches aren’t fantastic in their ways, but it does mean we have a responsibility to try to illuminate our pocket of the world if we can.

          Yes, money is a thing that people worry about. And, the fact is, I don’t have any quick and easy answers for that. What I do know is that the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is pure and undefiled. Men still run earthly organizations. People still make mistakes. We are all just doing our best and God knows our weaknesses. Just as he allows good people to die for no apparent reason, he sometimes allows people in charge to have the agency to mess up. The question is, can we see beyond the failure to the pure heart of the gospel message? Are we strong enough to see beyond what is easy to refute to the core truths that are available to us?

          Suddenly, if we can do that, all the other junk becomes less important. Everyone has an opinion – whether for good or ill. And, there are lots of reasons why a person wouldn’t want to be a member of this church, if that’s all that you see it is.

          But, if you see beyond the rickety human presentation of these eternal truths, there is real power in all of it. Saving power. The power of real happiness and peace. And it’s not given lightly nor is it easy.

        2. Yeah I know the money for those in need comes from Fast offerings. I see where you are getting at with tithing. I used to always give my parents crap for giving 10% of their income to the church. I think it was because I always figured why not give it to your kids instead. I was being a little greedy at the time lol. But not only is tithing used for the things that you mentioned, but it is also to show members the principle of sacrifice. When I was younger I always wondered why even kids had to pay 10%. And yeah it may come off as brainwashy to some, but to me, and what the church is trying to teach, is the law of sacrifice. Sometimes you have to be willing to give up things for something much bigger.

          Interesting little side note. My aunt is no longer active but she pays tithing every year. I always thought that was interesting. I know for me, if I ever went inactive (which I know I never will), the first thing I would do is stop paying tithing.

          To address the mall issue I am going to pull from an article written on fairmormon.org.

          “The City Creek Center cost is approximately $1.5 billion, not $5 billion. (The $5 billion figure is popularly used on ex-Mormon message boards)
          No tithing funds are invested in the City Creek project. However, those funds that are invested may well pay dividends in the future, as well as providing many benefits to the community and those who live in it.
          The motivation for the Church’s involvement in the City Creek Center project is described in an extensive interview with Presiding Bishop H. David Burton: “Mormon leaders and Salt Lake City work together to transform land,” Deseret News (7 March 2010).”

          The reason the church did this is because salt lake city Utah is basically the meca of mormonism. People from all over the world visit Salt Lake so the church is going to want the place to look nice. I am sure you know this already but the mall was apart of the much bigger downtown renovation.

          By the way your writing and grammar is much better than mine and english is my primary language haha.

  43. Really enjoyed that. Back in the 70s I went to SLC and visited Temple Square. While there, the tour guide told us to touch the metal railing going from one floor to the next, we each got a little shock from the static electricity, then he joked with us and said that we could tell our friends that we had a shocking experience with the Mormons.

  44. Willow! This is an awesome article! We miss you here in Vegas. As for me, a convert to the church, a professional who IS the main breadwinner in my family, I tell you this. God is good. He loves us all and nothing we can do will make Him love us less. My membership in the church has brought me great joy. For those of you who feel differently ….. Isn’t life grand? We can all find joy, but we may not find it in the same way at the same time. Existence is a journey. So travel well and be kind.

    1. Thank you, Karen! I miss you guys, too. Your testimony has always been awesome to me. 🙂

  45. You can NEVER offend God to that degree. Just as your family loves you, his love is so much greater. You have learned some valuable lessons in your time away. You will be better prepared now to help others. Get back where you belong. I recommend a great book, “Believing Christ”. We believe in him but don’t believe him. We don’t believe he has the power to do as he has promised.

  46. the truly shocking secrets are in it’s history but you have to take off the bag on your head in order to see them. No matter how you spin the doctrine, the fact that *agency* was God’s choice during the war in heaven and is impossible to achieve when there is instigated a law of obedience. You happily accept the women’s role . . . but you have no other option. And you’ve been indoctrinated to believe that your personal self as a choice leads to misery.

    We all get to choose and pay the price for our choices. I choose Freedom.

