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?