Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How much did they know?

That is a question I keep asking myself but I’m not sure I will ever find the answer. The pro-noun “they” has taken on different meaning throughout my Mormon exodus.

At first it referred to early church leaders like Brigham Young, Martin Harris, John Taylor and others. Was Joseph Smith the “lone gunman” who made all of this up and deceived everyone else or did he have help from these knowing conspirators?

What about the leaders of today? We know by his own admission that Hinckley did not know much about church history or doctrine because he made a habit of reminding us in interviews. What about Tommy Monson and his cohorts? How much do they know? Are they knowingly deceiving their loyal followers today? Do they have a “president’s book” like in the movie National Treasure 2 where each president writes down their secrets and things they need to keep hidden from everyone else?

Then you have local leaders and mission presidents. What do they know? After all, the prophet has told members not to write to him and the apostles any more for clarification on doctrinal issues and that this should be handled on a local level. Does that mean that bishops and stake presidents are really better equipped to answer questions about contradicting points of doctrine and history or do they know these local leaders will keep up the company image and perpetuate the lies?

The “they” group that I keep wondering about now is my parents (they don’t read this blog or at least they don’t admit to it). Neither one is really willing to talk to me about what I have found, especially my mom. The one time I brought up the fact that there are multiple accounts of the first vision that all contradict one another she did not take it well and accused me of attacking her faith and told me not to talk about it anymore. I don’t think she had ever heard that before so I wonder just what she does know. On the same note, my dad has been a little more open about talking about it but seemed equally confused when I mentioned that his beloved Hinckley openly said that he did not know that Mormons believe that God was once a man. My dad was shocked that he would say that because he knows that this is a core doctrine of Mormonism.

I would love to find out exactly what “negative”, “non-faith promoting” truth they know because they never shared any of it with me. If it turns out that they knew even a fraction of the things I know now and never felt the need to share them with me so I could come to my own conclusion about them, then I don’t know if I would be able to forgive them for the years I lost and the guilt I felt while trying to live in a religion that did not teach the truth and forced me to be someone I was not. Not respecting my intelligence enough to give me all the information they had to let me make up my own mind is an insult.

Why are they so afraid of what I have to say? Are they frightened that I will say something that will shake their testimony? If they are, then what does that say about their religious conviction?

How much did they know?


  1. Soy Yo,

    They don't know anything, just like you didn't a few years ago. The problem is they have reached a point in their lives that they don't want to know anything contrary to what they hold dear. Remember how it made you feel when you discovered the truth? I can imagine it would be much worse for your parents.

    I believe that most people don't know the truth, even up through the Stake level. I would suspect that once you get into the GA level that you would start to suspect..."Why don't I ever get any heavenly manifestations?"

    By the time you are the "prophet" you know for sure. You know that God does not speak to you.

    One thing that I noticed with TSM is that prior to him becoming the "prophet" he was jovial and care free. Now he seems to have alot of concern in his visage.

    Due to a lot of pressure dumped on him? Maybe

    Due to him knowing now that this is a hoax that he has devoted his life to and now must perpetuate? Likely

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. It would be interesting to me soy yo to know how you began to have doubts about mormonism.

    Did you express those doubts to other mormons? And if you did what was their reaction?

    Are they sympathetic to doubters? Or how do they treat you if you raise a doubt? Curious.

  3. These thoughts could easily be mine. I often wonder the same thing, about who really knows what the truth is. GAs have to know that God isn't giving out any new stuff and He sure isn't making any appearances. I do know that TBMs don't want to know the darker areas of the church. Can I say again, DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. Sometimes when I run into Mormon friends I haven't seen in years, I have felt the need to give them the quick version of why I don't believe the church is true any more. Can I say right off the bat, IT NEVER GOES WELL. Just like you say, when you tell your mother of different versions of the first vision. TBMs look at you like you are a living breathing lying lunatic. And if I am brave enough to proceed further with, say the polygamy of Joseph Smith, watch out! I usually get no further than one or two specific things that bother me, when I see the utter shock and condescending looks. One lady even said what a shame it was because I was such a great teacher and the youth really admired me. I am left to feel like a disgruntled employee. So, mums the word from me. I won't waste my breath. When Mormons have to believe something so desperately, truth will only get in the way.

  4. This is a great question and something I've wondered about too. A TBM recently gave me a list of reasons to believe JS was a true prophet of God and the list did not cite any sources and contained tons of false information (such as the BOM has been proven by archeology, no changes have ever been made to the original text, etc). When I called back and asked for sources for this information she said it would take some time but she would do some research and get some sources to me. She explained that the undocumented information was from a book her dad had and that she had grown up knowing this stuff (implied it was common knowledge) so she had not thought about citing any sources, but she would be happy to get some for me but that it would take some time, maybe several weeks due to her schedule. It's been over two weeks and I'm still waiting for those sources. In the meantime, with a few clicks of the mouse I've found a mountain of evidence to the contrary...

  5. Pops,
    I have had other people recently ask me for my official exit story so I am working on putting it together. It will be a few weeks before I can post it though. I think it will answer many of the questions you have asked.

    You are probably right about them not knowing. It just shows me the amount of mind control that is present in the LDS church. They have manipulated not only the facts but the way members digest information to the extent that lies appear to be truth and the real truth is dismissed as anti-mormon lies.

    At what point does that false foundation crack under the pressure of the modern information age?

  6. I have kind of wondered that too. I have to assume that the further up the chain you go, the more likely it is that they know it is a lie. Monson certainly does. But he has his whole life invested in mormonism. It was hard enough leaving when I was a membership clerk much less when someone is way up in the hierarchy.

    Now Young and company early on I think also knew, but look at the perks you get as "prophet": an unlimited supply of young women to form a harem, a life of relative comfort and the ego trip of having thousands of followers adore you are a prophet. Pride is a powerful motive, and being the prophet in those days drew adoration akin to what a rock star today draws. You can see why it would be seductive.

    Smith tho'. I am not sure. I wonder if he began to really believe it after a while, like David Koresh and other cultists do. You tell the lie so long you start to believe it.

  7. I really don't know how much Tom Monson, the FP, and even the 12 know -I have to assume that either they are ignorant or that they know but the draw of power that comes from Satan is more tempting.

    Jessicasheley's friend ["she had grown up knowing this stuff (implied it was common knowledge) so she had not thought about citing any sources"] reminds me of a movie I saw a long time ago in which they said it takes X amount of repetitions (like 3k -5k?) for something to become truth. This is what's known as brainwashing and this is what we see in the Mormon church, especially with those who have grown up in it. This is why they have a wonderful Primary program where they sing the same songs over and over and learn the same faith-affirming stories every week.

    Soy yo, your righteous anger regarding having all the information and being able to decide for yourself is echoed by many ex-mo's. I think the leadership does know that if an investigator -or even their own- were given everything to sort through, research, and conclude for themselves, hardly anyone would join the church! I'm trying to find the source, but I read somewhere that recently one of the apostles stated that it doesn't matter if something is true, what matters is whether it's faith-promoting. Hmm...