    1. I had to chuckle at your comment, “you happily accept the women’s role…but you have no other option”

      OF COURSE there is another option! Anyone who is unhappy or feels stifled is welcome to choose another option. You make it sound like LDS women are chained to the pews in the chapel.

      The freedom that you choose may work for you, but only a fool would believe that no one could possibly be happy unless they were doing things the way that YOU feel is best.

  47. I appreciate this well written article. I wish I could express myself so well, especially when challenged. Love the Mormons baking cookies picture at the end. Funny.

  48. I think the main point has been missed. I feel that as LDS, we should be setting the right example. Here is an old quote worth remembering: “Live in such a way that those who know you, but don’t know God, will want to know God because they know you.”

  49. I really enjoyed your article..it was very enlightening. My spirit was lifted after I read it. Sorry for those people who took offense to it or took it personal. I know you weren’t being holier-than-thou at all. Unfortunately there are some people who will always find negativity in things no matter what.. and for the people who were molested I’m so sorry that you had to go through that… but just because a missionary happen to be your abuser doesn’t mean that the church is wrong…it’s the missionary that hurt you who is the creep …they have bad people in every religion…people aren’t perfect but Jesus christ church is..not the people…..

  50. Willow, loved your blog, how true your statement makes. Douglas, my sister fell away too. But she to remembers what was taught to her. One day I told her that, if I do make it to the celestial kingdom , that none of us could truly be happy with out her. She soon started back to church and everyone welcomed her back with open arms. Never feel that you can never come back.

  51. In a world full of negativity, I find solace in my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven. I try to be the best person and example for good that I can be. I try to love everyone the same and not to judge others for their own choices. While I have never expected anyone else to believe what I do, I have found a peace and happiness in those beliefs. I don’t take anything at face value. I pray and study to know everything for myself.
    I respect others and their belief as well. I understand and have had the privilege of attending and learning of many churches and religions besides my own, with good friends, but have never put them down for that belief. I happen to feel most at ease and peaceful in my own church, which is what most people do. I love my friends for who they are and not for what they believe, that I don’t, and I know that they love me for the same reasons.
    Am I perfect? Not even remotely so, but I try, every day, to be better than the day before. At times I fail miserably, but I continue on, because I know it’s right and I feel content in doing so. Lets all live together in harmony, despite differing beliefs and help fill each others lives with joy.
    We can agree to disagree and still love each other.

  52. Even more shocking, Egyptian is a well-understood language, and guess what? The “translations” that Joseph Smith provided for the facsimiles in the “Book of Abraham” are absolutely incorrect.

    The facsimiles themselves have absolutely nothing to do with Abraham, and in several instances, Joseph Smith failed to even properly identify the correct gender of figures in the facsimiles with his “inspiration”. Egyptologists unanimously accept that the Book of Abraham is a bogus translation.

    If you don’t believe me, research this topic for yourself. If you’re afraid to research it because you’re afraid it will be “anti-mormon”, perhaps you should consider whether God would want you to feel afraid of knowing the truth of a matter.

    Feel free to start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Abraham

    The truth can be difficult to accept, but the truth will set you free.

  53. Speaking of apples to oranges…teaching children how to read, write, and do math is nothing like teaching them the Mormon epistemological framework. The former allows you to function in the real world and obtain consistent, reliable results. The latter will lead you to believe some historical event really happened, or some abstract concept is “true,” all based on emotions interpreted as “the spirit.” What could possibly go wrong…

    1. One is expanding the children capacity to gain knowledge, the other is to confine and bind them to the faith of men. The church is steadily steering away their focus on the Savior and more to worshiping the prophets. Church members are labeled as “apostate” (which basically is treated as anti-Christ) if they have questions. That is NOT expanding the mind, it’s spiritual bondage.

  54. I served a honourable full time mission for the church and still have been inactive for close to a decade now. I have no real issue with the church and have a awesome family who are all active in the church. I for reasons of my own selfishness have strayed away and find it now, nearly impossible to return! Not that i don’t desire to but feel i have offended God to a degree that i feel is unacceptable. Often times we judge ourselves the harshest! Your article it very well written and has caused emotions that i have suppressed for years. I can remember being taught as a child by parents kind and dear and how i taught others to follow Him. I feel like a hypocrite sitting here now typing this comment but i feel it is a thing i need to do! Again thank you for your article you truly have no idea what it has meant to this lost sheep.

