You Should Not Leave Mormonism For Any of These 5 Reasons

Lately I’ve been getting messages from people explaining to me why their friend or family member has decided to leave Mormonism and the LDS Church behind. They write with their hearts broken, unable to find the words to convince them to give it another look. While there are many reasons why a person might leave the Church, none of the following 5 reasons should be one of them.

1. Being Offended

Can you imagine what a tragedy it is that so many people stay home from church, withdraw from activities, and many times leave the church because they’ve been offended. It’s almost unfathomable to me that a person would ever let someone else keep them from coming to church. We’ve all been offended. There are people out there that have no clue, and are rude. They say and do things that can hurt your feelings, make you mad, and make you never want to come back. They’re oblivious in their actions and you’re left wondering, “why would I want to be around this person” or “why would I want to come to church with these people?” In saying that…we’ve got to keep in mind that we have the power to choose whether to be offended or not. Many times, if we’re offended in one place, we’ll no doubt be offended in another.

If you find yourself being offended often, then ask yourself an honest question; “Do I get offended often in other aspects of my life?” You’ll probably notice that it’s people in general that bug you, not just Mormons. Unless you just bolt yourself inside your house and buy a golden retriever, no matter where you go, you’re going to run into people that bug. Weird people are everywhere…in every church. Look at this fact as an opportunity to be Christ-like and forgive those people that are not being very nice to you…but don’t leave the Church because of it. It’s not worth depriving your kids, your friends, and everyone else within the Church…not to mention the Lord all the blessings of your presence at Church because of one oblivious person, and your choice to be offended.

leave the mormon church

2. Not Understanding The Doctrine

If you were going to help your kids build a tree fort…you probably would have them centralize their fort near or around the trunk of the tree. Unfortunately, too many people skip the basics and go right to the farthest branches of the tree to try and get a quicker, better view. The branches are weak and unestablished, and placing to much weight on them may result in a nasty fall. Just because you don’t understand something right now, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. People hear about one obscure quote here or there and jump ship. If you hear something that seems strange, ask yourself; “is it really?”  Is there a possibility that it just seems strange because you haven’t heard it before? It’s our human nature to balk at things we’ve never heard before. Just don’t let your initial reaction to something you hear for the first time overpower the many times that the Holy Ghost has confirmed truth to you in the past.

People quickly forget how logical it is that the restoration took place, and how illogical it is that someone like Joseph Smith could have came up with all of it on his own. They forget about their foundation and ignore the superstructure of the gospel to focus on a few statements that have not been fully explained or understood. “God never damned anyone for believing too much” explains Joseph Smith. “But He did damn people for unbelief.” (TPJS)


Do you remember the last time you had a physical ailment and you spent all night on Google trying to diagnose yourself. Deep down you’re looking for some sort of research that gives you comfort and puts your fears to rest…but the more you research the worse you feel. Odds are, your physical diagnosis is way off track. Just ask any physician how they feel about Google. Many times, the longer you spend on Google, the farther you are from the truth when researching Mormonism. Sadly, the voices of angry people are much louder than the voices of the happy and content.

We live in the information age. You can get your hands on almost any information you desire. The Church is an open book. I hear people that are leaving the Church because they hear a “doctrine” (which is probably not even a doctrine) that was talked about long ago. Because they are just finding out about it, they assume that the Church has been lying to them or trying to “cover up” what they’ve now learned. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. All of the things that “come out” are things that the Church published themselves. It’s right there in Church publications. If the Church wanted to “cover up” they wouldn’t have printed it. Just because something isn’t emphasized in our everyday classes, doesn’t mean anyone is trying to hide it from you. We just might not have enough information on the topic and it is therefore deemphasized in order to reduce confusion. People forget that the restoration is not complete. We are in the middle of it! Just hang tight and things will be revealed.

3. Its Just Too Hard

3 hours of church? Callings? Meetings? Keeping the sabbath day holy? Tithing? Word of Wisdom? 2 year mission? These are just a few of the things that get people going down the path of leaving the Church. The church conflicts with some things that people want to do and that bugs…right? So why not search the internet for something that will somehow make the Church not true. Then I won’t have to do all that stuff…right? Look…its hard to be a Mormon. It’s not supposed to be easy. It wasn’t easy to be an early Christian, to go around drawing fishes in the sand because you were scared for your life. There are a lot of demands and a lot of perceived limitations. Joseph Smith said that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” 

For the last two years, I’ve been teaching early morning seminary. That means that I’m up at 4:30 am, prepared and ready to  give a lesson to 30 plus teenagers. Then I work all day because I don’t receive any financial compensation for my Church service. I get home as soon as I can to spend time with my family and then I’ve got to get ready for another lesson and to wake up early the next day. Saturday is sometimes free, but then its off to Church on Sunday. It’s tough…but what else would I be doing with my time!

I’ve thought about this long and hard. What is the alternative to all of the things I listed above. If I didn’t go church for 3 hours on Sunday, then what would I be doing? Well…I could get in a football game. Did that make me happier? If I don’t have a calling…where do I find as many opportunities to serve others? Serving others is universally recognized by doctors and psychologists as being good for your health and a precursor to happiness. I guess callings can’t be a bad thing then. Sabbath day observance? “But it’s my only day off” you might say. Well, what better than to spend that day dedicated to spending time with family and relaxing? You’d like to be 10% richer and not pay tithing? You’d probably spend that money on something frivolous anyway like 98% of Americans do anyways. (There are studies on peoples spending habits that back that up) Why not donate to a worthy cause like the Church? “The word of wisdom keeps me from having fun!” Oh really? Do I even need to go into this one? A mission? Where would I be without this? (Me personally) On top of all of this…if your going to believe the Bible or be a Christian, then it requires you to attend Church, keep the sabbath day holy, pay a tithing, treat your body like a temple of God, and be a missionary! So even if you were going to leave the LDS church, you still have an obligation to do these things if you want to be a Bible believing Christian!

As the African proverb goes, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” If deep down your leaving because it’s too hard, then picture how hard it must have been for the early Christians to keep the faith in their day.

4. Anti-Mormon Literature

For me, much of the anti-Mormon literature that comes up is in fact more evidence of the Church being true. I have been grateful for much of it because it has caused me to reflect on issues that I did not previously consider. I’ve even become friends with the people that bring it up for discussion. It’s alright to be friends with people that disagree with you. There is no reason we can’t respect people’s opinions and still be friends.

But what you have to realize is that no anti-Mormon literature is unbiased. That is why it is called “anti”. Similarly, you’re probably not going to get an unbiased opinion from a devout Mormon either. Christ underwent the same scrutiny. The anti that was published about Him would make even the most loyal follower of Christ question their Christianity. But we don’t give it much attention because we know that it was written by His enemies.

If you’re presented with anti-Mormon literature, then its only fair that you research both sides equally and tenaciously. When I come across something “strange”, I research it and then sit on it. I ponder it. I don’t assume anything and I don’t jump to conclusions. I won’t make a rash decision on the matter. I consider all of the things that I currently accept and believe and then ask myself why I would be unwilling to believe the topic at hand.

For instance, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon using a Urim and Thummim and a seer stone. That is generally known and accepted. Then someone out of the blue tries to make Joseph Smith look like a freak by painting a picture of him burying his head in some “magical hat.”  A seer stone or Urim and Thummim is referenced in Exodus 28:30, 1 Samuel 28:6, Num. 27:18-21, Ezra 2:63, Neh. 7:65, Ex. 28:30, Lev. 8:8 and in Revelation 2:17. The Hebrew transliteration of the names Urim and Thummim equate to “lights” and “perfections” respectively. So think about it. If you’re translating during the day with the assistance of a stone that gives off light, then why not put your face in a hat in order to create darkness wherein the light could shine?! Would it sound less weird or more acceptable if he used a blanket over his head instead of a hat?

This is just one of the many classic examples of something that just needs to be thought through and not exaggerated. In our day we say, “don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” But Christ said it better. Don’t “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”


5. Sin

Many times, sin leads people to one or more of the items listed above. As much as we don’t want to recognize it, sin is a big deal to people. Our spirits are declaring war on our flesh when we sin. We physically feel bad when we do bad things because the light which is within us has been diminished. The effects of sin can take us in one of two directions. It can humble us to repentance, or it can stir us to anger, frustration, and irritability. If a person is unwilling to repent, the natural inclination is to prove that God isn’t real or His Church isn’t true. Therefore you’re off the hook and you don’t need to feel bad anymore. Guilt is present…and it must be removed. You either remove the commandments that caused it to be a sin or you ask Christ to remove the sin. If you are too embarrassed or proud to admit your mistakes then the four items above become attractive ways out of the Church and thereby away from the guilt. It is hard to repent, so it might seem easier to justify the Church being false and find a church or way of life that doesn’t hold you accountable for your actions.

I love the LDS Church. I haven’t found anything that makes more sense. I sin, I see anti-Mormon literature, the work is hard sometimes, I don’t understand every single thing that has come out of every Church leader’s mouth, and I’ve been offended a time or two…but  the things I know…I know…and that is why I keep coming back.


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  • D_Westy1

    Your blog is an inspiration to me. I am grateful there are people like you out there willing to defend the faith even when the very elect are being deceived. Keep up the good work, I’ll certainly be pulling and praying for you and this blog.

    • TK

      Well said, Greg hit it spot on, I can tell by all the replies that disagree with him, and all their excuses, that is just the natural man speaking out. Thank heaven for those willing to defend the faith.

  • Wewillallseeoneday

    You should leave The Mormon Church when you realize the Book of Mormon is full of fantasy that followers are programed to believe in just based on “good feelings” and Not Truth as The Book of Mormon has no historical or archeological evidence As The Bible Has and therefore it is a Distraction from The Truth of The Bible. Just because it talks about God and Jesus Christ does not mean it is a book that is true. Much Love in Truth to You

  • Paul

    This is missing the main reason most people are leaving these days. This article is using a straw man argument. Try reading Uchtdorf’s talk on why people are leaving.

  • Mel

    Have you seen the presentation about the 5 myths why Mormon’s leave? It is based on actual scientific research, not just an opinion. Perhaps watch it first, then find out the truth from the people that left not the reasons why others speculate they left.

  • Derek

    This list is a lie. These are in fact 5 of the least likely reasons why people leave. My process of leaving the church was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced, and I’m a better person for it- both for leaving and for having gone through the struggle. It offends me greatly when people oversimplify this process with such superficial things as are listed here.

    • Jen

      It sounds as so, the vary points he touched on, that were simplistic just enough, but in depth and insightful, especially regarding not taking offence, seams as so went through one ear and right out the other…
      the man has vary clear points here, and are in no way shape or form being taken lightly, nor are to cause conflect..
      His message (from what i got on a non personal judgment point of view) is at least this; to be christain in heart,.. but to Not take heart, even more so in all things.. especially when it comes to our relationship with the church, let alone our relationships with god, others, how we view them, and negative situations we are in, or encounter through our membership.

      If you weren’t able to relate, nor agree with this mans personal insight regarding what you say is “oversimplify this process with such superficial things” then maybe at least understand where he is comimg from, and be kind, as you i’m sure would like to be treated in dealing with such a sensitive subject.
      We all have different insights and opinions, as for you, having your own reasons for leaving the church.. maybe there was something he missed in including of reasons why some leave… maybe it really is that simple – that we really can’t comprehend the situation at hand or gods hands in our lives, let alone ones experience in leaving.

    • Tevster

      How ironic that you used the words “it offends me greatly…”

  • MD

    Who are you exactly to tell people why they should or shouldn’t leave mormonism? And who are you to speak for them as to what caused them to leave? This blog could not be more close-minded and one sided. I dedicated my entire life to that religion. I lived and breathed it EVERY day and for you to go and insinuate that I simply didn’t understand the doctrine is incredibly insulting.

    • Tevster

      Would you say you’re offended?

  • Steve Lowther

    Greg, meaning no offense, but your post is a laughable collection of cliches. It is very indicative that you have little understanding why people leave. In the years I have discussed the Church with people on both sides, I have never seen a post as out of touch and naive as yours.

    • Kels

      I couldn’t agree more with this. Well put, Steve.

    • guest

      Thank you, Steve. It’s amazing how often people will spend hours creating blogs about things they don’t understand, yes?

    • Just Me

      The post is why NOT to leave, not a list of reasons people DO leave. It’s meant to be encouraging. If you had read the content instead of just the titles you would have noticed that. Clichés exist because there is some truth behind them, and just about every person I’ve met who has gone inactive or left has given one of these as excuses. Just because you sit around and have your beliefs confirmed by people who are just like you, doesn’t mean you know more than he does. It sounds like you’re the one who’s out of touch.

    • J. C. Smith

      Thank you for providing a useful post that makes reasoned points to explain where Greg was wrong. (sarc)

      I guess it’s easier to mock someone else than it is to say something useful.

    • Kristen

      Steve,
      You seem like quite a regular on this website. Sharing your negative views about Mormonism must be a favorite hobby of yours!

  • Luckily, the data shows that almost nobody actually _leaves_ the LDS Church for these reasons: these are reasons that tend to result in inactivity, sometimes permanent inactivity. But these are not the reasons that individuals typically resign over or otherwise make an active, conscious break with the organization.

  • bam1021

    You really ought to do some basic research before you post something like this. There have been actual surveys done and they are nothing like this list you seem to have pulled out of thin air. Here is a sample of the real reasons why people leave:

    • The way the church treats women
    • The church’s position on same sex marriage
    • Polygamy and polyandry
    • Historicity of the Book of Mormon
    • The historical errors in the Book of Abraham
    • DNA evidence about origins of Native Americans
    • Multiple accounts of the First Vision
    • Ambiguous information about the restoration of the priesthood
    • Kirtland Safety Society
    • General institutionalized misinformation about Church history
    • Historical racism passed off as revelation: Blacks and the priesthood, refusal to allow mixed race couples marry in the temple

    • Haephestus

      With all due respect, these are also terrible reasons to leave.

