Ten Reasons I Can’t Be a Mormon Anymore

Back by popular demand from JLO:

10. The Book of Abraham turns out to be a common Egyptian funeral text called the Breathing Permit of Horus.
9. Anachronisms and clear plagiarisms in the Book of Mormon.
8. Joseph Smith’s history of claiming to be able to find buried treasure by looking at a rock in a hat, the same method he would later use to “translate” the Book of Mormon.
7. The wholesale stealing of Masonic rites for Joseph’s inspired temple ceremony.
6. Joseph’s practice of sending men on missions and then “marrying” their wives as soon as they had left town; see, for example, the story of Marinda Johnson Hyde.
5. Joseph’s practice of “marrying” teenage girls behind his wife’s back and promising eternal life to parents of teenagers for their consent.
4. Widespread use of church funds to enrich church leaders, from the days of the Kirtland Safety Society to Brigham Young and beyond.
3. The Mountain Meadows Massacre.
2. Racism, sexism, and homophobia.
1. Most of all, the church’s pattern of hiding all of these things. If you grew up Mormon, you were never told any of these things.

They’re all true. And I won’t be a part of that anymore.

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65 Responses to Ten Reasons I Can’t Be a Mormon Anymore

  1. Ray Agostini says:

    This is a book that will interest you, Runtu:

    http://www.mazeministry.com/mormonism/goldbible/goldbibledownload.htm

    M.T. Lamb’s The Golden Bible. 19th century but still one of the best on the subject.

  2. runtu says:

    What’s next? Life is next.

  3. lanceandjenn says:

    Right on. I really enjoy your blog. I hope and pray your life is filled with freedom versus anger from Mormonism. Cheers.

  4. 2twentythree3 says:

    What’s next? Islam.. read the qu’ran and you’ll realise the true religion. :* good luck:) xx

  5. All the best. I’ve met a few ex-mormons and I have to say, it takes a big man to say when he’s been had. Joesph Smith took the Gospel and turned it into something for his own personal gain.

  6. Ducker says:

    Good for you.
    Its news to me (but no surprise) that Smith based the thing on Freemasonry, id have to read on mormonic stuff to give a straight opinion, but yeah it makes sense that he did.

  7. Eric Nielson says:

    Hmmm.

    The content of the Book of Abraham, and the Book of Mormon are amazing and powerful. They came from somewhere. There may well be things surrounding their origins that will never be answered to critics satisfaction. But there is a lot of original, powerful narrative theology that I can’t dismiss.

    Where might Masons have got their rituals from?

    Polygamy is not just a Mormon curiosity, but an OT one as well.

    The bottom few can easily be chalked up to human weakness, which are evidneced in about any group.

    I was raised mormon and heard all of this from my youth. One of the reasons why so much of this history is available is because of openness.

    • DysfunctionalParrot says:

      Blowing off the Book’s origins is no excuse.

    • Tyler says:

      Openness? Google is the open one, not the Church. And you’re right the OT teaches about polygamy, it also tells you to stone your children for disobedience. It’s nice when as a prophet you can pick and choose the things from the OT you want to follow, specifically the one that gets you the most sex outside of your legal marriage.

  8. runtu says:

    Eric,

    So, in other words, you couldn’t care less where the BofM and BofA come from, as long as they’re amazing and powerful. Some people think the Book of the Law of the Lord is amazing and powerful, and the Quran, and the Bhagavad Gita, and the Popol Vuh. They had to come from somewhere, didn’t they? Sorry, Mormon scripture may have nice stuff in it, but it’s a 19th century product, and that does matter.

  9. Here’s another: it says in the Bible, my choice of spiritual study, that NO ONE is to add to or take away from the words – no changes. What is the name of the Book of Mormon? (can’t recall) – but it does say – not quoting – “another version.”

  10. I find this perspective to be absolutely fascinating. I’ve never come across a former Mormon with strong arguments as to why they decided to leave. I know you’ve got a bunch of links in the post, but it might be interesting to see you go into a little more detail regarding your reasons and personal interpretation of the information you’ve presented. Good luck deciding what faith (if any) to choose from here!