  55. Hummm you state “Mormon Women Are Not Treated the Same As Men”

    You are saying that, you are kind of saying it is wrong that Mormons do not abide by the “Separate but equal” doctrine that was used to repress Blacks in the South, that had to have separate places to eat, sleep and drink, but they were technically still treated as if equal with whites.

    Then you contradict that, with a photo that is enforcing gender stereo types, and “brain washing” children to stay within their God given roles.

    As a single Mormon Father, I did ALL the motherly roles, cleaning, wash, cooking, etc, and I can cook better than 95% of anything my X used to make.

    Admit you were wrong, change the picture, and make a note of how the picture was a contradiction of what you were trying to say.

  56. I love this article, Willow! I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your words. 🙂

  57. Weird reading all this from the title to the comments.

    1. If anyone thinks those are “shocking secrets” they have a lot to learn about the secret rituals and meetings and abuses of the Mormon church.

    2. I read the comment that children are not sexual beings and it made me laugh!!! Humans are sexual beings from birth, and children masturbate because it feels good and their bodies belong to them. Unfortunately they are shamed out of it and as a result so many develop unhealthy views and feelings about what is a normal and natural human function. I just teach them that it is private and personal and to be done in their rooms.

    3. I am a female in a relationship with a female. What “roles” are we supposed to play exactly? Well none of course. We are equal and happy and fun loving and have freedom from any outside controls. We are good people because we choose to be, not because we fear eternal damnation. And yes, we are both Mormon.

    4. We are disappointed yet relieved to know that the church was started by a false prophet. Disappointed because we were so controlled and lied to, but relieved because everything that we questioned suddenly makes perfect sense. Not in the way of church officials answering the questions, but in having knowledge and truly understanding why they could not.

    The freedom is sweet. The discoveries are amazing. The joy and happiness is unbridled. The love is deep. Finally.

    So if horror stories are your forte, don’t overlook the material right in front of you. It’s a gold mine.

    Peace.

  58. I was raised Mormon. My parents whispered in my ear their testimony once a month at fast and testimony meetings at age 5 to repeat out loud. At 12 I was a Deacon, which is completely contrary to God’s word, as far as age and marital status are concerned. At age 14, I was a teacher, which the Bible cautions that not many be, and only for a proven adult Man, husband to 1 wife. At 16 I was a Priest, completely controlled by the Elders in the church. I blessed the sacrament and was fast tracked to be ready to go on a mission. The problem was, I was molested by a 20 year old Missionary from Nevada, along with my older brother and 2 dear friends. We were all under 10 years old at the time, and when the Bishop and leaders heard about it, they did nothing but ask us to protect the reputation of the church. I requested excommunication at 17 years old, and am now a happy born again Christian. I encounter these poor little ignorant Missionaries from time to time, and point them to the true gospel of Christ. Not this sex cult, works based cult full of hundreds of false prophesies foretold from all of the false prophets for 150 years. God help all you poor deceived creatures that blindly continue to excuse all of the lies told you your while lives.

    1. Vince, I am so sorry to hear of your abuse. It is so common and so covered up. I too was sexually abused by a missionary starting at the age of 9 when he was still on his mission in England, and a continuation of that abuse after he returned home to Canada and helped my mother immigrate to his town. He was married by then of course and had one new baby and his wife pregnant with the next. He continued to sexually abuse me and my sister for two more years until we moved to another town.

      Long story, but at age 24 I confronted him and he was charged. The horrors of how the church handled it were shameful and criminal. Well, for sure I was a temptress as a 9 year old right? When he was holding me upside down by the feet in my Sunday dress I suppose the flowered panties I had on were too much for him to be able to control his thoughts and actions.

      Freedom from religion is very empowering for me and I feel like my vision is so clear, my thoughts are not clouded, and I feel so light. I hope you find the same in you own new view of Christianity. All the best to you.

  59. you dont have to be a mormon to live a christ centered life. You can still read scriptures, pray with your children, attend church, and live a life full of love and service.