    • steve

      People could just ask God what they should do and use God as their guide. My two cents.

    • lkaumans

      All of the reasons you list have been answered but you don’t like the answers and call the people who give them, Mormon apologists. No answer will make someone like you happy because you’ve already decided. If you need logical or scientific proof, read “Evidences of the True Church”. But then again, it’s probably written bya Mormon apologist. For myself, I know the Mormon church is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I’ve had that witness. Oh but wait, that’s not valid because it’s just feelings, according to you. I’ll keep my feelings and my way of life thanks.

    • Tevster

      And I think everything on your list could be in category number 2 of the 5…

  • Mark

    You think THAT’S why he put his head in the hat? He was a known treasure hunter and that’s how he would “find” treasure. It’s well documented and he was known as a fraud in virtually every town he lived in. Yes, there are biased lies against him, but your justification for the hat and seer stone is simply false.

  • A. Pratt

    Greg, I agree that these are terrible reasons to leave a church, any church. Thank you for not representing them as the ONLY reasons people leave Mormonism.

    Like many, I left for none of those reasons. It was a concerted, prayerful study of the scriptures that led me to reluctantly admit that Mormonism fails under scrutiny.

    “Reluctantly” is no exaggeration. Well-motivated apostasy is not for the weak. Being true to myself put my marriage at risk, cost me friendships, and endangered my career. Nor did it help that my spouse, friends, neighbors, and employer assumed I left the faith due to one or more of your above-cited “reasons.”

    I suggest deleting Reason 3 from your list altogether. It is much easier to shut up and stay in the church than to leave it. Closet disbelievers do exactly that.

    I shan’t waste anyone’s time debunking Mormonism here. That has been done and done again. Those who wish to remain will find a way to rationalize remaining. It is, however, an ironic choice for alleged followers of “the truth.”

    As for me and my house, we believe that the only moral, intellectually honest course is to face facts. I am pleased to report that a rational life has been for me far more fulfilling than a Mormon life, and has brought me far more joy. Let me assure you that, contrary to Mormon folklore, I have not become a hedonist. I gave up silly beliefs. Not integrity and morality.

    • Leslie Martin Wiley

      Would you mind sharing what belief system you went TO when you left the LDS Church?

      • A. Pratt

        Dear Leslie,

        I gave up belief systems for evaluating claims according to their evidence. It keeps me on my toes. It means investigating before taking a position, and being prepared to adjust or give up a position should new evidence emerge that demands as much. It is the essence of open-mindedness, and it is the antithesis of religious belief.

        (I suppose some might call an evidence orientation a belief system. I disagree, but perhaps here we are playing with words.)

        As intended here, “evidence” does not refer to feelings, promptings, personal revelation, or witnesses from others. Evidence (some might say “hard evidence”) is anything with tires that anyone (even doubters) can kick and come up with pretty much the same results.

        You’ll learn a bit more about my processes if you look at my replies (above) to Chris and Rod. Best wishes, Al.

        • Bluetahoe

          My friend, you are never going to prosper in the knowledge of spiritual things if you persist in applying temporal and imperfect evidence. Spiritual things, ironically, must be accepted by faith. Once that is done. evidence cascades into your consciousnes–not “scientific” evidence, but perfect knowledfe that transcends pitiful human intelligence and imperffections. Jesus, in his infinite wisdom, advised us to judge men by their fruits. Examine the fruits of the church and the Saints. They will confirm the truth of LDS theology.

          • Al Pratt

            I invite all to ponder Blue’s comment. It is a concise description of the process of self-delusion.

      • Mary Bonham

        I wish more people would show what they HAVE instead of always focusing on what they perceive as errors in the LDS Church. I like the Christian movie company that makes awesome Christian films such as Courageous,and Facing the Giants, etc. They are showing their faith and their beliefs through their actions. I admire that much more than people who mock other’s faith.

    • Mary Bonham

      For me, reading and knowing the New Testament is what confirmed my testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. As a young adult, I attended several different churches with friends, but didn’t feel the gospel of Jesus Christ, as found in the Bible, was being taught. When missionaries from the LDS church began teaching me, I realized that the LDS church followed the Bible, truly followed the Bible. And though I had been exposed to and studied anti-Mormon teachings for many years (frequently, various Christian churches and Bible groups include anti-Mormonism in their discussions, even to this day), I knew the Bible and I recognized God’s truth. I joined the LDS church when I was 21 years old and I have enjoyed the blessings of being close to my loving Heavenly Father, His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost for the past 38 years.

      • UnreasonableMan

        You find no problem rectifying the inconsistencies between LDS faith and the Bible, Mary?

        • Mary Bonham

          The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Bible – they go hand-in-hand. They are a match made in Heaven! Reading the New Testament confirms this fact to me.

          Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have a testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He lives! And He knows me and loves me. My Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost have guided my life in miraculous ways! My testimony grew despite the fact that I was raised by a father who mocked religion and the Bible, denied the existence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and ridiculed me for my beliefs.

          God has kept me in His loving embrace and He continues to do so.

          • Nate

            Hi Mary, what are your thoughts regarding Hebrews 6-9? Here Paul teaches that Christ did away with the old covenant and more specifically the priesthood as held by the Levites. Paul teaches there are no more physical buildings called temples but specificly we are now Gods temples. I wonder how that might fit I to your thoughts as to how the New Testament aligns with LDS doctrine and teachings?

    • Twister51

      @ A. Pratt – Uhhhhh, your situation falls under #1.

  • Rick Allen

    You should leave Mormonism because of what has been covered up or explained away in their history that points to it originating as fraud and developing into a successful multibillion dollar corporation that uses the same tactics to get you to feel good and give them money. Joseph Smith lied to his congregation, he lied about the first vision, he lied about translating the Book of Mormon, he lied about polygamy, he lied about why he destroyed a printing press, and the leaders now are trying to conceal those lies to keep you paying. Nothing I say will ever convince you or anyone else until you allow yourself to accept the answer to the question “what if it really is a fraud?” and stop looking for facts that only support your predetermined conclusion rather than question it.

  • Heather

    As a former Mormon, I can tell you two things. 1) I didn’t leave for any of your five reasons. 2) You should do your research before talking about a subject that you are clearly quite ignorant about. Your 5 reasons are more mythical than accurate.

    • AxelDC

      Sounds like the Book of Mormon.

  • Great quote Sarah!

  • Facepalmhero

    Greg. Go check LDS.org your leadership recognizes Joseph Smith used a “seer stone” in a hat to translate the BOM. This very same stone was used to con people into believing he could find buried treasure. Non of this is anti..just fact.

  • perry

    This article starts and ends with the assumption that The Church is True™… Well what if it isn’t? Is it *POSSIBLE* that the church isn’t what we’ve always been told it is? Not probable… POSSIBLE. And it doesn’t count to say “no of course it’s not possible, the spirit told me so (I think)” And what if it’s not true? Should we just keep making excuses for it because it’s all we know and love?

    There is no fuss from those who leave because they’re just not in the mood. The fuss comes from the people who endure an agonizing reexamination of what we’ve been told and taken for truth since we were children. You don’t seem to realize that the cost of them leaving is much higher for them than the cost for you to keep being a righteous, stalwart Mormon, with continued pats on the back for unquestioning loyalty and awesomeness.

  • AxelDC

    How about: the Nephites never exited.

  • amy

    So basically you’re saying there’s no legit reason to leave. Ok thanks. Lol

  • Alicia Zarycki

    I was going to convert to Mormonism and I didn’t. I can tell you that absolutely nothing on your list is why I chose not to convert. I do regularly naturally keep to all the strict commandments, devoting the time, and money also is easy. The problems that kept me and causes so many people to leave are not what you think. I can only live the truth and the truth doesn’t label everything critical as “anti”. Especially when it can be proven false using only Church Approved materials.

  • Adam

    What a coincidence that is exactly what cults say about people who want to leave the cult…What are the chances you would say the same thing? People leave the Mormon church often times for the same reason the do not believe the Earth is the center of the universe…..The truth.

    Having faith in Mormonism is no different then having faith that the earth is flat.

  • kaylayale

    If people should not leave the Mormon church for the five reasons you state, then why should they leave?

    1. If people find out they were lied to by the church leaders, is that a good enough reason to leave?

    2. If people find out the history of the Mormon church isn’t what they were taught in Sunday school, is that a good enough reason to leave?

    3. If people find out the church is misogynistic and hateful to blacks and gays, is that a good enough reason to leave?

    4. If people find out the leaders do not in fact, follow the counsel of god, is that a good enough reason to leave?

    5. Is this a good enough reason: “You can be given false spiritual messages. . .The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that it is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983 p. 53)

  • drowe

    I am sure that there are as many reasons as there are stars in the sky for why people leave the LDS church or any other! But, you have certainly identified the main ones correctly. I know quite a few people who have become inactive because of an imagined “slight”! One time, it was a Sister who received a phone call from her new visiting teacher companion instead of hearing it directly from the RS President. I was astounded by her anger as she was telling me how she had been “over-looked and ignored”!
    And, yes…..”Anti-” literature abounds! I have read just enough to know that it is written with ignorant bias! I would give no more time to reading it than I would give to a book about the house of Israel, written by Adolph Hilter!!
    Keep up the good work on your blogs! You have certainly been ruffling some feathers!

  • Chad

    This post is based on an outdated mode of understanding issues of apostasy and disengagement and doesn’t reflect the policies and programs that the church has developed and still is developing to deal with these problems. You’ll want to brush up on your research and revise the post. A good, but often overlooked, place to start looking for a modern approach is actually found in the department of LDS family services that deals with early return missionaries.

  • Amy Woolstenhulme Hoffmann

    I’m curious, is it possible for you to have an original thought…or do all your talking points come directly from the church?

    • trytoseeitmyway

      So typical.

  • I personally think that the Gospel makes my life richer and a million times happier than I was before I gained my testimony. But that’s my life. If you don’t like it, that nobody’s problem but your own. If you are happy, isn’t it natural to want to share that happiness, no matter the source? These are the reasons I personally love the Church: http://southernmormonmommy.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-top-4-reasons-i-love-being-mormon.html?m=1

    But once again, this is my opinion, and you are entitled to your own. And straight from the BOM it says,”And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free. (Helaman 14:30)

  • There has been an overwhelming amount of comments and it has been hard to keep up with all of them. If you don’t see your comment yet, it may be because it is in moderation. Many of the comments so far have been in disagreement to what I wrote. I know this is worth nothing to many of you but I honestly love you guys. Even if you hate what I’ve written. I’m just writing from my vantage point and it may be completely different from where you’re at. I hope the best for any of you and am grateful for your willingness to post here…

  • jman

    Amen.

  • Drake

    I agree with you to an extent. I don’t think that your blog is particularly comprehensive though. There are other motivations not covered by these 5 reasons you have listed.
    The reason I left was a mixture of a few of those but also because the church was unable to help me. Some might say that I took offence, but for me it is because what they are and have been doing in regards to same sex attraction and marriage equality leads to suicide for many individuals. I realise that leaders make mistakes and I would be willing to let it go, but despite being aware of the problem the church continues to persist in the things they are doing (or not doing). If they had stuck up for their LGBT members and educated the leaders and members I might have been able to rely on them and might never have stumbled across the anti-Mormon literature I did. I doubt I would have sought alternative explanations for the feelings of the spirit, or the creation of the Earth, or any of the other things I sought to understand. But I did do all of those things, because the church and it’s teachings could not help me.

  • laurel

    I disagree with this article. I have strong feelings on this issue and may come across strongly, but I mean no disrespect. I hope I can share how I feel respectfully and that those who’s opinions align with what is written here might be open to another perspective. What I feel is shared here, is a sad generalization and oversimplification that is hurtful. Studies have been conducted, using scientific research, that indicates while some may choose to leave the LDS church over the issues listed, by in large the reasons people leave are much more complex. I have known many informed, faithful members who have made the difficult decision to separate themselves from the institution of the church for reasons of conscious and integrity. Blanketed statements, such as those throughout this article, are extremely harmful. Let us not assign meaning to something we cannot fully understand. President Uchtdorf recently touched on this topic. In his address, Come Join WIth Us, he says.. “One might ask, “If the gospel is so wonderful, why would anyone leave?” Sometimes we assume it is because they have been offended or lazy or sinful. Actually, it is not that simple. In fact, there is not just one reason that applies to the variety of situations.” This article directly contradicts that counsel, and in my opinion, shows an apparent lack of understanding of the issues at hand.

  • Jess D

    Greg, The end of the first paragraph under the section on “Sin” seems rather negative or perhaps relies a little much on implication. The casual reader might interpret those obviously ridiculous statements as valid, logical processes of thought. Hope that’s helpful.

  • Leslie Martin Wiley

    I do.