  11. hilaryanne says:

    @ runtu: good for you, that’s a hard thing to come out of somehting and be able to see it so clearly. i recently read “Under the Banner of Heaven” and was shocked.

    @ eric: I hope you can look at things with more discernment. a lot of horrible things have happened in a lot of religions, but for its young age relatively low population, mormonism has a disproportional amount.

    and the masons have been around since the 16th century, i highly doubt they turned to the mormons for inspiration.

    i also disagree that the mormons are open about their violent history. i’ve talked to several “elders” on the street, and they haven’t a clue. they’re has never been a public denouncement of their actions, unless forced by the government – and from what i’ve read, that doesn’t stop what goes on behind closed doors.

    hope you see the light soon.

  12. Interesting.

    Homophobia, unfortunately, is a key element in a lot of religions, unfortunately Dx

  13. 3nails1friday says:

    Runtu:
    Thanks for this post!

    Marsha:
    “Another Testament”

    Eric:
    If polygamy was taught (as you are suggesting) in the OT, then:
    1). Please provide chapter and verse where this is at.
    2). Why did Joseph Smith claim it was a “NEW” and everlasting covenant?

    And on that note, Eric, why was it called a new and “EVERLASTING” covenant? Last time I checked (and according to LDS published Gospel Principles) “everlasting” means just that . . . “everlasting.” I guess the Mormon god lacked the foresight to know that Utah would be denied statehood if it did not abandon the polygamy doctrine.

    It’s amazing and powerful what political expediency can do.

    – The Pilgrim
    http://www.DefendingContending.com

  14. kimmy says:

    Runtu: It takes a lot of courage to question your faith. The Mormons with whom I’m acquainted would never be so bold. Good for you!

  15. I’m not religious in the slightest
    but I have found your blog very
    interesting and since I stopped
    being religious at a very your age
    I don’t think that I could truly
    understand how it must feel to
    realise you want nothing to do
    with the religion you were brought
    up to believe

    Good luck for the future x

  16. Eric Nielson says:

    runtu:

    I do care where they come from, they are inspired ‘translations’ not scholarly ones. I have not read the religious texts of other religions (I would kinda like to someday), so I can’t really speak about them. I have had a couple of religious experiences involving Christ as savior, so I would be skeptical of things leading away from that. Yet, I do not deny there may be some inspiration behind these texts. I suppose one could say that the New Testament was a 1st century product (or somewhere around there).

    hilaryanne:

    I hope for more discernment too. We Mormons are pretty horrible (at least disproportionately). I am certainly not claiming masons stole anything from Mormons. Just wondering where some of the rituals ultimately come from. Oh, and I have met lots of clueless elders in my time.

    3nails1friday:

    I will simply say that many of the who’s who of the OT practiced polygamy. This does not mean it was explicitly taught (unless I missed it). I believe that the everlasting covenent refers to the sealing of husband and wife – not necessarily polygamy. I think there was some significant, cultural over-belief about polygamy amongst early Mormons.

  17. jr says:

    Eric:
    Polygamy in the OT wasn’t a requirement for salvation. It was accepted in society for a number of reasons but it was NEVER a requirement for salvation or the celestial kingdom. In fact the OT rarely spoke of spiritual salvation or heaven.

  18. runtu says:

    jr,

    Nor was sneaking around behind your wife’s back to have sex with teenagers and married women part of the OT program. Have you ever read Joseph Smith’s letter to 17-year-old Sarah Whitney, wherein he tells her how lonely he is and how he can’t wait to be with her? Of course, he tells her not to come if Emma is around, but if Emma “don’t come there is perfect safety.” The idea that people would use the Old Testament to rationalize that kind of behavior is unbelievable.

  19. Eric Nielson says:

    jr:

    Polygamy is not a requirement for salvation, the celestial kingdom, or exaltation.

    I merely poit out OT polygamy to express that polygamy may not be an absolute evil in every case. It appears that God at least allows it sometimes.

