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What Does It All Mean?

As I discovered things about the church that bothered me, I somewhat subconsciously put them on a shelf in my mind to ignore. I now suspect that behavior like this is to minimize the impact of cognitive dissonance. Regardless, over time the number of bothersome things on that shelf became very perplexing to me. I couldn’t make sense of how the church could be true if all those things existed. I thought there must be explanations for each, but I just didn’t know what those explanations were.

It wasn’t until I made that mental leap to wonder “What if the church isn’t what it claims to be?” that I started to finally understand. Everything immediately fit together like a puzzle. It fit together so perfectly that I was startled.

The historical and objective evidence that the church is not what it claims to be is overwhelming.  But when you’re in that echo-chamber, when everyone around you is repeating over and over again that they “know” the church is true, it’s intoxicating.

Mormons have an interesting habit of desperately searching for and instantly accepting any evidence that could possibly be interpreted as supporting their beliefs.  But any evidence to the contrary, no matter how factual or well-researched it is, becomes instantly suspect and is usually disregarded without any thought on it.

An objective approach

Take a step back and look at it another way:

  • A convicted glass-looker and treasure seeker, who buries his head in a hat to dupe people into believing he can find treasure, starts a religion
  • He claims to have been visited by supernatural beings who told him that no religion on earth was true
  • He is unable to get the details correct about that visitation, including how many beings came and who they were
  • He joins the Methodist church a few years after the vision despite being told not to by God
  • He claims to have translated a book of scripture about the Native Americans, where they came from, and their culture
  • Almost everything in the book is completely unsupported by archeological, anthropological, linguistic and biological evidence
  • Numerous technologies, flora, and fauna mentioned in the book did not exist on the American continent at the time the book supposedly was written
  • The book claims to have a foolproof way to determine truth, but it is based on subjective feelings and the test and results are dictated by the book itself
  • He claims to have translated papyri written by Abraham himself
  • His translation, the dating, and the facsimiles are shown to be a hoax
  • He is brought seemingly ancient plates and claims to have translated a portion and know what they say
  • When the plates are shown to be a hoax themselves, the church he started claims he never fell for the trap
  • He secretly marries numerous young girls and women, often without his first wife’s knowledge
  • He and his church both condemn and lie about the polygamy and polyandry while it is happening
  • Numerous prophecies he makes are completely wrong or never come true
  • He claims revelation about a guideline for health that includes no drinking or smoking, but continues drinking and smoking himself
  • He joins a secretive group called the Masons, copies their ceremonies, handshakes and gestures, then introduces them into his religion and claims they are revelation
  • He gives the priesthood and temple access to black people, but his successors quietly reverse the policy with false reasons for more than a hundred years
  • His successor gives multiple sermons about two significant doctrines that are later denied by the church
  • The church claims persecution when it is forced to abandon polygamy, but campaigns against both interracial and homosexual marriages
  • Long after his death, the church lies, deceives, and misleads its own members about key events in its history
  • The church demands a significant portion of every member’s income in order for them to make it to the best place in heaven
  • The church fails to divulge where or how the money is spent
  • The top leaders of the church throughout history are caught in numerous lies and falsehoods

Do you see why, when looked at objectively, the Mormon church is not taken seriously by anyone except its adherents?  It was established by a con-man and built on lies.

My smarter, better-spoken, non-identical twin

This guy expressed my sentiments far better than I possibly could.

Next Step: My Wife’s Story

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