A Journey of a Year

One year ago today I posted this on Facebook. I was pleased to receive so much understanding and support. There was disappointment, too, of course. That is to be expected. It was confirmed that the caliber of family and the friends I’ve surrounded myself with is very high. I am truly grateful for that!

My wife is amazing! I expressed concern to her about what others might say about me but she told me to send them her way and she’d straighten them out! She’s not just my wife and partner, she’s my best friend.

But, back to the post on Facebook.

Apparently, my LDS Church Priesthood leaders were less than excited about it. I think, though, that my Bishop was willing to let the post stand and would have worked with me through whatever questions I might have about Church Doctrine and History. With that thought, I need to step aside for a moment.

Questions about Church History? Doctrine? It used to be that people who doubted, went inactive or outright left the Church were offended or had “sinful” habits they couldn’t or wouldn’t give up. Or were just lazy. Couldn’t commit. Or didn’t have enough Faith. Now it’s “questions” and “doubts” that seem to be the culprits. Well, the others are still considered, just not as much. What it was with me, being unable to speak to anyone else’s case, was that I learned Joseph Smith, Jr. was a con man and a fraud. I learned the LDS Church was not true. No questions. No doubts. No sinful habits. Faith didn’t even apply! In fact, Church leaders seem to advise an increase in Faith will overcome my doubts and questions but even their own doctrine contradicts that. Faith leads to knowledge. Knowledge is the goal. Once knowledge about a thing is obtained, Faith becomes dormant with regard to that thing. (The Book of Mormon, Alma 32)

I have knowledge the Church is false. Faith no more.

Now, back to the task at hand.

This is my own impression of the motivations behind the sequence of events that this post “inspired”, but if there are differences in reality, I think they’re insignificant. Also, one year has passed and I’m 62. The making of this post here helps my recollection!

So, after interviewing with my Bishop the prior year (June/July), an appointment at my home was set up for the Stake President and our local Area Seventy. (Break: nutshell explanation regarding LDS hierarchy – Bishops lead congregations, several congregations – 6 to 8 or so – comprise a Stake, overseen by a Stake President, several Stakes comprise an Area, overseen by an Area Seventy, Area Seventies report to the Seven Presidents of Seventy, the First and Second Quorums of Seventy and the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the Church are General Authorities and lead the global church)

They visited, I explained what I had learned. They bore testimony and left. January rolls around and I make my fatal FB post, mentioned above. Because of that meeting in my home with both the Stake President and his line leader, the Area Seventy, the two of them spearheaded my spiritual demise. I think this saddened my Bishop, who also a friend. In any subsequent conversation with the Stake President, he would reiterate that the Area Seventy was fully supportive and in accord with him, the Stake President.

Can you say predetermined decision coming up?

My “last chance” interview with the Stake President was held at his home. He asked me to take down the post which, by this time in late March, had been up for almost two months! I politely but firmly declined.

March 30, 2016, I was excommunicated. The fulfillment of the predetermined decision.

Well, my story caught the attention of the guys at MormonThink and they asked if they could post the short version of my story. It can be found here (including a link to my Disciplinary Council audio recording, where I was excommunicated from the LDS Church).

Do I have regrets? Just one.

I regret my own family cannot yet see.

Time, though, will tell.

7 thoughts on “A Journey of a Year

  1. In reading the back and forth on the comments to your FB post, it is just evidence once again that we can’t “convert” or “de-convert” anybody. The backfire effect will kick in and the information that does not agree with one’s believe will most times just make them dig in deeper. I am not just talking about members of the church. Even ex-Mormons can be equally as guilty of this. Someone has to be ready inside to either join or leave the church. For those that have already devoted a large chunk of their life, any pressure in most cases will make them more staunch. I do love that there are some that were willing to say, “I see things different, and I still love you.” THAT is the gospel of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, mostly. I don’t believe there actually was an historical Jesus the Christ.

      But my efforts are not to convince or deconvert Church members, family members, friends. At least not now. I just want them to think.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not to beat this into the ground (while I beat it into the ground)…

    I don’t want to put anybody down, but I would like to ask a question of one of the people commenting.
    They said something to the effect of, “That is why I am not going to look at any of those older church materials because it tends to make people leave the church!” I think an absolute equivalent would be to ask what same person would say if someone said, “I have had several friends that have read the Book of Mormon and then left my church and joined the Mormon church, so I am not going to even look at that book – period!” In my mind I can’t see that there is ANY difference in those two statements. They both sound to me like, “I am worried if I dare look at something else I might be wrong now” – eyes closed, hands over hears, and saying “la la la la I am not listening!!!”

    I would assume this same person commenting would say that the non-member refusing to even read the book of Mormon isn’t the proper thing to do. I would say he is correct in saying that isn’t right – but it equally applies to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s no small thing to leave the Mormon religion, given how drummed into us it was as we grew up, etc. I no longer try to influence anybody, religionwise — not much anyway! I believe in the 11th Commandment: If you haven’t suffered enough, you’ve got the God-given right to suffer some more.

    Suffering exists for a reason: When we suffer sufficiently, we are forced to leave our lower evolved stage because suffering enough catapults us out of the level we were on and into another level of progress, lonely though it is when we must go it pretty much alone.

    That’s why I say that if people aren’t that unhappy in the LDS church, or such, and aren’t intellectual enough to see through it, then they won’t suffer that much where they are — though any brilliant kids they bring into it might! Even so, if they aren’t up to their eyeballs in misery, maybe they may as well make the best of it and remain a member — or at least stay there so as to try to make changes in their church — changes for the better. Somehow that sounds like an oxymoron, no?!

    I love Father Leo Booth’s Book, “When God Becomes a Drug.” Especially love where he says he is well aware of the discrepancies, deficiencies, and problems within his Catholic Church. But it’s his tradition, so he works within it to try to improve it and make it a better tradition.

    Maybe that is what many leaders of the LDS church are silently trying to do: overcome the crazy early Mormon upstart cult, and try to make the best of the present situation. But it can only be done if people don’t study the early history of their church that was started by an absolute Con, schizo, megalomaniac, sociopath, and pathological liar.

    L Ron Hubbard who started Scientology, and my Uncle Ervil LeBaron who started the bloodthirsty “Church of the Lamb,” have a lot in common with Joseph Smith and other such “visionaries” who have started new cults/religions. (Follow the money trail.)

    Sure, Joseph Smith had his good qualities, like all charismatic Cons, but he spawned such evils as polygamy — which has done untold damage to this country and those married into it or born into it. I could say a lot more. But I’ll stop here because if I don’t, l will never get my book written — or another book read, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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