    If Joseph Smith committed sin in how he went about it that is his problem, and he will need to repent of it.

  20. runtu says:

    Eric,

    Polygamy used to be a requirement for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. But with the manifesto, that changed.

    It’s nice to know that you at least don’t defend Joseph Smith’s rather reprehensible behavior. The problem for me is that the whole “restoration” of the church is wrapped up in Joseph’s “sin.”

  21. Eric Nielson says:

    I do not feel polygamy was ever a requirement. Some may have thought so, even some leaders, but if they did, they were wrong.

    I do not buy in the least that polygamy was a component of the restoration. It was a temporary instruction for some, nothing more.

    The whole restoration of the church is wrapped up in priesthood restoration, and doctrinal content. At least to me.

  22. Eric Nielson says:

    Oh, and I think much of the claimed details of the behavior are in dispute – from both sides.

  23. runtu says:

    If you don’t believe that polygamy was ever a requirement for the celestial kingdom (or that Joseph’s behavior isn’t well-documented), you do not know your church’s history or doctrine. Joseph Smith claimed that the commandment to engage in plural marriage came by revelation (and last I checked, the revelation is still in the canon), and he was more than once threatened by an angel with a drawn sword to take plural wives. How is that not a component of the restoration? You don’t get to just pick and choose revelations you agree with.

  24. jr says:

    Eric: You are dead wrong on this and I would suggest you do some research.
    Polygamy was indeed required for entrance to the celestial kingdom. Once polygamy became a stumbling block for the LDS church and that Territory/State of Utah then the requirement for salvation shifted to simply temple marriage.
    This is exactly why there are so many splinter groups who continue to practice polygamy. JS, BY and other prophets taught that polygamy was REQUIRED for salvation, on several occasions.
    It is also why the LDS Church kept practicing polygamy, in secrecy, well into the 1920s.
    Eric, this is just one of many doctrines that have shifted or even disapeared from the religion over the years.
    Did you know that the LDS Church used to encourage women to give healing blessings by the laying on of hands? JS taught that the gift to heal was a spiritual gift and that anyone could do it. After some time the church stopped encouraging women from doing so, then there came a time when the church prohibited women from giving blessings.
    Polygamy went from being an enourmous part of the doctrine of salvation to being a very embarassing period for the current church.

  25. The Pilgrim says:

    Eric:

    You said, “I believe that the everlasting covenent [sic] refers to the sealing of husband and wife – not necessarily polygamy.”

    It doesn’t matter what you believe Eric, what matters is what your prophets meant when they TAUGHT this doctrine. Over a century later and a whole lot of PR effort to polish the LDS image doesn’t change the facts.

    “Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned . . .”
    Brigham Young
    Deseret News
    November 14, 1855

  26. runtu says:

    Pilgrim,

    Here’s Brigham Young on August 19, 1866:

    “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessing offered unto them, and they refused to accept them.”

    Apparently, Eric believes that Brigham and all the other prophets were wrong. It’s always amazing to me that some Mormons criticize us exmos for not believing the teachings when they deny the teachings in much the same way.

  27. Eric Nielson says:

    Seems like everyone here is picking and choosing for me. Since you know my beliefs better than I do, perhaps you could just write comments on my behalf.

    runtu:

    I imagine you have debated with others who were much better than I. I can only imagine you are referring to D&C 132. The key verses in this section can easily be interpreted to mean basic eternal marriage. If the revelation you referred to happened, then this was a commandment for him. Not necessarily for anyone else. It was a temporary practice that is over with. Not a key component. And yes, I can pick what to agree with. Much of the claims you make in this post and others are not scriptural or requirements.

    jr:

    Doctrines and practice have changed and evolved over the years. The law of Moses used to be required as well. Yes women used to give healing blessings, and under extreme circumstances still can. Conditions were given, not a prohibition. Yes polygamy is a pain to explain.

    Pilgrim:

    What matters most is what the church teaches now. Part of why ongoing revelation/inspiration is important.

