My life as a Mormon agnostic - How Truth Set Me Free
The book that forms the primary basis for the religious belief.
Familiar LDS painting of Jesus Christ's Second Coming, as the angels behind him blow horns.
Common portrait painting of Jesus Christ in Mormon households and Church buildings (branches, wards, stakes).
Painting depicts Joseph Smith's first vision with Heavenly Father (right) and his son Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove in upstate mid-west New York.
Joseph Smith hands the 'priceless' golden plate back to Angel Moroni for retrieval to Heaven after the translation was concluded.
Mormon Temple adjunct to LDS Office Building (which administers financial and organizational management of the Church affairs) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mormon Tabernacle stand to sing for the Lord.
Photo gallery of Semi-Annual Mormon Conference with Church leaders comprised of the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles and the Quorum of the Seventy. (12 photos)
Background about me, then a brief summation of the Mormon Church's origin that belies its true design. This is for those who are the uninitiated or heard about the Mormon religion with an "uninformed," prejudiced attitude.
This is not a statement of faith in affirmation. Quite the opposite, as exemplified below for the laypeople.
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My parents are devout converts of the Mormon Church, officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or 'LDS' for short.
My father was raised a Catholic who swore like a sailor, fornicated, smoked and drank. He briefly dabbled in atheism after ditching Catholicism before he converted to Mormon religion in the mid-70's. My mother converted to Mormon as the only faithful member of the family with four surviving siblings (two deceased) that had converted (except for the cynical, crankterous father with history of alcoholism and abuse) from when she was 12. None of her siblings are faithful. Her deceased mother was a semi-active Mormon as a staunch Democrat who disagreed with Mormon Church's consistent conservative attitude.
My parents converted because the missionaries knocked on the door to introduce the persons to Mormon faith.
They were the young adults who met at a church dance. They fell in love and became engaged. They were issued the elusive temple recommend (despite the impressive global figure of approximately 12 million members, probably over a half million are issued temple privilege) after a rigorous interview process to determine the 'worthiness' of the interviewees in doctrinal obedience and purity, absent from premarital sexual contact, drugs, alcohol and other acts considered 'sinful' by the LDS Church bishopric.
They wedded and consummated the union. I was born 'in the covenant' as the first-born child in late 1978, the same year they were awarded the symbolic certification of temple admittance in the form of temple recommend card signed by stake president and bishopic.
My childhood was fraught with confusion. I 'never' understood the 'bizarre' elementary theology taught in Primary and Sunday School. The disbelief emanated from my spiritual and emotional negligence as the eldest child by my parents who focused on producing and rearing subsequent siblings (four).
Theological and historical doctrines were taught with regularity in Sunday School and middle/high school seminary classes. Such as that the founder Joseph Smith was a semi-literate farm boy who was advised by Heavenly Father, his son Christ and the Angels not to join any church because "all religions are an abomination in the sight of the Lord" and 'commissioned' to translate the unearthed gold plate that came to be called the Book of Mormon, that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers, that there was a bloody war in Heaven, that early Mormons were persecuted because Wicked people (compelled by the influence of Satanic force) hated Mormon religion and wanted to destroy it by suppression through rape, violence and carnage, that the past and current presidents are considered to be seer, prophet and revelator and the doctrinal guidance of the Mormon authority must be heeded, etc.
Because my parents expected me to be a good boy, I pretended to be a deacon and a priest (Aaronic Priesthood) to please them. In my secret attitude, I questioned existence of 'God' and the veracity of the Mormon Church. I didn't know there is a word 'Agnostic' that aptly describe me when I was an adolescent. I was close to complete atheism.
Soon after relocation to Utah with my family after I turned 18, I began to research the early history of the Church on the Internet. Subsequently I researched at the university libraries to verify the physical sources that throw the divinity of the Mormon Church into question.
Mormon pioneer leader (migration to Utah, Idaho and Nevada) and second president Brigham Young delivered shocking sermons that cheerfully sanctioned blood atonement (killing 'bad' Mormons for committing sins such as adultery through brutal execution by disemboweling and piercing with sharp weapons) and revealed that Adam is God. "As God is, man may become."
Attainment of Godhood through temple rituals derived from Masonry, which the founder Joseph Smith was a member of. Joseph Smith fabricated Book of Mormon through plagiarism of King James Bible and utilizing some fantastical books as inspired source such as "View of the Hebrews" which concerned the now-debunked claim of Israelite Jew migration to America centuries before Columbus.
Smith's adventures of money digging (for which he was arrested) before Mormon Church was founded in 1830 soon after completion of Book of Mormon in 1829. Joseph proclaimed that Book of Mormon is the "most correct" scripture since the publication, yet there were significant verse alternation between the early editions of the Book of Mormon and recent editions. Especially noteworthy is that American Indians may become "pure and delightsome" instead of the original verse "white and delightsome" because the Indians were an accursed race (though, according to Book of Mormon, both were descended from Israelite Jew bloodline, with the 'wicked' rival Lamanites that destroyed Nephites to extinction in wars, which facilitated the burial of a gold plate compiling the history of the Americas and artifacts by the surviving Nephite Moroni in the grove near Palmyra in northwest region of New York) along with Africans as the 'Mark of Cain'.