  60. Unfortunately, the entire religion is built on a foundation of lies. For example, Joseph Smith actually translating with his face in a hat rather than reading golden plates. More info (using Mormon church sources): http://www.cesletter.com

    1. The church has actually started to acknowledge the old reports of stuff that Joseph Smith did (Hat Translation, multiple first vision accounts) or stuff relating to the historicity of certain doctrines and books. (Contents of the papyrus scrolls of the book of abraham may actually not hold any text related to the book of abraham)

      But the idea that the church is a lie because Joseph Smith looked in a hat is just silly. As if magically translating from golden plates that noone else ever saw in physical form is any ‘ better’ than translating with a magical rock in a hat that people DID see. They both sound equally silly so either you’d be willing to accept either explanation, or you reject both.

      1. There is a lot of information available to those who want to find it. There have always been people who don’t believe certain doctrines of the LDS church, who have been willing to fabricate and bend truths to put the founders in the poorest possible light. Still others attempt to “whitewash” the LDS church history – to gloss over issues that might be misunderstood by those outside of the church culture, or minimize what some might see as mistakes that were made by church leadership.

        The truth is, neither of these factions is working from a perspective of faith. Regardless of what may or may not have happened in the formation of the Mormon church, does the LDS doctrine bring people closer to Jesus Christ? Does it teach its members to love others as Jesus would? Does it provide a pathway that brings joy into even one person’s life? Does it bring positive works, attitudes, and ideals into the universe? Does your heart tell you it is a good place for you to grow?

        If that is the case, no matter what anyone says or thinks or explains, there is goodness and God there.

  61. Thank you! Well written, relevant and true. And i love your gentle response to nay-sayers. That’s real class. Happy to share this one.

  62. Great writing! Is it ok if i re post your writings to my blog? I wnat to share your thoughts for my korean friends! (I will translate it before I post!)

    1. I would love to have you share my ideas and thoughts with others. What would be better than reposting the original article word for word would be to paraphrase and share your own experiences. It will allow for us both to share our insights and have two unique posts rather than the same one.

      Thanks for asking!

  63. Here’s another shocking secret that even most Mormons don’t know about Mormons: Joseph Smith married no fewer than 34 women, some as young as 14, and at least 11 who were married to living men (http://wivesofjosephsmith.org). The doctrine of polygamy is still in the Mormon canon, too! (D&C 132) Good luck with that in “heaven”, if you can call it that when you’re living as a polygamist.

    1. Yeah, that is a much better example of one of Mormonism’s “shocking” secrets. It’s no surprise that they indoctrinate children, discriminate against women, and have an unworkable, unreliable system of determining what is right and wrong. Those features are common to many religions, not just Mormonism.

    2. Maybe if folks would do some research as to why polygamy was practiced. This was done to help widows and their children as women were not allowed to own land during this time. Yes there were probably some bad apples who thought to use it for personal gain but the point was to help others who would have been helpless during this time. They stopped practicing it due to it no longer being needed. Again no doubt there were those abusing the system but name anything that isn’t being abused and someone can find a way to abuse it.

  64. Everything in this blog is yours…except for the picture you stole from someone else’s website and didn’t even so much as provide an attribute for. It’s cute, too, that it’s the chosen thumbnail for posts on Facebook because it makes you think you’re Al Fox.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. The original post linked to her blog, and I clarified in the comments, but I’ll make much more clear. Sorry about that!

  65. While I enjoyed your article, I just wanted to point out one thing. When you write the Church’s name, it’s Latter-day, not Latter-Day, as in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also, I’m trying to be a meanie, I just thought you might like to know :). http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/style-guide

  66. Unfortunately we Mormons are moral relativists. Racism is wrong except when the prophet institutionalizes it – then it can be rationalized away. Treating gay people with a different standard in housing or at work is wrong, but treating them by a different standard at church isn’t. Same with our treatment of women. And the world’s largest religious organization of women ISN’T run by women. Ultimately, it is headed by an all male priesthood. This is an extreme moral relativism. Things are wrong in one context but right in another. Think about that for a moment.