  • Leslie Martin Wiley

    I will tell you that I’d LIKE to believe it’s not true at times. Yes, I said that out loud. I joined the church when I was 37, quite by accident. I had no intention of joining, just wanted to understand the church my boyfriend attended because if we were to marry, I needed to understand enough about his religion so we could take turns attending each others’ church (as I thought would be how we would support each others’ church attendance). Well, that’s not what happened. I ended up trying to understand and really actually poke holes in it as I went, too, and I ended up having an undeniable testimony about the restored gospel. I’ve suffered through many of the things in this article. Offended? Hell yes! Many times. Even in our present ward that we don’t plan to move from any time soon — I am still trying to dust off the douchebaggery of some of the people in it. It’s not that I have an issue with the gospel, I just really can’t stand some of the people, the process, the work, the guilt for not being able to do XYZ, etc etc etc. I WISH I could go down one of the rabbit holes I read so much of back before I joined the church so that I could turn my back on all of the parts that are hard about being a member. But, I can’t. I know I can’t. I know that God knows I know. If I were to leave the church, it would have to be because I’ve decided there is no God. But, I would have to lie to myself to do that. I don’t care what anyone else thinks about my beliefs, my journey, etc. It’s my life to live and do with it as I see fit. Part of the choice is allowing God to work within me to make me a better person that I would be otherwise. To have more patience, love, forgiveness, and understanding. We are not all the same people. Our experiences will vary greatly from one to another. We are on our own journeys for a reason. Not to be dismissive, but it ain’t over until it’s over. Just like those that left the church or that never joined it still think there’s a chance that more Mormons will leave the church, you know there’s also that chance that those that left or never joined will come back to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. If not in this lifetime, than in the next. Quite frankly, even if Joseph Smith were an imperfect man, that doesn’t change what he saw and the fruit that has come from it. And, for what it’s worth, I doubt you could find a Mormon alive that thinks Joseph Smith was perfect so that’s a faulty premise in the first place. To my knowledge, there isn’t a single prophet in all time, ancient or modern, that Mormons think was perfect. It was not a requirement in ancient time and isn’t today.

    • Miranda

      The question, I think, is not whether or not Joseph Smith (or other prophets) were perfect, but perhaps if everything they say/teach/believe should be considered revelatory and doctrinal. Joseph, and prophets in antiquity, when declaring revelation used to say “Thus saith the Lord…..” Prophets today don’t do that much. So are their words revelation or opinion? Have you ever heard a prophet say something false? I have. But rather than confront it, most folks tend to just roll with it, until the next prophet comes along, and declare the former as un-doctrinal, because a living prophet trumps a dead one. It may not be a requirement to believe a prophet is perfect, but most people equate sustaining the brethren to believing every thing they say.

  • Leslie Martin Wiley

    How did the church condemn you for leaving an abusive husband??

  • Leslie Martin Wiley

    Seriously? Do you really feel the need to quote scripture and chastise others? Sheesh.

  • Leslie Martin Wiley

    Would you mind sharing why you spent “years” reading all of that? What started you down that path? And, did you end up in another Christian church? How did you decide that church had the truth?

  • Shari Cornell Parkin

    Greg, thank you for your thoughts & well wishes; but I have to say you don’t give people very much credit. Either you’re very naive or haven’t had much personal experience with someone who’s chosen to leave the LDS church. While I appreciate your thoughts, they felt a little out of touch. I, too can convince myself of things that seem far fetched if I try hard enough; but that doesn’t make them true.

  • Shari Cornell Parkin

    Judgmental? Steve wasn’t the one presuming to know why people leave the LDS church & regurgitating the standard “they left because they were offended” stereotype. Sorry if your group-think mentality doesn’t allow you to interpret views contrary to your own; but that doesn’t mean they’re judgmental.

  • Christopher David Dadivas

    I totally agree with you Greg. There are a lot of negative comments on here, but based on what you have written it sounds about right. It is hard being a member but it is worth it. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Jason McBeth

    Love your post. When I was a freshman in High School my first experience was this 6′ 6″ Junior coming up to me who was a pastors son who asks, “So you are MORMON?!” I shyly replied, “yes I am.” He then proceeded to ask, “Then what about those horses in America? Those gold plates get found yet? Maybe we should check the Chicago fires and speak a made up language! Can’t forget your magic underwear!” I was young, caught off guard, as I had elementary knowledge with mostly spiritual experiences. Not much to defend the church with at that time. I told him I would research every one of those comments and wrote them down (too his surprise he stammers, “y-y–yyeah… YOU DO THAT!”

    So I did. I researched and and found answers and when back to him with them and he just laughed, personally attacked Joseph Smith calling him names, and then told me I wasn’t worth his time. Then began my addiction to Anti-LDS literature. I spent almost every day in Anti-LDS books, forums, creating forums in Myspace (that was the thing of the day 🙂 ), read a lot at FairLDS.org, LDS.org, Mormoninfo.org, and so on and so on. I was pretty addicted :/

    As I read and participated I played devils advocate for the anti-LDS side to pose questions and then defended the church when anti-LDS gave their 2-cents. Did this back and fourth and to be honest, the more the anti-LDS spoke in detail the more converted to the LDS chuch I was. It made sense. ALL of it. 99% of all the material was old garbage created from the early days of the church to the 1950’s and has had turned around and provided answers for the church to attest to its validity.

    There was a day in High School I had a Satanist that sat next to me in a class during my Senior Year. During Silent Sustained Reading (SSR is what we called this 15-minute mandatory reading time) he had forgotten to bring a book and that morning I heard a voice, that i recognized as the Holy Ghost, to tell me to place a Book of Mormon and my regular Book in my bag. I new he was not a serious person and loved his “Satanic” beliefs mostly because of the reaction he would get from Christians. He asked for a Book and I showed him his options and he laughed and grabbed the Book of Mormon. I showed him where to start at the Introductions and as he started to read jokingly his countenance changed and he was peacfull, intently reading. By the end of the 15-minutes he was in 1 Nephi Chapter 2 and he quietly slid the book over to me without saying a word. I asked if he wanted to borrow it and he replied yes and took it back. 2 weeks later he said he finished the book as he could not stop reading it. He was not interested. I asked if he did as the book directs in the end and prayed about it and he replied “no”. I read that promise and he committed to try. The spirit prompted me to give him some time. Three days later he gives it back to me after class and says, “I do not know what to believe, everything you said would happened happened and I got an answer. I just do not know what to believe now that I know God is real and Jesus is the Christ.”

    What I learned from that was 1 Corinthians Chapter 2 is true. Spiriutal things are to be discerned by spiritual means. History and scriptures will always be debated. So when debating spiritual things it is pointless as the Lord reveals spiritual truths by spiritual means, not temporal.

    Love this gospel. Love the church. Love the doctrine. This all rings TRUE to my spirit and even after all that Anti-LDS mumbo-jumbo I found my testimony to be strengthened.

    My two cents to all this bashing in the reply section.

  • Erin

    Just wanted to say that I appreciate Greg’s blog in general, and that I really feel for all of these obviously extremely angry, hurting people who have been posting their expressions of vitriol here. I hope you all find some kind of peace in your lives.

  • Tom

    Why hasn’t Greg participated in any of the past 50 years of scholarly research that even his own Church history staff has engaged in? We have the Mormon History Association, The Journal of Mormon History, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and lots and lots of other scholarly outlets that Mr. Trimble seems to be unaware of.

    As a descendant of the early Mormon Smith and Kimball families, I would invite Mr. Timble to stop embarrassing my people and take his essay down until he has the chance to survey the expanse of scholarship on the issues he seems to want to post about.

    Thomas Smith Kimball
    American Fork, Utah

  • Ender Wiggin

    Thank you for sharing your story so completely. I understand that the personal search for truth can be very painful, but also very rewarding. I’ve been where you were and found the answers I sought after. The ultimate difference between what I experienced and what you’ve described here is intent. Whether Joseph Smith was a prophet comes down to whether the Book of Mormon is true. All those other issues you got hung up on (Kinderhook, banking, polygamy, etc.) are largely historical opinion and hearsay. If The Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. If its not, then he wasn’t and the rest of the search is irrelevant. You said “simple faith can’t hold” the many “issues”. I submit that it absolutely can. I’ve proven the Book of Mormon true (for me), thus Joseph Smith was everything he claimed to be. Thus is it left to me to understand rather than debunk those other issues. Regardless of my understanding of the whys and hows, none of those issues throws into doubt that Joseph Smith was called of God and translated the Book of Mormon. It seems to me that you chose to disbelieve the value of the tree (LDS church) by its branches (controversial issues not well understood) rather than its trunk (core doctrines that are verifiable). I’ve been in the church almost 30 years and I’ve never once felt “manipulated, controlled, or coerced” in anything; more the opposite really.

    • hayden

      With all of the controversial issues arising (even in just the last couple months) it is important to realize for all members (this post is for members benefit as well not to offend ex-mormons) that if you take upon yourself the promise of the book of mormon and know of its truth then all the other matters seem so small and become irrelevant. Ordain women? LGBT? the ideas are becoming prevalent in society but are easily recognized as temptations if you sustain your church leaders. The general authorities have very specifically adressed these matters.
      Also i get a sense from some of the commentson this blog that i am brainwashed, the stereotypical mormon with using my testimony to “ignore the facts” i am fully willling to discuss any “facts” or opinions on more specific things if you would like. We don’t hide from questions or research.
      Good job greg

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  • Mormon

    Just pure laziness.

  • Patriot

    Reading the Bible and believing in The Word: All these discussions miss the one most important major reason – Reading the Bible – The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, it IS in the New Testament. Read the Bible, study it as a child, filter out all the Mormon teachings about it. Open your heart to God’s Word in the Bible. Mormonism has skewed the Gospel of the Biblical Jesus. Go to a good Bible church to hear a sermon teaching FROM the Bible and to learn what the Bible is really telling you. I am now a Believer, I have a relationship with Jesus, I am in Christ and through Him I live. Open your hearts to really studying the Bible — do not discount it as inaccurate, as you have been taught. May God’s Grace be with you and open your hearts, go to Him through the Bible. I have never been happier than when I truly found Jesus and opened my heart to him through relationship with Him.

    Greg, please post this. Thank you.

    • will7370

      But in believing your evangelical version, you conveniently ignore many perplexing questions. One example: Jesus said unless a man is born of the water AND of the spirit, they cannot get into the kingdom of heaven. So what about the millions of people who have lived and died on this earth without ever hearing about Jesus and His gospel? Or being baptized? Your evangelical church has no answers. What about all the scriptures that predict an apostasy away from the truth (the dark ages), and then a restoration of the gospel in the last days? Your evangelical church conveniently ignores those. Here’s another: If Noah was the prophet who warned the earth a few hundred years before the earth’s baptism by water (the great flood), then who is the prophet to warn the earth a few hundred years before the earth’s baptism by fire—at the second coming of Christ? Once again, no answers.

  • Just Me

    Thank you!

  • A. Pratt

    Dear Chris,

    This reply to your not-uncommon objections may prove helpful to some.

    No scientific and/or historical evidence for the Book of Mormon has yet emerged. That the church and its members urge reliance on faith (“personal evidence,” which is not evidence at all) underscores this point.

    Meanwhile, a good deal of evidence has debunked the LDS Church. The trouble is, when an arrow hits, the church moves the target in order to say, “You missed.” Popular target-moving devices with parenthetical examples include:

    • “That was policy not doctrine” (among many examples, blacks and priesthood)

    • “He wasn’t speaking as a prophet” and “That was his opinion” (ditto)

    • “Prophets aren’t perfect” (moves the target from Smith as convicted conman or Young as wrong about priesthood to whether they were human)

    • “Don’t judge the church by its members” (moves the target from “by their fruits ye shall know them”)

    • “Until I know the answer to that I’ll just have to rely on faith” (moves the target from “the church holds up under scrutiny” to “hang in there even when the church doesn’t hold up”; also moves the target from your own claim that there are “plenty of evidences” [sic])

    • “We misinterpreted before but now we have it right” (DNA and Lamanites)

    • “Science has been wrong” (moves the target from a specific claim, such as that mitochondrial DNA shows that Native Americans did not descend from Israelites, to a claim no one made, such as that science has never erred)

    • “That’s a lie spread by anti-Mormons” (with today’s easy Internet access, this target has moved to, “Actually, it’s true, but it’s okay because …” See sundry official explanations recently added to lds.org)

    • “MY prophet hasn’t said that” (moves the target from what a past prophet said to what a current prophet hasn’t said)

    • Each of Trimble’s five reasons (moves the target from real to assumed objections)

    The church and defenders often resort, unwittingly in some cases, to other logical fallacies besides moving the target. Logical fallacies are tricky because they can sound reasonable when in fact they are not. Your own comments resort to Special Pleading, Anecdote, Ad Hominem, Straw Man, and Burden of Proof. For a primer on logical fallacies, I recommend yourlogicalfallacyis[dot]com.

    “Not disproved” does not equal “proved.” You cannot disprove that my living room sofa communicates telepathically with sea turtles. This hardly means you must accept that it does.

    This reply will most likely be of no use to anyone determined to emerge a believer no matter what. I troubled to write it in hopes of being of use to anyone honestly questioning. My best wishes to all.

    • Orin A

      to A. Pratt… and all other Anti-Mormon advocates, If you have left the church then just quit reading these blogs and go on with your lives.. unless of course you have regrets. Otherwise stop engaging in these types of discussions. If I leave the Country club then I leave the club; I don’t need to know who’s doing what etc. I don’t need to subscribe to the newsletter… I am no more a member of the club, right?
      A proud black Mormon.

      • Elizabeth

        Proud black Mormon,

        Be thou humble. A. Pratt has just as much right to be here as anyone else. He also brings up some valid points. Why are you so quick to tell him to basically shut up and leave? If I understand him correctly he has left the church, don’t you think this gives him very good insight on this very topic? People don’t stop being our brothers and sisters when they leave the church. Telling him to go away instead of addressing his concerns isn’t helpful.

        I also find the “moving target” difficult at times (especially with the subject of Grace recently. first we believe A and it’s a point of contention with other Christians who believe B, now we believe B and have the whole time it was just that the lay leaders and writers of the manuals didn’t fully understand or explain it correctly before) However, though I find it difficult at times, it does not hurt my testimony because I think that things like that are just par for the course when you have a living prophet. This is what happens with modern day revelation, the church and it’s members are in a continual state of progression. It is only if the church stopped evolving that I would begin to worry.

      • UnreasonableMan

        Mormonism is a country club?

        • Rim rocker

          Mormonism is not a country club. That’s so stupid. According to websters dictionary and encyclopedia brittanica mormonism is a religion.