    Anyway, I could get dogpiled by my kids at home. Carry on.

    • DysfunctionalParrot says:

      Nothing personal, but if you want to weigh in on a subject you best be prepared to answer rebutals. Playing the martyr gets old.

  28. runtu says:

    No dogpiling, Eric. Sorry if I came on too strong. I just think you’re filtering out stuff, just the way I used to. That’s a hard thing to do in the long term, but if it works for you, go ahead.

  29. The Pilgrim says:

    Ongoing revelation/inspiration or changing the rules in the middle of the game and making it up as we go?

  30. jr says:

    Eric:
    If my wife attempted to give a healing blessing and the bishop were to find out about it what would happen to her?
    The law of Moses as an example of changing doctrine is not what I’m talking about.
    The current LDS church has changed NUMEROUS doctrines over the years. In fact the current Church really isn’t similar at all to the church under Brigham Young.
    With a little research you may find that the concept of on going revelation is a myth like most of the other doctrines.

  31. WOW!! I am learning a ton about Mormonism that’s for sure! I’ve never believed in it – but didn’t know about all these fallacies!!

  32. whatever says:

    I think it’s hilarious what extents Mormons will go to in order to wrap their mind around their religion and conform. I did the same for years before finally getting out.

    I could easily sum up what Eric was saying above by saying this…….

    I refuse to believe historical facts because it doesn’t agree with what the Mormon church has constantly jammed into my head since I was born.

    Just remember Eric, if the church is true it should be able to stand up to any amount of investigation and scrutiny. If you really want to find out the truth, you need to dig deep. You can’t rely on one source of information (especially if it’s published by the Mormon church). To truly be objective, you should see things from as many different sources as possible. Even if that means reading………GASP!…….so called anti-mormon literature. You may discover after time that most of the things you before considered anti start to look very objective and reasonable, especially since most of them state their sources and the facts can easily be checked.

    I remember a time when I was just as defensive as you are. And, it’s understandable, with the limited amount of information you’ve been exposed to. Good luck on your endeavors.

  33. Miguel says:

    The Church is true.

  34. runtu says:

    Miguel,

    If it works for you, go for it.

  35. […] Runtu can’t be a Mormon anymore. I wanted to share with you Runtu’s top ten list of reasons why he says he can no longer be a […]

  36. Jesus is Lord says:

    Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    Seeking God? Seek Jesus.

    God could have made us pay for our own sin by death, but he took it all upon himself. That’s why I became a Christian. I knew there was absolutely nothing I could do to “earn” eternal life. It’s all by 100% grace through faith in Christ Jesus.

    “For it is by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves. It is the GIFT of God; not by WORKS so that no man should boast” Ephesians 2:8 – 9 (Emphasis Added)

  37. urchin63 says:

    There is no “true” religion,religion knows no truth.It’s all a political game to control the masses with fear.

  38. IgniteMe says:

    Christ on a cracker! Runtu! Please tell me you now realize that ALL religion is bunk!

  39. Old Mormon says:

    I am happy to hear you have weighed Mormonism and found it wanting. I was a Mormon for many years, and about 10 months ago, I abandoned it for something better. (Christ Jesus) Not to try to convert you or anything, just happy that your out of that religion of lies.

  40. IgniteMe says:

    Putting all the other logical fallacies involved: Why would you serve any god/s that in essence say: “Serve, worship and love me or else I’ll torture you for all eternity…”? How is that any different than a rapist pointing a gun to your head?

  41. IgniteMe says:

    oops, that should read: Putting aside all the other logical fallacies involved: Why would you serve any god/s that in essence say: “Serve, worship and love me or else I’ll torture you for all eternity…”? How is that any different than a rapist pointing a gun to your head?

  42. IgniteMe says:

    oops, that should read: Putting aside all the other logical fallacies involved:

  43. Roast Beef says:

    IgniteMe:

    Putting aside all the other logical fallacies involved: Why would you serve any god/s that in essence say: “Serve, worship and love me or else I’ll torture you for all eternity…”? How is that any different than a rapist pointing a gun to your head?