  67. “Unfortunately, these individuals are operating under a false assumption or two.

    A) Fair is the same as equal.”

    Just think it’s important to point out that segregation in the American South also operated under the idea that different types of people could be separate but equal. Not saying it’s entirely comparable, but this lesson of history has led some to believe that separate roles can never be equal.

    1. I appreciate that sentiment, but I still think we’re talking about apples and oranges. The caste system, as well as many other forms of racism, have operated under the assumption that skin color alone makes a person more or less capable. This is clearly not true. Similarly, gender does not make a person more or less capable.

      Unlike race, which is a social construct, gender literally does make women and men different. I’m not just talking about the singular power of the vagina to form a human baby. There are huge physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental differences between women and men that are inherent.

      In a recent study released in Biology of Sex Differences by BioMed, men and women literally have different ways of seeing color. While men’s brains are better at tracking quick-moving objects, women are better differentiating gradations of color. In another study released by the University of Pennsylvania Perelmen School of Medicine, it was found that men’s brains are neurologically designed to connect perception with action (more neurological engagement within a single hemsiphere), while women’s brains are designed to connect between the analytical and intuitive (more neurological engagement across hemispheres). There are myriad studies highlighting the natural differences of men and women cognitively, emotionally, and physically. It is pretty logical to assume that these differences extend into the spiritual sphere.

      Does this make one sex better than the other? No. Does it mean they don’t both deserve to be treated with respect? No. It simply illustrates a concept that I’ve tried to share, and I will use a quote from the University of Pennsylvania study: “It’s quite striking how complementary the brains of women and men really are,” said Dr. Ruben Gur.

      We are designed to compliment one another, not be one another. That is the physical truth, and it is also the spiritual truth.

      1. Yes, there are biological differences between the sexes. However, science also shows us that the variability within sex is greater than the variability between sexes, so I really wish people would stop insisting on drawing vast, sweeping gender roles and duties “because gender”. Furthermore, so much of it is socially constructed and just coincidentally happens to align with some of the most sexist ideas mankind has conceived since the dark ages.

        We’re losing out on what women could contribute, and while women’s roles are gradually shifting in our church, there’s still a long ways we need to go.

        1. It’s not “because gender”.

          It’s “because we believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

          God has not revealed to the prophet that women should hold the priesthood. If you sustain the general authorities as prophets, apostles, seers and revelators, then there should be no issue. Have faith. If and when God wants women to operate in the priesthood, they will.

          1. How many times is God going to change his mind on serious issues before you realize it’s not actually God that holds these views or makes these decisions? When the Church starts to get serious push to treat their Sisters differently, so much so that not doing so would make them look bad and damage membership, “God” will have suddenly “made a change in plans”. Prophets are still only men, and they’re going on delusions of grandeur, not word of God.

    2. I think it’s good to point out that segregation was practiced throughout the whole US and not only the South. You need to read up on some American history if you don’t understand that.

  68. Perfect. You have captured the essence of being Mormon while keeping your sense of humour and your perspective! Sharing . . .

  69. I liked the humor too in this post, but at the risk of being too serious, I am going to disrespectfully disagree with a small part. I have found within the LDS church, that most people misunderstand what people are seeking when they “seek equality for women”. I also find the phrase “the world” alienating and a generalization. It often sets the scene for “us vs them” thinking and often gets in the way if mutual understanding. This “world” outside the church holds so many truths, that if we weren’t so busy calling it “them” we may understand some of it. Your discernment of people’s opinions is needed just as much in a church pew as in any particular setting out in the “world”. People who seek equality are often not seeking sameness or fairness, they are seeking opportunity. What I mean by that is the opportunity to influence those spheres dominated by men within the church because women ARE different from men and that influence is keenly needed to make that sphere complete. I hope the same opportunities could be opened to men within the “woman’s sphere” so that their experiences and influence could also be complete. I believe we are trying be like Christ in all his perfection, not just those qualities that are either “feminine” or “masculine” according to how our culture may define our gender. We are diverse individuals regardless of gender and that means we will flourish and progress in so many different ways that this progress may need to occur outside one particular sphere.