      • bajajoe

        Orin
        I will happy to leave pro-Mormon forums just as soon as the church stops knocking on my door or flooding social media with crap.
        I am not anti Mormon just pro truth. The scariest words in Mormonism are BOOK OF ABRAHAM.

        • Rim rocker

          Scariest words are THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM? That was so anti climatic.

        • Twister51

          Actually, to members of Christ’s true church, the scariest thing to admit is they really DON’T have a testimony of the truth. One can gain one if they really want it. God will never give someone knowledge if they have no real intention of acting on that knowledge.

      • StopEnduringStartThriving

        I have likened leaving Mormonism to leaving the “great and spacious building”. Because in taking a step back from participation allowed me to see how truly far from christian mormonism actually is. But I’ll take that analogy a step further… I consider leaving mormonism to be like leaving a *burning* building.

        I didn’t think I was going to make it, as I struggled through corridors, not knowing which doors would lead to safety, or which would leave me burned. As I escaped, I turned to see hundreds, thousands, MILLIONS of people I love trapped for fear of the flames of a collapsing inferno. That’s where I stand now. Even though my own lungs are reeling, and my eyes stinging, I cannot bear to say “I’m so glad to be out, I never want to think of that experience again” and leave the scene. No, I feel obligated to re-enter that incinerator of a stairwell, and call out words of encouragement to those who are wandering, seeking direction to safety. I cannot re-enter that building, my wounds are too fresh and sensitive for me to carry anyone else… But I can be a voice to guide those who have realized that the solution is not huddling in a room with their heads down, praying and “enduring to the end”….

        • Rim rocker

          So beautiful. People burning and all you care about is yourself.

      • Chris

        Sorry but your response is seriously hypocritical. You are telling people to stop engaging in conversations about the church if they have left because they don’t belong to the club anymore and therefore have no more rights to offer opinions about the club. But then on the other hand, you support missionaries who go out and knock on random doors to offer opinions about the “club” many of those doors to people who don’t even care or have never shown any desire to care about the club. All of your missionaries use lists of inactive club members and they specifically go to their door on a mission to reactivate those members. Why can’t you leave them alone once they’ve left the club? So don’t come down on anyone who may have left the church and still participates in discussions, until you yourself stop supporting missionaries and reactivation missions. Your argument is completely contradictory and hypocritical in the least!

      • Tierza Rose Askren

        Disengaging isn’t easy.

        When church members stop flooding Facebook with Mormon memes and family and ward members “go on with their lives” and stop trying to get me to change my mind and apologists stop writing articles and general authorities stop giving talks about how I am weak and stupid and ignorant and easily offended – then I will be able to disengage.

        As it is I would have to disconnect from the vast majority of my friends and relatives if I wanted to not be inundated with Mormonism. I am not willing to do that. These people matter to me. I let most of it just wash over me – but every once in a while someone shares or says something so offensive I speak up. Nothing wrong with that is there?

        If you left a club and the members of the club refused to let you go or spent their valuable time and energy telling the world how stupid you are for leaving you might be tempted to answer them back, wouldn’t you?

        And it cannot be any more wrong for post-members to try to “convert” members than it is for members to try to convert them and others? Is it?

      • Ayon

        Leaving a c0ountry club doesn’t entail leaving an entire community, figuring out a new sense of identity, and trying to cope with the devastation that many people feel when they leave the Mormon church

      • Count Zeppelin

        If you were the victim of a fraud, wouldn’t you be compelled to warn others?

    • Audrey

      @ A. Pratt

      I recently when scuba-diving. Saw some seaturtles with “All Hail the Pratt Household Sofa” painted across their shells.

      Freaky stuff.

  • A. Pratt

    Dear Rod,

    Specific passages didn’t bring me to this place. Besides, for every inconvenient passage, believers will produce a convenient one.

    After reading the Book of Mormon 14 times (including, once, a non-English edition) and the Bible a bunch of times (sorry, I didn’t count how many times) and praying ad nauseam, I stepped back, looked at the big picture, and reasoned. It became clear that not just Mormonism but Christianity fails to hold up. In time, the same reasoning process led me to concede that all religion (mythology) fails to hold up.

    Here is one reasoning test that readers might try. Draw a line down the middle of a page. Write on the left side every bit of hard (not “personal”) evidence you would expect someone to show upon producing a genuine translation of an artifact like the Book of Mormon. On the right, jot down what you might expect a fraudster with no evidence to say in order to explain the lack of hard evidence.

    Or, jot down on the left every behavior you’d expect from a loving deity-parent. On the right, jot down every behavior attributed to deity that doesn’t seem to fit the description.

    Or, jot down on the left how you would go about testing a temporal claim, such as, “the moon orbits the earth,” “ice is made by freezing water,” or “the Great Wall of China really does exist.” On the right, jot down how the church tells you to go about evaluating its claims. You may see a bit of a difference.

    I’d also recommend a look at the reply, above, that I just posted to Chris’s comment.

    That’s a start, anyway. Enjoy.

    • Rod Casper

      A.Pratt, so you said that there was certain scripture that led you to not believe in the LDS doctrine, but you won’t share it with me, because you know that I will just give you an LDS “convenient” answer. I am sorry you dodged this. What does seem clear is that all of your study and reasons have left you on a path of disbelief even in Christianity. And now you feel confident in where you are at. Actually you are on a path that your Heavenly Father understands and He still includes you in His Plan for all of us, including you, to bring His children back to Him. There are so many things in this mortal life to lead us to different conclusions, but if you can bring yourself to believe what I just said, you also will find the way. Try not to be angry, or too disappointed in other people (including the LDS), but try to find the good provided for you and try to believe (for the sake of believing and all the good it can do for you) and you will find yourself on His pathway to what wonderful things He has in store for you. A belief, which isn’t really a belief, in unstable and random “hard evidence” that you personally have found, can really just be a mortal stumbling block. I have many times used the “line down the middle of the page” method to a completely different outcome than you had. I will be interested to see in the next life how the “hard evidence” people and scientists, who use what they think they know to supposedly frustrate what believers think God’s plan is, either continue to try to explain themselves, or run from it when they see the real evidence surrounding themselves in that world they find themselves in after death. It is something we cannot escape, we will be there and trying to explain it away there will be even more evidently fruitless as it is in our present state. You are loved and your future with your Father in Heaven will be wonderful. Try not to close yourself off to find your peace, instead try to be open to a the good you found in the LDS experience you had.

    • Mary Bonham

      The arguments against the LDS Church often lead people to deny the existence of deity and Christianity. That is one reason we have a second testament to Jesus Christ. A. Pratt, I know you have read them ad nauseam and received an answer. Always searching, but not finding. That would be a trial.

  • Paul

    Spoiler alert: God doesn’t exist, religion in itself is pointless and the only good things the Church does (like charity and teaching moral values) can be done without the Church. So what’s the point of arguing? Everything looks pretty clear to me.

  • deRoy

    Nice job Greg, you nailed it, dead on! Those that disagree, that’s their choice….I say, “You Nailed It”!

  • will7370

    I guess my experience is a little unfair to others. To be frank, when I joined the church 34 years ago, I had a spiritual manifestation so vivid, and so flat-out plain, overwhelming and obvious that I really can’t even get credit for living on faith anymore. It provides the lens through which I view everything else in the world. It’s just an endurance test for me now. I have no clue why so many others are unable to have the same experience. But many others do have it, and I share their witness.

  • Rod Casper

    Heather, you have categorized people here, maybe to comfort yourself and your decision. You may be thinking of some who fit your categorization, but to say that LDS feel vulnerable or fear that they are deceived and might apostatize, too, might comfort you, but in reality this is not true. You say that every true believer (of LDS doctrines) will scoff at you and mock you. Not so, Heather. We know that God’s Plan of Exaltation is not a Plan of Misery, or a Plan of Failure. We know that He still has you in mind and that He still has plans to include you in a way that will please you and include you. It is all inclusive. I don’t even hope to be able to understand why you have chosen something else, based only on what you have said, but even that is just (not to demean your decision, or trivialize it) part of your growth and your path in this life. God has great plans for you and all of His children and I am confident that in time we will all see His plan come into fruition for each of us. Every particular reason one encounters to believe one way or another can be a strength, or it can be a stumbling block (or a challenge), but all of it will eventually add up to a path that will bring the individual and God together, because He loves you and He knows you better than anyone else. Please don’t be angry and don’t let your disappointments become something that they aren’t. Try to be confident that there is a plan for your benefit and believe in that, and you will do alright!

  • will7370

    One thing we’ve noticed, is that NOBODY leaves this church first without ceasing to feast on the scriptures on a daily basis. It’s a spiritual law. You can’t turn to the dark while immersed in the light. It simply doesn’t happen. There’s not ONE apostate that didn’t fulfill this law.

    • 2close2call

      Sorry, this is 100% not true! Probably some of the outspoken Mormon apostates on the web study the Bible on a daily basis. Just look at Shawn McCraney as an example! Please don’t defame people just because they do not believe what you do!

      • will7370

        Perhaps I should have been more clear. There is not one apostate that has left the Church that didn’t first stop feasting on the restored scriptures as revealed though the Prophet Joseph Smith. Continuing to read the Bible with its most plain and precious parts removed by the hands of men over the centuries does not fill your soul with the brilliant light needed to maintain a testimony of this work. If all they read is the Bible, then they are no better off than the other millions of people who belong to the 33,000 different Christian denominations in the world. “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2nd Timothy 3:7 No wonder they’re groping in the dark. If you turn away from the additional light that God has given us, then there’s nothing else He can do. You’re left unto yourself.

  • Bluetahoe

    Actually, Natalie, the DNA evidence is a invalid denunciation of the Book of Mormon. It is based on the false belief that Book of Mormon events occurred in Central America. When that mistake is set aside, and the true site of these events is understood to be the current United States, a revisit to the same DNA evidence reveals that Hebrew DNA is found in American Indians. The DNA studes, correctly interpreted, confirm the Book of Mormon.
    Good message, Natalie.

    • Nordel

      Ummmmm…no. You have been misinformed. You can keep shifting where the Book of Mormon took place all you want, but DNA evidence still does not support this. Also, facts are facts. You don’t get to “interpret” your holy book into being true. It either true is or it isn’t, and from the evidence we have so far, it’s not looking good for the Mormon’s claims. Believe what you like, but quit trying lie to make science fit your religion. No one except people who already believe buy it. Certainly not the actual experts.

  • gary3333

    I would never try to criticize anyone’s decisions or the rationale they use to make them. That is their decision. They went through a process and made a decision that is best for them. I wish them luck.

    I find it interesting that some are not satisfied with that. They have to tear down others’ decisions and beliefs. A. Pratt went through a heart-wrenching process and determined that there is no evidence for the gospel, and that, to the contrary, there is evidence, both historical and personal, that it is false. That is fine for him. It is his decision.

    But don’t assume that your conclusions apply to everyone. There are many hundreds of thousands, and probably millions, of moral, intellectually honest adult members of the church who do not have to rationalize their testimonies. Their eyes are open and they are aware of historical facts and claims. Their honest and prayerful study of the scriptures has brought a different result than yours. That is the result of their honest heart-wrenching process.

    Most of my pre-retirement life was spent in the scientific world, including teaching a university class in scientific research design for several years. Pure scientific study is an unbiased examination of all the facts in a search for truth. None are discounted. An honest scientist accepts all observations, seeking any possible explanations in the search for truth.

    I have found that the powerful spiritual witness that is the foundation of my testimony of Jesus Christ starts with faith. In fact it only works with faith. My experience is that a person who seeks it will not find it without faith. I have found that witness to be consistent, to be predictable, and completely repeatable, all qualities sought for in a good scientific study. I have found its guidance to consistently lead me to make better decisions and to be a better person.

    I am well aware of the criticisms proffered against the church, and have not felt any need to rationalize that information. In fact, there have been many times that answers to questions about the gospel have come without warning, with unexpectedly truthful and logical explanations.

    That is my heart-wrenching process. It is different than yours. I will not ignore your experience. It happened as you explained it. I will ponder on it and learn from it. I also find that the testimony of so many honest, informed and diverse members of the church across the world who have come to conclusions similar to mine is an evidence that certainly should not be ignored. It really happened and consistently happens as I explained it.

    I applaud you for following your conscience. That is best for you. But please allow the rest of us to follow our honest conclusions. That is best for us.

  • Nordel

    Convenience has everything to do with it! Funny how polygamy coincidentally got abandoned just as Utah was being considered to join the union. It’s funny how fast church leaders will abandon their long held beliefs when statehood is at stake. Same thing with black people and the priesthood. Put enough social pressure on the church or god forbid, threaten their money and see how long they stick to guns..

    • Mary Bonham

      The way I see it, there are believers and unbelievers. I am a believer! The Lord DOES guide His prophet!

    • gray_man

      Nonsense.
      Polygamy was a problem for society, it was more important for the survival of the church, then practicing polygamy.

  • Doug

    Dear Greg,
    I loved your post. Just one suggestion: You need to moderate the comments on your blog. First, you post something awesome. Next, a bunch of anti-mormon trolls show up and post miscellaneous unhinged anti-mormon blather in the comments. So if someone reads both your blog post, and also all the comments, they end up reading 80% anti-mormon ranting and 20% your awesome post. And that’s just sad. I don’t think that’s what you had in mind when you created your blog, to make it a platform for random trolls who are obsessed with fighting against the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s also sad that some people have nothing better to do with their time than waste their life on the internet seeking to destroy the faith of other people.

    • Greg Trimble

      I agree…I need to look at this! Thanks

  • Doug

    So to sum up… I love your blog. I love the content you post. But I think it is unfortunate that the comment section of your blog, for some of your posts, turns into a forum for anti-mormons to denigrate all the good things that your blog is attempting to build up and defend.