There was widespread practice of polygamy as Joseph Smith proclaimed in the official Mormon paper 'Doctrine and Covenants' (which is considered holy along with another portion called "The Pearl of Great Price" as the complimentary supplement to Book of Mormon) that polygamy is the only route to attaining true Godhood in the upper level of the Heaven. (More on that later.) He coveted other men's wives and corrupted young teenage girls by marriage through his claim of divinity as a prophet who cheated on his loyal wife Emma by deception and adultery. He was a tyrant as a leader who led the thousands of believers astray, some to their doom as subject of mob violence and animosity due to the lawless and fanatical behavior of the early Mormons, and he was the commander of a Mormon militia called the Nauvoo Legion. Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum's death at the jail at the hands of the mob arose from Joseph's attempt to suppress free press by destroying the business that printed Nauvoo Expositor, which exposed Joseph's 'secret doctrine' in polytheism and polygamous affairs in sordid detail, by vandalism. Et cetera.
The further research I did, the more obvious the Mormon Church is not what it claims to be. Its design was of pure human origin. It 'constantly' revises history to mold to the official claims in history and doctrines. Its emphasis on 'truth' is a monopoly designed to deceive and extort contributions in tithing and volunteer work.
In other words, the Mormon Church is a total sham.
Mormon Church 'officially' renounced polygamy in 1890 in order to attain statehood in the Union (Utah, 1896) as the condition by the federal government that demanded abolishment of the practice as 'inhumane'.
Joseph Smith was an egomaniacal narcissist who invented the Mormon religion to make money, elevate power over the masses and partake in the pleasure of polygamous affairs. Brigham Young, who "saved" the Mormon Church from self-destruction with his tireless leadership after Joseph Smith's inevitable death, was a frighteningly powerful tyrant who had bloodied hands in the horrific period of righteous violence against the innocent and converted through blood atonement executions (some carried out by the Danites, a fanatical group of male adherents) and massacres (most famously, Mountain Meadows).
The Mormon Church rose from obscurity in the period of "The Burned Over District" in New England, where American religious cults flourished then vanished or merged in denominations such as the now-extinct United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing ('Shakers') and Seventh Day Adventist, to an internationally well-known religion that encompasses influence in politics, society, and finance.
The whole damned truth is, the Mormon Church is a demented and dangerous cult. Its true agenda is to control mind and soul for profit and permanent obedience by complete conditioning as a strictly business enterprise masquerading as a religion that claims to be Christian in spite of its astounding heresy (polytheism and Godhood theology). Not unlike the Church of Scientology and other smaller, equally dangerous cults.
Here is the video link to the March 15 episode of "Big Love" featuring depiction of temple ceremony in garment and behavior, exactly as reported prior to removal of the blood oath (the plea to die in agonizing pain & death by ripped tongue and disemboweled entails by Masonic-like signs if a temple member reveals the nature and procedure of the sacred temple rituals) in 1990. Presumedly because it was 'politically incorrect' and disturbing to the freshman temple attendees who are "forced" to witness and participate in the bizarre rituals to become acclimated after a period of time as new converts.
Temple Mormons are obliged to wear special undergarments as a symbol of purity and divine protection that may favor only the qualified temple members as more worthy than everybody else below them, to ascend to the top level of the Heaven called Celestial Kingdom, which may be only attainable by temple marriage.
And the uppermost level of the Celestial Kingdom allows the men who are deemed most loyal and worthy to become God to rule over their own planets populated with hundreds, if not thousands of spirit children sired with a wife.
Or wives, if one practiced polygamy prior to 1890 manifesto or as a male member of Fundamentalist LDS that retains the doctrinal origins of early Mormon theology taught by Smith and first few successors to the efficiently horrific and totalitarian control of women and young females treated as devalued and property to be used and abused (rape and/or incest by forced marriage) to bear multitudes of children. While young men are ostracized to existential despair and premature death (homelessness, drugs, crime, suicide) once boys become adolescent or reach adulthood.
Diagram of Mormon concept of the afterlife, where non-Mormons who reject Mormon doctrine are imprisoned at "Spirit Prison" awaiting baptism for admittance to one of the levels of Heaven.
Real, practicing, devoutly believing Mormons believe YOU, the disbelievers (atheists, apostates, freethinkers) and adherents/converts of other denominations, are destined for Spirit Prison or, worse, Hell unless you convert posthumously through temple procedure called Baptism of the Dead. The posthumously baptized members include the Jews who may have died in the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and serial killer Ted Bundy.
This is why the Mormon Church is an absolute, unambiguously insane and totalitarian cult.
However, as the rule of thumb, devout Mormon people are generally nice & generous. But some can be arrogant, self-entitled and uppity assholes, because they believe their religion is true, therefore they must believe in achieving "mortal perfection" which is an impossible human feat.
For more information, watch the somewhat even-handed PBS Frontline/American Experience documentary "The Mormons" for starters.
I conclude with the parting quote.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
New King James Bible.
Blood oath temple ritual
'Big Love' temple scene (embedded video banned; alternative video link)