    1. As a woman who has participated in many leadership organizations in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I can say that in my experience, women have equal opportunity and equal voice in the affairs of the church (in both local and international concerns). Often times, we have more influence than the men’s organizations because women tend to be more observant and aware of social cues and will recognize a family or individual in need. In my ward council (a leadership meeting to discuss the local congregation’s needs), my bishop will often ask the Relief Society President (a woman) how she can help the men’s group – you can switch around those groups between adult, youth, and children. A congregation cannot function well if not all members feel valued and appreciated. Many significant and important doctrines have come because women asked questions. I personally feel that the women of the church are strong voices, who have great influence and are on equal footing with the men. I am constantly amazed by the love, reverence, respect, and awe in which leaders of the church speak of their wives. These are not men who think that women are subservient to men.

  70. Uh..yes we do believe in moral relativism. “That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill’; at another time He said, ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy.’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.” (Joseph Smith Jr.)

    1. I agree that revelation is vital to the process of personal decision-making. But, there is a difference between moral relativism and moral revelation. Unfortunately, I’m a huge nerd and may not be the right person to explain that. Fortunately, Elder Dallin H. Oaks explains it much better than I can. 😉

      1. Sorry, just because Oaks uses the words “moral relativism” doesn’t mean he explains anything any better than you could. The moral framework Smith set up, as quoted above, remains completely unfeasible. If that were how we went about defining morality, then what is “moral” would vary from person to person. Whatever you think god is telling you is right, that would be moral to you, and who can challenge you? On what grounds?

  71. You didn’t cherry pick those canned responses at all. Ask a Mormon child what happens if they masturbate or go to the store on Sunday. Even better, ask him or her what happens in the next life if they’re not righteous. It’s adorable to watch a 5 year old experience religious guilt or explain how they’ll be torn from their parents if they don’t do what they’re told. What a laudable way to condition your children. Free agency, though, right?

    1. Ask a child what will happen if they light themselves on fire. Sure, it will hurt, they say. But even a child would likely say that a person who chooses to hurt themselves will remark that there are ways to heal. If a wounded individual so desires, they can choose to go to the hospital. Certainly, a child would recognize that continuing to burn oneself would not be the most healthy course of action. Not all mistakes in a spiritual sense are as serious as is burning oneself in the physical sense, of course, but the metaphor still works. Paper cuts can be given band aids, whereas tumors require aid from qualified health care providers. A Mormon child can likewise say that the Savior is there to help those who make mistakes to get better.
      I don’t know where your antagonism comes from, but I do hope that even if you don’t agree with Mormons on everything, you can at least understand we are not out to judge you or anyone else. We are just here to help.

    2. Most children, Mormon or not, have no idea what the word “masturbate” even means. If you ask my kid you’ll get a different answer than if you ask someone else’s child. Hopefully they’ll say “why would I do that?” They are children, not sexual creatures. As they mature and learn about other things, hopefully they talk to their parents and their parents talk to them. I know that is what *I* do with my children, teens, and young adult children.

      They even let people like me into the church, people who teach their children no canned responses, people who cheer when their kids say “I don’t know if the church is true”, people who say “it’s your job to find out!” . The closest thing to a canned answer in this house is “no you can’t have mom’s cookies” because I don’t like sharing.

  72. Great writing! I like it 🙂 Who’s in the picture? You can just tell that she has that genuine happiness, it’s nice to see that these days! Women like her are far too rare. That’s the kind of person I would love to get to know!

  73. Great writing! I like it 🙂 Who’s in the picture? You can just tell that she has that genuine happiness, it’s nice to see that these days! Women like her are far too rare, even in the church 🙁

    1. Her name is Al Fox, and she is a convert to the LDS church. She has a wonderful blog where she shares her ideas about how image and perception relate to faithful living. Check it out!

  74. greetings from the philippines!
    thank you for the seriously humorous write up about the mormons….now, i will be humorously serious in my being a latter-day saint. keep on writing, willow.

    1. Hello, Philippines! It’s nice to talk with you. I’m so glad that you found my blog and I hope that we will become best friends forever! Or, that we will just high-five every time we see each other.