  • vickie

    I have seen people leave the church only to come back later like this one woman..who said in a testimony that she was offended by someone in the church and for 10yrs didnt ever come back…now she was back and wondered why she wasted 10yrs being offended by that person…that was a good testimony to me because I was new in the church and thought wow I wouldnt do that…people are not perfect and its better to confront someone when they have offended you then to stay away from the church because of it..the only person you are hurting is yourself and your family. I have questioned many beliefs in our church especially plural marriage ..why in the world would the Lord have joseph smith and others at that time have more than one wife…and it fits the senario of todays cult type religions…well, the teachings of the church have kept me strong ..besides those things that happened in the past….I figure that at different times in our history the Lord deals with people in different ways just as the old testament had concubines and all sorts of things going on and several wives and so I figured it must have been needed at that time only to change later as man really cannot handle having this principle….Im grateful for the church as I am a person who joined in 1977 and have been faithful ever since..raised all my wonderful kids in the church no matter what transpired or who does what…we are all on different levels of progression in the church and we are not judges…if your offended go to the person and talk it out remembering that person isnt perfect either…if you have sinned go talk to your bishop and work things out….if your excommunicated ..do everything your suppose to do to get back in the good graces of our Lord….because ultimately…it is He who you are responsible to…no one else…

  • Miranda

    In our church, we often tell investigators to seek the SOURCE for their information, not the friend of a member, but the actual person who holds certain beliefs. That way, the religion is not viewed through the lens of an observer.

    Likewise, perhaps the same consideration should be given here. Your information comes from friends and family of disaffected members, who share their opinion of what those reasons maybe.

    If someone is truly interested in why members become disaffected, might I suggest this. It’s a survey of 3388 people who no longer believe the way they once did, and the REAL reasons why:

    http://www.whymormonsquestion.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Survey-Results_Understanding-Mormon-Disbelief-Mar20121.pdf

  • Sarah

    “The Torah is perfect and complete restoring the soul and making understanding easy for the open-minded.” Psalm 19 God said: “Do not add or subtract anything from My Words (Torah) I give you this day.” Ex

    Good grief, no one seems to ever read these verses. All things must be compared to the Torah.

  • sistersalamander

    You must live in a truly wonderful ward outside of Utah. My ward is disconnected and disorganized. But what do you expect when the same ten people just keep getting moved from one organization to another?

  • Nancy

    I watch the Joseph Smith papers broadcast on BYU-TV every week and wonder how come the people who intently studied and analyzed the original Joseph Smith papers came to a different conclusion and thoughtfully answer the questions and “facts” that the “experts” in these comments bring up?

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is exactly what it says – it is Christ’s church on the earth. It is only through the ordinances that we can live as families for eternity. The doctrine is true, the members are imperfect, and the Church is the vehicle that God shares his doctrine with the world in spite of its imperfections.

    I empathize with the pain of those who have chosen to leave. I am encouraged by thoughtful dialog for and opposed to the Church. As Zach said, there is much room for growth, and there are members who judge and condemn, which is un-Christ-like. And as another commentor noted – it’s not over until it’s over.

    But when you get down to it – if the LDS Church is a lie, than which Church is true? If the Book of Mormon is a fabrication, why does it spend so much time on the doctrine of Christ’s Atonement, and inviting everyone to come to Christ?

    So what IS real? I’ve questioned and had doubts my entire life. But I cannot turn my back on the Church, because WAY too evidences exist for me that Heavenly Father is real, that Christ is His only begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost guides me in my life.

    Call this a “testimony” but I’ve examined both sides, and I prefer to “err” (as some of you would consider) on the side of the doctrines of the Church.

  • Great comment Jeremy

  • Good thought man. I’ll think about this

  • haha…awesome

  • Jackie Bailey

    Greg, Thank you for your well-written post. I think your list seems probable. It makes sense based on people I know who have left the church.
    I don’t understand why people who leave the church get so angry and feel justified in bad mouthing the church. If they don’t believe any more, then leave. But why talk smack about it?

  • Sharee

    I think you have hit the nail on the head with this. People are always coming up with some kind of excuse for leaving the church. Pretty much all 5 of your “reasons” come down to one thing–laziness. They don’t want to be bothered finding out the truth of what they read on the internet, they don’t want to take time out of their busy lives to go to church, service to others in bothersome, repentance is a waste of time, etc. etc. You are right. It really isn’t easy to be a Mormon..But, come on, it isn’t really that hard, either.
    (Just a couple of typos I found. And you can delete this part of my comment before you post it. Second paragraph under #2: “…someone like Joseph Smith could have came up with…” That should be “come” up with…. Second to last paragraph under #3: “…if your going to believe in the Bible….” It should be “you’re…”)

  • Suzanne

    I left the church. I was not offended by anyone. I understand the doctrine and served as a missionary and in various church callings. It wasn’t hard at all. I took my kids to church every week and took time for additional service. I did read some anti-Mormon literature but I am not interested in bashing the church. I have sinned. I left the church because I’m a lesbian and the church teaches that if I choose to love another woman I’m a sinner. In my experience, living my life as who I am has brought me greater peace and brought me to a deeper level of spirituality. But I can’t share that with my family members because they don’t believe that is possible. The church and so my family members insist I’m a sinner and believe I’m no longer worthy to be in their eternal family. I understand church doctrine but it just so happens that a lot of it is false.

  • Bcall

    Though many churches members feel the spirit while they worship in that church but that doesn’t mean it’s Christ’s church. I feel the spirit when I serve people, that doesn’t mean I can worship solely by my own actions and faith. The light of Christ and spirit is always there when men are taught to do good, serve, worship him. The spirit will bear witness when we ask specific questions too. What other church has the audacity to encourage their members to pray specifically wether it is the true church? I have visited many churches and have never found another.

  • moi2u

    Want to live a happy and joyful life as a Latter-day Saint?? Then, when tempted to debate the myriad of issues that arise, ask yourself one, and ONLY one question: “Is THIS (fill in the blank subject, issue, etc.) ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to MY PERSONAL SALVATION, PRESENTLY??” If so, Why So?? Odds are that 99.9% of the time the answer to this question will be “NO”. If the answer is ‘NO’ why waste your time and effort on debating or addressing it?? Why allow what ANYONE else has to say suck the joy out of your present moment??

    As for me, My personal salvation depends on only ONE thing: MY Personal Relationship with God, Our Father and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. ALL else is superfluous. Doesn’t depend on who said or did what and when, and/or what prophet or church leader had issues he/she had to overcome (they ALL DO in some way or another, as ALL the scriptures bear witness of, as do each of us), etc. We cannot be manipulated or deceived IF we have an ACTIVE and REAL personal Relationship with Our Lord and Savior–He has promised HE will absolutely NOT allow that to happen, although attempts will, surely, be made to that affect, by well-meaning Church members as well as not-so-well meaning Church members…and others. When deception is present, The Lord will, without a doubt, let us know and will also let us know how to handle it, if we but ask Him. If we get caught up in that snare, then we either have not created or have not actively (as in DAILY) maintained our personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Joy in The Lord and His creations and our fellow Beings (as King Benjamin put it) will soon be sucked right out of us, as we will soon open the door to being deceived.

    Christ IS not only your Savior, but He should also be your BEST FRIEND, after all, HE is Your Advocate with The Father–No One Else can assume that role. If you have been given the gift of The Holy Ghost, you have the ONLY KEY necessary to determine truth from error–in ALL things, in ALL times, and in ALL places and in ALL Doctrine presented…as well as THE ONLY KEY necessary to know what The Lord wants you to do about it, should error or deception present itself. It REALLY IS as simple as that.

  • moi2u

    Question: How is it that a ‘Saint’ can be ‘pestered’?? The Pharisees continually tried to ‘pester’ Jesus. What was His response?

  • moi2u

    Question: How is faulty reasoning the ‘perfect’ response to any comment? Every assumption made in his commentary contains faulty reasoning, and incorrectly, attributes ‘guilt’ and assumes ‘intent’ on the part of the dissenters he mentions.

  • TammoD

    “If you’re presented with anti-Mormon literature, then its only fair that you research both sides equally and tenaciously.”

    Agreed. And then, to live an honest life, avoid confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance and face reality. There is nothing wrong with keeping the good and tossing the bad. There is, however, something quite dishonorable in keeping the bad for fear of losing the good.

  • I agree!

  • Eric Player

    That shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been a member of the Church for any reasonable length of time. The Church has always taught that Truth was to be found, in part, in all sects and creeds, all over the world. That was the very specific message of both George Albert Smith and Gordon B. Hinckley. (“Bring all the good that you have and let us see if we can add to it.”) I also remember an Ensign article in the 90’s showing a mural of religions, meant to go with an article that made that exact point. And, since the Holy Ghost’s entire mission is to testify of Truth, when the truth is told, He testifies–no matter where.

    What the Church has ALWAYS taught, as an asterisk to that doctrine, however, is the only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does complete Truth and fully restored Authority reside.

  • 19JohnJerdon67

    Judge not that ye be not judged – Greg Trimble.

    #1 As far as being offended and staying away from organized religion is everyone prerogative. Only someone who doesn’t understand the true doctrine (Point #2) does not understand this because the scriptures clearly define a difference in the church and the Kingdom of God. Mormonism is merely the principles taught in the Book of Mormon and has nothing to do with the formation of an organized religion.

    Luke 17:21 – “the kingdom of God lies within” .

    Galatians: 5:18 “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    And a fourth witness: Isaiah 1:1 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?13 Bring no more vain oblations [outward ordinances]; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, [conferences]
    I cannot away with; it is iniquity,even the solemn meeting [devotionals, firesides] .14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts [ward dinners] my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your
    hands are full of blood.

    How plain can it be that organized religion with it laws, priesthoods, and outward ordinances are dead works and are not pleasing to the God they claim to worship? In fine, THEY OFFEND GOD, so how can you condemn others for being offended by these aspects of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Are you suggesting that we should seek to discern false prophets and doctrines and then ignore what we find?

    As far as finding something controversial online, the church recently admitted that they did lie to the members about the reason for the priesthood ban on blacks and that is was NOT by mandate from God but rather the personal prejudices of Brigham Young that negated the priesthood ordination of black males like Elijah Abel. The church knew this was the case for many years when Apostle Ballard dedicated Elijah Abel’s grave monument located in Salt Lake City Cemetery, which states that Joseph Smith ordained Abel in 1836. And how you conclude that no cover-up was involved just because the church finally addressed the issue many years later is only evidence of a damage control campaign, not forthrightness. Sorry, but I don’t see the advantage of having prophets, seers and revelators unless they reveal the truth in a timely manor. They were so unfamiliar with their own scriptures, they failed to realize that Matthew 10:4 says that Simon, one of the original apostles was a Canaanite and that Samuel the Lamanite prophet of the Book of Mormon also had dark skin. So just how is it that a prophet and apostle were not worthy to hold the priesthood?

    #3 Quoting the Lectures of Faith, which BTW was actually written by Sidney Rigdon not Joseph Smith, only showed you’re own lack of knowledge about church history because the LDS rejected the sacrifice of all things and the United Order and Law of Consecration because it was TOO HARD for them. And because they rejected it, the Mosiac Law of Tithes shall be a standing law unto them forever. Matthew 7:12 clearly states that there is only ONE law associated with the Gospel. The Golden Rule is simple and all the other requirements the church added to it are false doctrines.

    #4 The Book of Mormon is anti-Mormon literature, as it condemns every aspect of the modern church. It never mentions the need for priesthood authority, temples and ordinance and only mentions baptism by fire as fruits of the Spirit (3 Nephi 9:20). It also warns about wicked priest taking control of the church. Are we to sustain those like unto the priests of Noah?

    #5 And most insulting of all is the insinuation that someone has left the church to avoid a disciplinary council and repentance. The pioneer children are the ones that use their ancestry to avoid disciplinary councils. Everyone else is held to the standards while they claim to be saved by the Second Anointing ordinance pronounced on a dead ancestor.
    So as anyone with an open mind can see, there are valid reasons to leaving the church, whether you can wrap your mind around them or not.

  • dennis

    I left it because it is false. You should list the valid reasons to leave the church also. what it seems like you are doing is stating that there is no good reason to leave it. That’s fine that you think so, but at least one of the reasons posted is a good reason, that is, learning the truth, like from anti-mormon literature.

  • supermom6kids .

    I agree with everything you said!! Good job!!

  • Allen

    Only question. What if i decide not to serve a mission and because of it the majority of the members during church always. Always. keep asking me and pressuring me. Shouldn’t it not be any of there business? i get it that some people are curious and when they simply ask me. and then carry on without judging me or pressuring me. this has been the case for me and my friend (separate wards to) I’ve even visited a few different wards even in different states same result. People that ive literally never seen in my life come out to my work and ask me why im not on a mission. Not everyone does this. but enough to drive you insane. enough to make you not want to attend church meetings. What do you do then? Simply just ignoring them doesn’t work. And telling them straight up that your not just makes them ask questions and lecture you on why you should.I just need to know why would members of the lds church who are taught not to judge others, yet so many of them drive you away? idk i dont get it. in my opinion if someone doesn’t serve a mission. why cant you just carry on with your life and not think of them differently? if you think there making a mistake who cares its there’s to make.Now i know this is not the case with everyone. There are plenty of great members who more then support you in any choice you make about it. But theirs just as many you cant give you some slack. what do you do in this situation?

  • Kristen

    Steve, You’re a trip! Greg is brainwashed!! Me thinks that YOU are the one trying to brainwash others.

  • Ivan

    Thank you for boldly defending Joseph Smith…anonymously.

  • Great words!

