Many, many Mormons come to a point in their lives where there is a realization that something’s just not right. For each individual, the path that led you there is unique. I can’t speak for you, but I can tell you the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was the word changes in the Book of Mormon. Being raised as a 6th generation Mormon on dad’s side and a fourth on Mom’s, I was raised to believe that Mormonism was true, Joseph was the prophet of the restoration and that the Book of Mormon was a translation from the golden plates and was without error; if there were errors in scripture out there, they were in the Bible, not the Book of Mormon.
I had successfully rationalized away many apparent discrepancies in Mormonism; but when the accusation was raised that the Book of Mormon had been changed, and in fact, as recently as the 1980 printing, following the 1978 revelation on the blacks and the priesthood, I was adamant that such a statement was a bald faced lie. I got out my “quad,” printed prior to 1980 and compared it to my wife’s 3 in 1 printed in 1980, and “low and behold,” the Book of Mormon had been changed. Specifically, 2 Nephi 30:6 had been changed from (pre-1980) “white and delightsome,” to (post-1980) “pure and delightsome.” I was stunned when I saw that with my own eyes. Those “liars” weren’t lying. How was I supposed to deal with that? Not only, “How was I going to deal with that with respect to those bringing the question; but, how was I going to deal with that in my Mormon through and through mind?”
I can’t speak for you, but I started to devour those points of accusation, or questioning from outside the Church, with the intent to verify their accuracy. Point by point, the evidence was there: What I had been taught and told by everyone from my parents, my Sunday School teachers, my Priesthood teachers, my Home Teachers, my Seminary Teachers, my Mutual teachers, and all those who had given “talks” in church and conference, whether stake or general, had intentionally, or non-intentionally, lied to me.
The more I studied, the angrier I got. How could those who knew (Church leadership) deliberately withhold information and therefore deceive the masses? How could this great deception be pawned off on me and my family and my Church friends? How? How could these men who have access to the original documents sleep at night knowing they are willfully deceiving people. The feeling of betrayal was powerful and all encompassing. My initial reaction was: “If Mormonism isn’t true, then nothing can be true!” My indoctrination in Mormonism was thorough. Being raised to believe that the Mormon Church was the “only true church on the face of the whole earth,” then, if it wasn’t true, nothing can be.
I wanted nothing to do with any religion. Now being shown that the Mormon Church was not what I was brought up to believe, I had an absolute distrust of anything not Mormon. It took several years, but through independent study, my preconceived idea that the Bible couldn’t be trusted was proven not to be true. I’m a guy who has been trained (by the U.S. Navy) to be logical and to dig for the facts. That training led to me to see that the Bible was a reliable document and that Jesus was a real, historical figure and whose own statements was either liar or Lord. My study has shown him to be Lord.
If your struggling with Mormonism, I know how you feel. I know the myriad of feelings, thoughts, fears, and just absolute angst that you are going through. I was there. What I’d like to say to you is: “Hang in there; there is a place of reasoned peace ahead if you’ll just continue the journey and not throw in the towel. It is not easy, this journey; no, the journey is anything but easy. However, that unbearable struggle in your mind, can be brought to a place of balance if you’ll just stay the course. Once you’ve seen the evidence, no matter how high you build the walls of rationalization around that evidence, deep in the recesses of your mind, you know. It’s that knowing that hounds you – you can’t let it go. That’s the struggle: I know, I was there! If you keep studying, if you follow the admonition of the Bible: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21), you can find internal peace. I can also assure you that the external pressure from family and Mormon friends, won’t go away; however, the inner peace given by the Holy Spirit will outweigh the pressure from family and friends.
Struggling with Mormonism is a natural outgrowth of being presented the facts that the Mormonism presented by the Church isn’t supported by an honest study of the facts surrounding its origin and early teachings. You’re not alone; you’re not the first person to walk this road. Just know that truth about Jesus is out there. He is real. He is the Savior of the world and He does love and care about you. Just because the Mormon leadership has rewritten and falsified Church history, doesn’t negate who Jesus really is.
We stand ready to help you on this path you must walk in order to find that inner peace that only the Holy Spirit can give.
Few things in life are harder to handle than religious betrayal. Read More »
This short video with Rocky and Helen Hulse will get you familiar with their history and the purpose of Mormon Outreach