  75. What I find cool about this article and comparing it to the first one I read of yours (that went viral) is seeing how much your testimony has grown. You truly get it! {:^D

    You’re absolutely right. I didn’t spend 2 years knocking on doors to grow membership or to achieve some goal. My purpose was to share a message that I know brings peace, happiness, understanding, and perfectly eternal life.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad that you enjoyed your mission, too. It was always awesome having a chance to learn as well as teach.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond! I really appreciate every “thank you”. 🙂

  76. Thanks for this great insight! Your article was sent to me and I’m so glad. So refreshing to hear a member talk so candidly about being a “Mormon”! Now I have another source to share with my non-member friends about who I am. – BTW – I do make an awesome chocolate-dipped oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie!

    1. Thank you so much for reading it! I am so glad to be able to share how I feel about what I believe. Also, if you have some cookie recipes you’d like to share, I’m TOTALLY down with that…. 😉

  77. Amazing. Succinct. And true. Except that my mom always said my chocolate chip cookies looked like buffalo chips. Oh, well. I guess I can’t be a perfect 10.

    P.S. Horror stories, huh? I knew we were meant to be friends!

      1. 52 short scary stories, huh? Ohhh, I love a good scare. Like Howard and Lovecraft good scares, where you want to shove your chair back against a wall so nothing can be behind you scares, which is hard to do with a computer monitor. Thankfully much easier with a tablet.

        1. Well…it’s more like 16 short stories. I was trying to write one per week, then I got in trouble for “giving away” stories. Supposedly, writers actually charge people to read things. Weird. I’m still trying to figure this whole “making money” thing out…

          Anyway, thanks for checking it out! Tell me if anything scares you! 🙂

      2. Amazing post. My family joined the church back in ’93. We’ve had some great experiences since then. Oh and I’m a big fan of horror stories as well. Who knew that I would meet so many people with the same interests as myself within the church.

      1. I should specify to say this is directed to Katie in her comment about buffalo chips. That is funny!

  78. This is great Willow! Did you write this or just post this from somewhere else?

      1. Actually it’s 100% regurgitated from Mormon sound bites. If you ever start to think for yourself, you’ll leave the church.

        1. Actually Rebecca if you bothered to search the scriptures, ponder and pray, perhaps attend a Christian church and let go of the hateful heart you might realize that no matter what you think with your head, those of us who have felt heaven in our hearts don’t actually care what you think.

          1. Actually Elle, if you weren’t so busy judging others, you might find love can exist in your heart, even without all the real “secrets” of the Mormon church. The Mormon church is so full of false doctrine, I would consider it to be more corrupt than the original “church” that Christ Himself, had left among the original apostles. And I’m not even referring to the wacky, Kolob planet stuff, but rather, just the simple scriptural stuff. Keeping things hidden, or in “secret” does not make it more sacred. Bragging about how righteous one is, or the organization they belong to, is not Christ like.

        2. The truth is a narrow path. I am not LDS. But when troubled the answers are always the same. Turn to God, pray faithfully, and listen for the still small voice. My husband’s roles within our home and the family are pretty similar. I take care of the kids and home. ..He works and helps to guide our children, we both make all decisions, financially, and none. It’s all in how connected you are with the way God created the family to work. Each has their own role. Now there have been times were roles changed, I was the bread winner for awhile and my hubby was home. Those roles don’t define who we are. God does. Our identity lives in God.

          1. Awesome comments. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I appreciate that very much! 🙂

          1. She’s not mean. She is an unoriginal thinker. There herd mentality of the world and traditional theology is easier to follow than the small number of critical thinkers that can see past it and stay tuned into the finer things of life which include eternal family relationships.

        3. I grew up catholic, and I joined the Mormon church 22 years ago. I never heard of Mormons until I was in my 20s, I have been searching this church eagerly. The more I discover the more I find it is true.
          Even if all Mormons leave the church, I would carry it on alone.

          1. ur d man Rocco ?
            whatever they say against lds church wont affect my testimony.
            in my heart i know we have what we need for us to survive in this wild world that we r living in.

        4. I disagree. If you ever start thinking for yourself and stop relying on1st grade teachers regurgitated teachings, you’ll quit reading.

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