  • bluegrandma52

    Sorry for the long post, Greg, but I thought this was important to the discussion.
    Our Relief Society President presented a wonderful lesson last Sunday. A former teacher, she started with an object lesson with visual aids. We all received pages from a “Magic Eye” book, those 3-D hidden images that were so popular back in the early 80s. There’s a process that has to be gone through in order to see the picture hidden within the colorful pattern that’s so obvious at first glance. We learned a few things from the exercise.
    1. For some, reading the instructions and doing the work of focusing properly allowed them to see their image fairly quickly.
    2. For others, listening to how others figured it out worked helped them try different processes in order to finally see their image.
    3. For a few, it was virtually impossible for them to see their image (or even someone else’s), no matter how hard they tried. Perhaps if they had more time, and it was in a different venue (better lighting, being able to stand and hold the picture at a different angle or distance, etc.), maybe the image would have become clear for them.
    4. For people with only one eye, being able to see the image was impossible, no matter how hard they tried, because they lacked the binocular vision necessary to see it. Their mortal condition prevented it.
    In all of these cases, there was an image there, whether or not we could figure out how to see it. Those who couldn’t had the choice of accepting on faith the word of those who could. I happen to be one of those who has no problem seeing the images, and I could describe what I saw to those who couldn’t see them. That didn’t make me better because I could see and they couldn’t; it was just a result of genetics and practice. I could just as well have been one who couldn’t see, if my circumstances were slightly different.
    Our teacher compared the image to our testimony. For some, it comes easily and naturally, and improves with practice. For others, the challenge is a difficult one, but they don’t fail for lack of trying. Our past experiences color our vision, our mortal and flawed selves get in the way of our seeing what’s right before our eyes.
    It’s very discouraging when a person tries as hard as they can, and still, they can’t see what “everybody” else can. The image, the trueness of the gospel, of the Church, and of Jesus Christ and His relationship to us, is not something everyone in this life will see. Some can take another’s word for it, and develop a faith that is based on the “hope of things unseen”. Some can’t. But in the eternal scheme of things, whether or not we can see the image of God in our mortal lives is less important than our helpfulness to others in their trials while trying to see Him. That, for me, is the whole message of the gospel, to work at seeing Christ in myself, but more importantly, seeing Him in others. Eventually, we all will see perfectly. That’s the pure doctrine. The rest is just gravy.

  • Wewillallseeoneday

    Sir, if you are hearing a voice telling you the Book of Mormon is true…It would not be God and His Holy Spirit that leads us to all Truth as he would not lie to you

  • Yovonne Jenkins

    Greg, thank you for sharing your faith and testimony…. I know how challenging it is to do so in a world full of doubt and faithlessness. I came to the Church twenty one years ago, after attending various churches (when you are military you don’t always have the choice of Baptist, Methodist, catholic, etc… if you want to attend you have to chose what’s closest. Anyway, I love the Truth found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and how they compliment each other. I love the order of the Church, the restoration of the Gospel and priesthood… I am grateful there is Light upon the face of the earth again. The Savior’s teaching of compassion, kindness, service, forgiveness… Service is being taught and embraced as never before in the history of men. I am grateful to be a part of heavenly Father’s family and grow as His child. We are all brothers and sisters of a kind, generous, loving Father in heaven and are here to remember, expand and share our magnificent beginnings; in His presence. My we all remember “from whence we came” and grow and develop in a manner that cultivates the eternal in us all… for such we agreed to come to this earth. As brother Oaks has stated “The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change”. Some of us are not willing to “change” and that is our choice…. remember a third of the host of heaven chose not to… did not Father do ALL He could to help them? Let us be kind to each other and continue in love always is my humble prayer, in the sacred name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

  • Brenton I

    I joined because it made sense. If Satan was to put out the book of Mormon, it was a dumb move to put the question from Moroni in as well. He is not that dumb to get you to prove to yourself it is false. In fact, that would be the last thing he would want you to do. Ask God if this is true. Listen to the still small voice. Find out if a person is a prophet.
    I did all that, and I know that any faith or religion will not measure up to the knowledge of man. I also know that the knowledge of man can change. And that man will justify both stances made.
    Power goes positive to negative. Did so for a long time. Until transistors came out. So now we have “conventional flow” and “electron flow” And yet man says both are correct. Only one is, and God has always known the second to be true. But you can’t make science wrong

  • Adam

    Chris, where have you been? There are mountains of evidence that the Book of Mormon is a fake. The Book of Mormon was written from the imagination of Joseph Smith. I admit that it is interesting reading, but it is farfetched and just ridiculous. The book has a lot of mistakes that have proven. Nobody has been able to find any archaeological evidence that the civilizations described in the Book of Mormon have ever existed. Archaeology is not the only proof that the Book of Mormon was made up by Joseph Smith; there is more evidence in the book itself. It talks about there being horses, cattle, sheep and goats in the Americas between 2500 BC and 400AD, but these animals were not domesticated prior to the arrival
    of the Europeans. Horses didn’t even exist in the Americas until they were brought over from Europe after 1492. The Book of Mormon also talks about these ancient civilizations have great armies that used chariots, armor, swords and other old world technology, but metal was not smelted in the Americas until
    after the Europeans arrived. Chariots couldn’t have been used in the Americans 1000 years ago, but because there
    weren’t any wheels in the Americas prior to the Europeans’ arrival. The Native Americans didn’t have any beast
    of burden so they never invented the wheel. These are only a few examples of the mistakes in the Book of Mormon. If any of these people described in the Book of Mormon would have existed 1000 years ago, there would still be evidence of their existence. Archeologist have been finding ancient artifacts in the Middle East and in Europe for decades which prove that the Romans, the Jewish Kingdoms and the ancient Egyptian civilizations existed, but for some strange reason they can’t find any of the ancient Nephite ruins anywhere in the Americas. If the Book of Mormon is a fake, then that makes Mormonism fake because this book is at the center of your religion.

  • Fred –

    I’m always open to the criticism. Although it may take me awhile to get through all 5 parts.

    Thanks a lot!

    Greg

  • Yeah…I listened to the first one and they seed like fair cool dudes…

  • Juliana Walters

    What if I never had any glaring problems with the church but it just didn’t feel right. So I prayed about it and the most peaceful feeling came over me. And a voice in my head said it’s OK, it’s not true. And now I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my whole life.
    What if that happened and what if I have a unwavering testimony that the church is not true?

  • Zelph Kinderhook

    Congratulations ! You’ve listed the 5 reasons LEAST responsible for people leaving Mormonism !

  • A. Pratt

    Dear Try:

    Please see paragraph 1 of my original post: “Thank you for not representing them as the ONLY reasons people leave Mormonism.”

    Kindest,
    A Pratt

  • UnreasonableMan

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The burden of proof is never on disclaiming an extraordinary claim and Mormonism’s vey premise is extraordinary.

  • Josh Wahawa Ruchty

    I think it’s only tearing down if they are happy where they are in the church. But not everyone is happy in the church. Some people feel worn down from within it, much like a relationship between two amazing people that just wasn’t meant to last.

    Those who honestly search and stay in the church will find renewed testimony and can be even more sure that their testimony is their own, and not something they’ve culturally inherited from friends and family. But you can still honestly search and come to different conclusions and still find lasting happiness. I like the subtitle of this blog: “life through my eyes” because of this very reason… Because we only have our own eyes through which to look at and experience this life! 🙂

    For this reason, I’ve given up on telling other people what makes them happy. I’ve started asking them instead. And when they tell me, I look into their eyes and I can feel their happiness *with* them, as if I had gone through that very experience myself. Atheists, Buddhists, Mormons… I can see the honesty in all of their eyes. And it just makes me happy that each of them has found their own way.

    I don’t know you, but as I sit here thinking about a way to respond, acknowledging you as a person behind the internet-mask, I feel a lot of love for you. I hope you continue having a happy and fulfilling life, no matter what. 🙂

  • Mary Bonham

    That was Bruce R. McConkie – and one of my favorite talks! The entire talk is totally awesome! Thank God the caravan moves on!

  • Mary Bonham

    That is what I love about the LDS Church! All of the avenues we can take – science, love, family, nature, creative expression, friendships, education, freedom – no regrets needed!

    • Spencer

      There is no science with religion. The two are incompatible.

      Example: According to christians the earth is 6,000 years old.
      According to science the earth is 4.5 billion years old.

      Your excuse to that answer: Well we don’t know how time works for god.

      Ya, ya.

      Example 2: According to science (and basic logic) the biblical flood was impossible- As water levels rose, fish that swim close to the surface of the ocean would have swam up to the heights of mountains. Fish would have died and yet there aren’t any fossil records of fish in higher elevation.

      Further more: light only travels so far through water and murk in the water. Trees, bushes, and plants would have been in total darkness for the duration of the flood. They would have been under intense pressure, and would become waterlogged and die. Not to mention the cold temperature that far down. Yet somehow when the water was drained, there was plant life? There was no damage? No evidence?

      Obviously NO ONE can say for sure because we weren’t there but the evidence is stacked against religion.

  • Mary Bonham

    I remember a statement from a friend of mine when she had left the LDS Church. She stated, with a big smile on her face, “NO MORE GUILT!”

    A few years later, she asked if my husband would re-baptize her into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was an honor!

    • Billy Law

      I get that it’s really hard for LDS to wrap their head around the idea that Mormonism isn’t for some people because they see it as absolute Truth as opposed to their truth. I’ve been on both sides of that and see that it’s all a matter of perspective. It’s like the optical illusion with the young woman/old woman. Once it flips it’s hard to see what the other person is seeing— and we of course are always sure we’re right.

  • chester_drawers

    That just doesn’t make any sense! If I knew something was true, I’d stick with it. Wouldn’t you?

  • chester_drawers

    I’ve found a better religion, but proselytizing is not a part of it (the main goal is unity and proselytizing is divisive) so I won’t name it. I’ve never understood how people criticizing you proves you are true. If I make claims that I know will be “out there,” and then I predict that people will criticize them, and then they do, does that mean my claims were true?

  • chester_drawers

    I clicked to see if you listed the reason I left: it did not provide me with any spiritual guidance or fulfillment. Someone telling you what to believe and how to behave is not spirituality. Telling me to “be in the world but not of the world” does not help my spiritual development, especially after I have lived in other countries and found that ” the world” shares the same -important- values as Mormons.
    But my reason was not listed. I guess it’s easier to just label me as lazy, weak, or a sinner.

  • Ella Harding

    I say- Great article… I know some who fit each reason you stated, and probably other reasons, too. I am familiar with these “excuses”, having friends or some who are close to me share these same thoughts with me when they each have gone another way. I feel bad for their lacking full depth of testimony or “witness” I enjoy. I too, have questioned, but have been reassured by the Spirit and the wonderful aspects of the Gospel that continue to bless my life. Prayer and listening, and study of scriptures, and service, and Church attendance all help strengthen me each day. As for evidence… many signs are left for us about the earlier massive civilizations in the Western Hemisphere… which do date from @2200 BC (Jaredite culture after the Tower of Babel) EX> Indian mound in Ft Walton Beach, Fl area that I toured in 1968 Just after I finished the Bof M for the first time… to later (600 BC- 400AD) Nephite era. Visit Mesa Verde, Co., or Ft.Mountain State Park, Ga. or down south in the Mexican areas and South American Pyramid temples and discovered huge populated communities they have uncovered. Even near the Hill Cumorah, NY area, there have been massive remains of human bones(think battles) found in the farmers’ fields there. But evidence that is most important is that which the Holy Ghost can give each one who asks with a sincere heart…and who will listen.

  • Ella Harding

    If you visit numerous pictographs in the US or south of the border, you will see horses in Pre Columbian era depicted. I have seen them. You might see the chariots too, I’ve seen. But evidence needs to be Spiritual…following the doctrine to know for yourself…getting a witness from on High within your soul. That carries you through the storms of offense, apostasy, doubt, and fear of repentence or ridicule. It has so many before us, and today.

  • Kevin S. Van Horn

    I noticed you left out, “Just don’t believe” — a very common reason for leaving the Mormon church. That was my reason, many years ago. Scientific investigation has disproven too many LDS doctrines. http://kevinsvanhorn.com/2014/08/31/why-i-am-not-a-believer/

  • Nancy –

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Just a couple thoughts:

    1. Not everyone is like you. Some people are singing in a different choir and could use the encouragement. We share opinions all of the time. I am sure you have raised your hand in relief society and shared a thought or interpretation or opinion at some time in your life. It might have struck a chord with one person and at the same time offended another. What can you do about it except try to do and say what is right.

    2. Anyone can make anything argumentative. Your testimony of the Book of Mormon would be considered argumentative by millions…and yet you’ve been asked to share it with others…both audibly and online.

    I can appreciate what you’re saying but I’m not quite sure what to do…

    This specific article was written as a result of things I have witnessed. I know that not everyone has the same experience but I can only write what I see. I’m sorry for any issue it has caused you or your friend…

    GT

    • Nancy

      No issues for me, and my friend made her choices long ago… so there’s likely no issues there anymore, either, haha. I can understand where you’re coming from. Honestly, it’s hard to say what is best when trying to reach out to those who are on their way out… sometimes it’s everyone’s best guess, I suppose. Just food for thought. Either way, good for you for being passionate about your faith.

  • Chris

    These reasons are so cliché that I wonder if this is satire or if you are trying to troll us.

  • Kate

    And what is there to do when you have “sinned” and feel no guilt for it? How can you truly repent for a “sin” when you don’t feel remorse or regret?

  • CaptMal21

    I was born and raised in the LDS church. My family never forced me to go but I went because I wanted somewhere to belong, Not because my family made me feel that way but beacuse I grew up in a very LDS oriented town and if I was not LDS then kids would make fun or degrade me in some way.
    Why I left was because I was brainwashed to believe as a kid that my father wouldn’t join me in heaven, be able to walk me down the isle at my wedding or ever truly love me because he was a tattooed Baptist that smoked cigarettes. I wish that I could meet the couple that told me that in Sunday school so I could point out how wrong they were.
    I have my own faith, I don’t believe in this perception of what any organized religion calls God. This religion is manipulative, I have seen kids after high school go on their mission just because their parents would bribe them to with college, a car, and most of all their love towards that child. Organized religion is a sin and breaks every damn code of how you should treat people.

  • Roger Chavez

    Hey Greg off topic I bombarded Carls Jr and got a 50cent coupon. I was so mad and continued to send emails I no longer got a response but the poker champion is on the commercials now. I can live with that. Thanks for having good moral values and speaking up.

  • PeterMollyman

    Actually Greg, you ARE suggesting that these are the only five reasons people leave Mormonism. You begin by saying that “it seems” people who left did so, “every time” because of one of these five reasons. Also, you characterize every single reason as a flaw in the person leaving: (1) the person leaving was too easily offended; (2) the person leaving wasn’t smart enough to understand the doctrines (or smart or humble enough to realize certain doctrines can’t be understood); (3) the person leaving was too lazy to work hard; (4) the person leaving was too easily swayed by those trying to attack the church with Anti-Mormon literature; and/or (5) the person leaving would rather sin (and was too embarrassed to repent) than live the commandments of God. So essentially, you suggest that nobody who leaves the church does so for legitimate reasons. That suggestion is both condescending and false.

    As pointed out by A. Pratt and others below, numerous people have left Mormonism because of legitimate concerns about doctrine and history. Even if your take on doctrine and history might be different, there is an abundance of history and science that at a minimum compels the admission that reasonable people can at least disagree about the core doctrines of Mormonism.

    It’s funny that the first reason listed is this notion that some members leave because they’ve been “offended.” Growing up, I remember hearing stories about various members going inactive or leaving because they had been “offended” by others in the ward. But I never really heard details. I now know lots of people who have left
    Mormonism, and I don’t think I know any who did so for such a silly reason. I suspect this is a common “reason” that members like to believe because it makes it easy to dismiss someone’s departure as petty and unprincipled.

    I don’t judge or condemn anyone who finds spiritual meaning and fulfillment in Mormonism. Nor would I suggest that they ought to leave the church. Likewise, I would suggest that you and others who share your perspective try to recognize that many people eventually realize that they simply don’t believe in Mormonism and that such belief is totally reasonable, even if you happen to disagree. There is a huge world out there beyond Mormonism where people have found spiritual fulfillment and
    happiness in countless ways!

  • Heidi Ann Coleman

    When I was being prepared by the spirit to be taught and invited to Jesus Christ’s restored church, well before the time the missionaries crossed the street and made an actual verbal invitation, which was the first invitation I had received to the church, I can recall a depth of feeling within me to always hope for not a single brother or sister to fail! Such a blessing the gift of the Holy Spirit is in preparing! (Thank you so much Heavenly Father! ;0) ).
    Being a member of Jesus Christ’s church, having been taught those plain and precious truths which have been restored and having received the required ordinances…all of this, the three hours of church on the Sabbath Day, Sunday, the responsibilities of callings, the daily seeking to improve upon oneself, the many commitments to pray always, to scripture study, to remember Jesus Christ always, to defend with politeness that which hath been restored and invite all to pray and ask for themselves, the temple work, family history work, the meetings, the committees, humanitarian work, and much more…to me, perhaps the hope that brothers and sisters remember that being an active member is about developing a constant, personal relationship with our father who is in heaven, a deeply rich and satisfying 24/7 relationship based upon love of Him, His Son and brothers and sisters. It is about a deepening reverence and respect for His Son, with a depth of humility for his perfect example, meant for each who would seek Him.
    So, to me, it’s not about developing a list of good works or thinking that membership is about demands — it is His and all service is by invitation, the recognition belongs to Him; though I am beginning (with hope) to understand a little about the desire to be of service, for truly it is Jesus Christ whom is all that is praiseworthy and our father, Heavenly Father whom is all righteousness and goodness.
    I hope this might in some small way help if a brother or sister is struggling with that which opposes, that there might be the strengthening that is needed to “Hang in there!” and endure. With an eye single to the glory of God, the vulnerability to react to duality loses its potential. Hoping brothers and sisters families are so blessed to endure and bring honor to our Heavenly Father because of His perfect Son. With love and hugs…;0)

  • maryann7

    While it is true that people give the reasons you have stated for leaving the church, they are not the true reasons. The ONLY reason people leave the church is that they are not truly committed to Jesus Christ. If the Savior is their foundation, none of the other challenges will cause them to leave the church.

  • Rusty Jones

    If the church actually isn’t true…would that be an acceptable reason to leave it??

  • LowKey

    Crickets

  • DD

    So what are the good reasons to leave the church? If Joseph lied about certain parts that we today call doctrine…would that be a valid reason?…I’m saying IF.

  • Billy Law

    “The Church is an open book. I hear people that are leaving the Church because they hear a “doctrine” (which is probably not even a doctrine) that was talked about long ago. Because they are just finding out about it, they assume that the Church has been lying to them or trying to “cover up” what they’ve now learned. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. ”

    An open book? Not exactly. Is it the Church’s job to show members it’s worst sides and bring out every skeleton in the closet? No. But the Church has though most certainly kept the most troubling items from the membership from its beginnings.

    Art of Joseph Smith with the gold plates ostensibly using the using the Urim and Thummim plays better in the 21st century than Joseph with his head stuck in a hat— so that’s what the Church shows and talks about. Anyway, you, the Church and other defenders neglect to mention why the seer stone in the hat method is problematic for many. It was how Joseph used this exact process in wholly unsuccessful treasure seeking and guardian spirit observing expeditions that make the process incredible. When seen in context many see the BoM translation (which BTW is seen by many scholars as being seer stone only. U & T was lost after the 116 pages) as another dubious claim by a person steeped in a magical world view. Anyway you claim it is ‘antis’ that are trying to make JS look like freak with the seer stone when it is that LDS Church that has really been trying to avoid the topic for about a century.

    I would say that Joseph Fielding Smith choosing to squirrel away Joseph Smith’s 1832 First Vision for 30 years in a personal safe was certainly not the most open thing he could have done. He only brought it back out once the Tanners published rumors of its existence. To say that the Church has not chosen to omit embarrassing but true items is inaccurate. Call milk before meat, pearls before swine or whatever but it has happened and still does.

    The Church publishing what it has of late is not because of openness but because the Internet has made the omissions in LDS teaching painfully clear. Don’t get me wrong— I’m glad it’s happening. I however think it’s not happening for the reasons you cite.

    “Everyone that goes inactive or leaves the church, did so because they did not or do not know something that they need to know.”

    The assumption here obviously is that everyone should be Mormon and that the LDS Church is what it claims to be. Once a person can consider this may not be true, then they can decide whether Mormonism is for them and, well, once they do that simple explanations like your 5 reasons become woefully inadequate. Disaffection from Mormonism or any faith is far more complicated than you suggest. Also clearly one person’s molehill is another’s mountain. What one sees as ‘an issue’ is personal. It also is often a good indicator of one’s bias— and yes, we all have them.

    I totally agree that people should study both sides of story with Mormonism. I did. I was active and had questions and studied outside of Deseret Book of Church sources and found it extremely enlightening. Some might have called some of what I read ‘anti’ but ironically these sources are now being references for facts in the essays on LDS.org. From my perspective more information is almost always a good thing. One thing I gained from my Mormonism is a desire to sift through the information available and, as far as possible, to find truth. It’s hard to decide what is truth though if you only hear one side of the story.

  • Billy Law

    Have you ever considered the obvious idea that the ‘focus’ is man made and is how the hierarchy initiates institutional forgetting when needed? Polygamy and seers stones finds it way to the proverbial memory hole because they are embarrassing and the finer points of the practices shock 21st century sensibilities, while Zion’s camp and the Thomas B. Marsh milk strippings myth are repurposed over and over. The latter are are a way to view and assess Joseph Smith’s prophetic claims and serve institutional needs in that regard. They are belief-positive. Polygamy and seer stones are also ways to assess those same prophetic claims but are ‘de-emphasized’ because they are seen as ‘faith-negative.’

    It’s all truth and if God wanted it all here to test our truth seeking then why does the Church try to restrict what members learn?

  • Billy Law

    Can you show me where polygamy is taught in the Bible vs. the societal practice being recorded? Do you see it being taught as a divine institution in the Bible?

  • John

    Why do LDS members tend to demonize those who leave? How come you can’t just let them leave with dignity?

  • Audrey M T

    “We just might not have enough information on the topic and it is therefore deemphasized in order to reduce confusion” (TRANSLATION: this teaching is no longer good for our PR). That’s probably why the Heavenly Incest Doctrine (McConkie) wasn’t taught in church post 1972.

    “When I come across something “strange”, I research it and then sit on it. I ponder it. I don’t assume anything and I don’t jump to conclusions. I won’t make a rash decision on the matter. I consider all of the things that I currently accept and believe and then ask myself why I would be unwilling to believe the topic at hand.” So, what you’re saying is, if you were presented with the historical fact (confirmed by over ten historical records) that Joseph Smith was sleeping with other men’s wives because he claimed an angel came to him and told him to do that, you would reject it (after pondering of course) based on the fact that you really believe you felt the Holy Ghost within you telling you no when you asked him/her/it? Fact of the matter is, feeling an emotion isn’t evidence of anything, just that you had a feeling.

    I would respect this post had you actually took the time to do thorough research on what the dissenters were saying, instead of having “they just don’t pray enough/do enough/understand enough” constantly running in your head and drowning their words out.

    “We physically feel bad when we do bad things because the light which is within us has been diminished.” I do feel bad if I’ve done something to hurt someone, spent money that I didn’t really have, or talked trash about someone instead of actually coming to them. I think that’s more a result of evolution favoring those who acted decently towards their fellow humans, which made protection within a tribe, (therefore a higher likelihood of survivability), much more likely.

    “The effects of sin can take us in one of two directions. It can humble us to repentance, or it can stir us to anger, frustration, and irritability. If a person is unwilling to repent, the natural inclination is to prove that God isn’t real or His Church isn’t true.” You are correct in your look in the dichotomy of human behavior. Most people (aside from true sociopaths), will feel guilt when they do something that’s harmful to others. They will, as you say, acknowledge and accept the flaws and try to remedy it in the future, or, they will try to rationalize their behavior to make themselves feel better. To you, rationalization is saying God isn’t real, or the LDS church isn’t true.

    Well, look at all that humility.

    Question: Who gave the LDS church the title of “ultimate arbiter of morality”? Answer: the LDS church. So, if some guy over in Ghana is killing babies or something, and he doesn’t want to take a look at the monster he’s become, in order to feel better about it he has to convince himself that God isn’t real or that the LDS church isn’t true? Give me a break, man.

    Are you really trying to tell me that your church is the alpha and omega of anything that is ever right or wrong, that feelings are the only viable evidence that you can rely upon, and you know all of this for a fact?

    If you were actually interested in humbly repenting, I think you might actually see that telling the world (directly or indirectly) that your church doctrine is the one true doctrine and that you are all going to a better part of the afterlife then everyone else (based on little to no objective evidence), as something incredibly arrogant.

    You wonder why people get angry. You wonder why people feel betrayed when they feel that some part of history wasn’t given enough attention. Your church sits there and tells people from infancy that they are sunbeams who are blessed to be in the one place that will teach them rules that they must follow in order to have eternal bliss in the afterlife. Then, you just don’t understand why people get angry that facts that may have been important for them to know so that they would make an INFORMED decision when accepting that extraordinary claim (they belong to the one true church, etc. etc.) were omitted.

    What 3-year-old kid is really going to be like, “I’ll google this on mommy’s iPad to make sure I’m making an intelligent decision about how to live my life”. They’re going to take everything mommy and daddy and the church leaders say as true because they depend on those figures for survival. To find out that they were not given the whole story about arguably the most important thing in their lives later on, in adulthood, would be infuriating to anyone.

    I doubt God’s existence. I doubt Thor’s existence. I doubt Santa Claus’s existence too, I just can’t without a doubt prove that those things don’t exist. I’m not trying to convince you to not follow the LDS church. But I’m trying to tell you why you’re assessment of why people leave is incredibly and utterly wrong.

    And honestly, if the New Testaments’ petty, insecure, vengeful, child-killing, passive-aggressive god existed, I would rather nose dive into hell and opt to stay there for an eternity instead of worshiping him.

  • Audrey

    Thank you for that. I am a wholehearted Atheist, but I really, really respect believers that put time and thought into their convictions and keep an open mind. I wish more of the mormons were like you. 🙂

  • Audrey

    And, of course, he didn’t.

  • Audrey

    Wait, was he saying you were a bad influence because you weren’t married and didn’t have a family?

    If he was, what a jerk.

  • Colby

    Greg, why were so many comments from this article removed?

    It’s almost…as if….my comments discussing ignoring anything that may…uh…challenge thoughts and beliefs of ours….(a principle anyone of any religion should have)….were ironically removed.

    Seriously, CENSOR THE WORLD why don’t ya.

    My whole family is Mormon and I was respectful. Thanks for being a bully and making decisions for other adults on what they should or should not read. That’s definitely NOT the most arrogant thing you can do. /sarcasm.

    Happy Christmas time. Hope your dissonance gets renewed for another year.

    • Colby –

      I approve almost every comment that people post. As you can see by reading comments on most of my posts…I don’t remove comments from people that disagree with me or the things I write. I only remove comments that have vulgar language or outbound links that I cannot verify their destination.

      If you posted something and you can’t see it…go ahead and re post it and I’d be happy to approve it.

      Hope all is well and Merry Christmas!

      Greg

      • Colby

        Hey man, I appreciate the sentiment, but I literally have 9 comments that I attempted to post on this without vulgar language or links and they are all marked ‘removed.’

      • Colby

        Actually 12. A couple were slightly snarky, but a few were long and inquisitive as to the definition of god. If that’s not allowed then that’s just sad my man. I would take the time to repost them but I have no idea who they were in response to and man, so much work for something that happened 5 months ago haha.

        Merry Christmas to you as well regardless.

  • daveo

    Your article seems a bit disingenuous, Greg. Your opinion is obviously that one should not leave the church for any reason, including doctrinal issues, which you have attempted to put under the condescending catch-all of ‘not understanding the doctrine’. Many of us understand it all too well, perhaps even as well as you, and have chosen to leave.

  • Olivia Hansen

    Have you red the anti-Mormon books? They kept polygamy quiet until recently. How can you pass that off as they were human? J.s. said until he died he only had one wife. Look up wife no. 19. The cover has a blindfolded woman on it. People ave gone from follow Christ to follow the prophet. The church lied to us.

  • Rev. Jim Boyd

    The best reasons for leaving the Mormon Church…

    1: John Smith was con-artist.
    2: The US Government list the LDS church as a cult.

    3: Mormons are Polytheist (believe in more than one God)…therefore are NOT Christians.
    4: The whole Elohim and the star-base Kolob thing…
    5: Mormons believe that The Book of Mormon is an historical record, however
    The Book of Mormon describes places and peoples in the Americas for
    which no archeological evidence exists.
    6: Smith
    said he found golden plates which contained in “reformed Egyptian”…yet the characters seen in his hand scribed copies of the plates…do not conform to any form of the Egyptian language…or any other written language that ever existed throughout the history of humanity.
    7: It’s a fake religion dreamed up by a crak-pot…and followed by even bigger crak-pots.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, I am 15 years old. I want to leave the Church, but I do not fall under these categories. I understand the doctrine better than any of my young men’s leaders I’ve ever had. I have not committed any serious sin or read things against church teachings. I work harder at being a “good Mormon” than almost all of the 85 youth in my ward. I have never been offended by a leader of the Church. It is simply not true and I do not wish to be a part of it any longer.

  • N.T.

    I am a 15 year old, born and raised with the intention of having the perfect Mormon. I have never been offended by Church leaders, I understand doctrine better than most of my teachers quorum advisors, I do not believe the standards of the Church are difficult to uphold, I do not read anti-Mormon doctrine, and I have not committed any serious sin, and yet I wish to leave the Church. It has never brought me happiness; on the contrary, when I told a friend that I no longer believed, he ceased all communication with me, causing me much pain. I want to leave, but my parents will pretty much disown me if I so much as question a minute detail of the Church. This church is not full of truth; it is full of traps. “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” What fruits has the LDS Church wrought in my life?

  • Alex

    I understand you can have youre views, but sir you have no right to say why someone shouldn’t leave the church! Just because these things don’t effect how you feel about the church, some of these things can and have to others. I see this post as shaming the people and calling them to weak. What people need to understand is that the people that leave the church are not lazy and not motivated to get up. For many (not all) they spend countless hours and hours, for long a amount of time to think on this very important decision. This post makes me sick.

  • William Kimbler

    Five reasons why I left Mormonism
    1. Joseph smith and his contradicting views of the first vision

    2. I actually started looking into the Hebrew language and in EZK 37:15-20 the word for stick is ‘êṣ; which means staff. So they twisted the language to fit their needs

    3.Book of mormon contradicts the D&C so which one is true and most correct book?

    One God Book of Mormon
    Alma 11:27-39, 44
    2 Nephi 31:21
    Mormon 7:7
    3 Nephi11:27
    Testimony of Three Witnesses

    Plural Gods Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 121:32
    Section 132:18-20, 37

    God is a Spirit Book of Mormon
    Alma 18:26-28
    Alma 22:8-11

    God Has a Body Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 130:22

    God’s Word Unchangeable Book of Mormon
    Alma 41:8

    God’s Word Can Change Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 56:4-5

    Polygamy Condemned Book of Mormon
    Jacob 1:15
    Jacob 2:24
    Jacob 3:5
    Mosiah 11:2

    Polygamy Commanded Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 132:1, 37-39, 61

    4. D&C Sec 7 ( 1 And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.2 And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.) If John is still alive then there was never a “TRUE” apostasy and Joseph NEVER restored the church.

    5. Eternal progression (aka “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345). This contradicts the God of the Bible God who is God alone (Is. 44:8), self-existent (Is. 43:10; 48:12), transcendent (Num. 23:19; Ps. 50:21), immutable (Ps. 102:27; Is. 46:10; Mal. 3:6), eternal (Ps. 90:2; 93:2), omnipresent (1 Kings 8:27; Prov. 15:3; Is. 66:1; Jer. 23: 23, 24), and incorporeal (John 4:24; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17). He is also a God who dwells in the believer (Eph. 3:17; 4:6; Rom. 8:9) and is omnipotent (Job 42:2; Ps. 115:3; Matt. 19:26).

  • Dan Livingstone

    Leave because its full of falsehoods and cover ups. God does not enlighten man through a web of deception and circlar arguements.

  • Elaine

    I
    believe in the LDS church, and not because I’m a blind sheep following
    my parents. My Mom is a convert, my Dad never joined. I lived in two
    worlds for many years, going to church one week and rodeoing the next. I
    saw a stark difference in the families in both places, and I watched
    many of my friends go down a dark and addictive path. Do I think the
    church is perfect? No, because it’s managed by human beings, and we’re
    not perfect. As my Mother-in-law said, “God does the best He can with
    cheap help.” I’ve spent a lot of time learning about other spiritual
    paths, and I believe that any spiritual path that brings positive
    results is a good one- peace, comfort, honesty, truth and compassion. I
    still believe the fullness of the gospel is in the LDS church, and that
    is my chosen path. I hope that everyone finds a path that brings them
    closer to God or a Higher Power.

  • Moroni’s cousin

    Oh what fluff you provide Mormons Greg. They read this and say to themselves, “I’m going to email this article to my inactive friends and family. These are probably the reason why they would leave the one true church”. This is just nonsense. So let’s break it down, shall we:
    1.) Agreed that you should not leave any organization because someone in that organization offended you. Unless of course you have a man who says that he is the prophet come to you and say, “I need your wife” or “I need your 14 year old daughter”. But that wouldn’t happen now would it? That’s be crazy talk.
    2.) Greg, have you no shame? Are you honestly and truly saying that the church hasn’t covered up it’s past? Really? I cannot believe that you can say that with a straight face. You seemed to infer that good members who stay “understand the doctrine”. So Greg, exactly how would you explain the Adam-God DOCTRINE to a primary class or to a youth group, or to adults for that matter? Am I not understanding the doctrine because it really really REALLY bothers me? Could you please explain that to me so that I can understand it better?
    3.) Why not leave because it is too hard? What’s wrong with that? You cannot value someone else’s time for them by giving them tasks that you deem important and they do not. Mormonism does a good job parking themselves in every part of member’s lives. Some may not like that. I certainly don’t. I don’t need an organization to try to co-op my marriage, family, relationship, activities, free-time, money, meal plan, wardrobe, etc. They are too invasive.
    4.) Ah yes, the ol’ anti-mormon card. Don’t read it, it’s anti-mormon. Is something that is written about Nazi’s anti-Nazi? Or is is just history? If someone says to you, Why would the Church take out the Preacher and Blood Oaths from the temple ceremony? Is that anti-mormon or is it just a question about the ceremony? Using your example, is it anti-mormon to assume that members don’t know about the rock in the hat story and the only reason the story came out is because the information age made it available to the masses? What exactly makes something anti-mormon? Because it doesn’t champion the cause and refuse the facts? I can tell you this my friend, any country, organization, or person that tries to control information is a bad bad entity. The church does this. They, and you, tell people to stay away from this and that. Is the truth so fragile that it cannot stand again lies? Or is it that the lie of mormonism cannot stand up to the truth?
    5.) Agreed. Don’t leave because you sin. Why though do you have to confess to a Bishop? So that he can use that against you if you do leave. They can always say, “he sinned”.

    In conclusion, you don’t know anything. You can hope all you want. It will not change the outcome. Hopefully for your own sake, one day you will realize you are in a cult. Sorry bro.

  • Donald

    This article boggles the mind. It is an example of the Internet being used poorly. Good googily moogily!! Google whether the church is true!! Google it!

  • JazzFan

    Being polite and closing the door does NOT work. I’ve tried that. They still come back. I’ve stopped being polite and they come back. They bang on the door almost every time. I saw some people peering into my backyard.I want to be left alone, period. They act like children because they won’t take no for an answer. For someone to make assumptions about why I left is arrogant. I do not fall into the five reasons listed but there is no doubt someone will try to place me there anyway. They don’t know me, they don’t know my reasons, but they think they can put me into a category. Give it up and leave me alone. That is the reason that sometimes I reply to things like this. I see people post the links on facebook. Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.

  • Ted

    It’s sad that people fall away from the church, if they would just read and study the papyrus that brother Joe translated they would understand the meaning of life and realize that the Bible isn’t true, only The Pearl, the BoM and the Dicktrine and Coverances

  • JEE

    Sorry Greg, these are simply the reasons devout Mormons give for why others leave in order to make themsevles feel better and secure in the faith. The Church has commissioned research on this issue, and these are not the main reasons people are leaving. Check out this video that explains the real reasons people leave. https://youtu.be/EP3GJeYIN3s

  • TheBoojume

    Glad to see Atheism didn’t make the list! It’s the best reason ever! Well, that and coffee.

  • VFanRJ

    Based on a survey performed at USU statistically here is the ranking of why people leave Mormonism.
    1) Polygamy/Polyandry
    2) Book of Abraham
    3) Blacks and the Priesthood
    4) DNA and the Book of Mormon
    5) Masonic influences in the temple ceremony
    6) Multiple, conflicting versions of the First Vision
    7) Anachronisms in the Book of Mormon (e.g. horses, steel, etc.)

    I don’t know if respondents were allowed to rank them, but here is my prioritized list in terms of its affect on my Mormon belief.

    1) Heavily Masonic like Endowment, as well as Mason history (copied ceremony only 200 years old at the time)
    2) Book of Abraham
    3) American DNA and linguistic studies
    4) Polygamy/polyandry
    5) Blacks and the Priesthood
    etc. a very long list.

  • Giles

    Interestingly enough, your article illustrates exactly WHY I’m considering leaving. Too much corporatism and not enough Christ. If I decide to leave, it will probably be because I have determined the LDS church has become too much of a stumbling block in my path to know Him.

  • Ali

    im leaving because i can’t be lesbian unless i still marry a guy

  • Mitch

    what a terrible article! Everyone I know who has left the church has done so simply because they found out beyond a shadow of a doubt that the church was false. All this article does is create a gulf and cause more misunderstanding between those who leave the church because truth and integrity are more valuable than comfort and those who are still in the church and have yet to find out that it is false because they are unwilling to look (i.e. this article worsens relations between members and ex-members by making it ok to dismiss non-believers for reasons you deem as less than and don’t scare you, like the actual reason people leave: THE CHURCH IS FALSE)

  • Chris Barnes

    I have been out of the LDS for a few years for personal reasons. However, I found that the Church Leadership seemed to be sanitising Church History so much that it conflicted with what I knew to be truthful. Joseph Smith was not the saint he is made out to appear. Brigham was not a man of peace and many of the founding members left the early church for exactly the same reasons I have. I was finally convinced of the deception when I found out that the prophet’s wife did not support the LDS leadership. The LDS tell us that the Moroni artefacts were magically taken by angels back to heaven when in fact these earthly artefacts have remained in the possession of The Smith Family ever since JS was killed by his enemies. I found out today that The Sealed Portion has been translated into English and made available to the LDS since 2008, but the President of the Church rejected it as false. How would they know for sure? I have a family to look after and I need to make contact again with our divine heritage and purpose in this evil-controlled world.None of the LDS leaders have ever chosen to explain the incongruities that have split the church for 180 years, since Jospeh Smith, the self-proclaimed fallen prophet. The LDS leaderships have lost the presence and interaction of the Spirit of God due to Smith’s iniquities… not those of the honest and good modern members. (I do not include the ‘members’ who have broken the federal or state laws). The Church Leaders know the truth, but feel they cannot make it known because they would have to admit that the LDS and other groups have been Apostacised for a long time. Until or if they ever repent and accept the active ministering and guidance of Jesus Christ into their hearts ,for real and not just in their imagination, then they will be poorly guiding the church with old falsehoods. Read The Sealed Portion Book online for free and judge for yourself. Jesus actually told people that God and the kingdom of heaven was within them. The human body is the actual earthly holy temple and the Holy of Holies is within the Shekinah of the mind/brain in ‘the secret chambers ‘ we know as the Pineal Gland. There is the doorway to commune with Our God in Heaven. It was always so. The Holy Merkabah has been witnessed within the last few decades. Wisdom has now been freely given to those with a contrite and broken heart and a sincere desire for wisdom in the name of God, our Heavenly Father. One must give up relying on man for wisdom and ask God instead… not from a book.

  • Twister51

    Spot on. One friend of mine got divorced twice and said he felt ostracized while in church meetings. Yes, probably some of that was true. But EVERY member treated him like dirt? Come on, get real. Then he chose to become inactive for literally 20+ years. I had a conversation with him several years ago and I was SHOCKED how much basic, basic doctrine he had literally forgot. He’d say “X” is what Mormons teach and believe in and it would often be factually/doctrinally wrong and incorrect. I was amazed but that’s what not going to church or reading the scriptures for over 20 years will do to you…..

  • Joseph Payne

    Yes there is. Mounds and mounds of conclusive proof against the COJCOLDS. You guys all like to sit back and comfort yourselves on this poorly written uneducated brainwashed piece, but in the end there IS proof and once you start down the path of knowing, truly knowing what that proof is and why it matters you can never go back to your comfortable mental state of brainwash.

  • Mary Bonham

    Still moving on!!