    I think you are drawing a false analogy between the two forms of submission. A person may in fact believe that to worship God is the greatest participatory act in life, not the lowest. That person may also believe that the rightful consequence of refusing to love this God is an eternity of seperation from Him. This may be the best definition of Hell…not flames and caves and chains etc., so much as an existential separation from their true Father. However, I do understand the logic of your point, so if the idea is so reprehensible to you that God would refuse to let you into his presence after your death on the grounds of your own refusal to love Him, I would offer you this challenge: try to be open to discovering evidence of God demonstrating His love for you, His beautiful child, His beloved creation. If you are honest with yourself, and do not harden your heart, and you see the evidence of His unconditional love for you, perhaps then you will feel that the only appropriate act left for you to do is the one that comes most naturally, to worship Him, and nothing more.

  44. Oxnard says:

    It amazes me how easy it is to get people to take the bait. Sheep.

  45. Jason says:

    @3nails1friday:

    Sorry if I’m resurrecting an argument that has already died out, but there is at least one place in the OT where marriage is ordered, and polygamy is not ruled out but probably should be assumed.

    Deuteronomy 25:5-10 requires a man to marry his brother’s widow, if his brother dies without having fathered children. The intent is for the man to provide an heir for his brother. The text does not explicitly mention polygamy, but it does talk about what to do if the man does not want to marry the widow. The commentators I have read say that the main reason a man would refuse would be if he did not want to risk his own children’s inheritance. So the underlying logic is that he should marry her and father at least one child by her, even if he is already married.

    This is actually what Onan was killed for (Gen 38) – he practiced coitus interruptus specifically with the intent of denying his brother an heir. God killed him for it. I should note that Onan lived and died before Moses received the Law, so this is an appeal to the larger “will of God” than to a concrete violation of Mosaic law.

    Whether or not polygamy was ever enforced in association with the Dt. 25 law (or with what consistency) I don’t believe can be proven. All we can say is that an order for the practice can be found in the holy scriptures of Judaism and Christianity.

    Sorry for the long post. I hope I explained everything clearly.

  46. LeaveAmessage says:

    Glad to see you have realized how deceptive and cruel religions (in general, not only mormonism) are. I could type a long blog about why, but that would mean that I would have to spend time talking about something I disagree with on a personal level, which is more than likely not the best use of my time at this moment :).

  47. Ryan says:

    I always find articles on Mormonism interesting. Most interesting to me is the attacks from people of other faiths especially Christians. They always accuse Mormons of having crazy ideas and rituals. However the practices and teachings in the Old Testament are no stranger than those practiced by Mormons. They talk about Mormons trying to warp their minds to their beliefs. Do you not realize the hypocrisy? We all warp our minds to our beliefs. Our perception of this world is surprisingly malleable even when based on “logic”. I imagine if most “Christians” lived at the time of Jesus they would have written him of as a freak. Religions are always evolving and changing to be more acceptable to society. People pick and choose what they want to believe and write off what they don’t like. You may look at Mormons as crazy I think you are all crazy!

  48. IgniteMe says:

    Roast Beef:

    I’m addressing you as a xtian as the argument of “separation” was discussed in my church quite extensively – so that is where I’m assuming you got the idea… Tell me if I’m mistaken.

    As far as your challenge is concerned, I crucified myself many times over for twenty-six plus years. I found the experience to be utterly lacking in meaning and without merit. In addition, it was extremely harmful to my life by way of emotional stress and lost opportunities for learning and advancement in a career… I ended up as a photographer where I should have been involved in communications, robotics, genetics, physics or higher math.

    I am not confused as to the “two forms of submission”… Submission through fear induced by coercion (the one I spoke of) and submission by choice are entirely beside the point. I’m not talking about the deal you have with god – I speak of the deal he has with you.

    He’s saying that if you don’t “choose” to love AND serve him – then he’ll disown you and burn you in a never ending lake of fire into infinity: “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Don’t try to duck it – it’s not “separation” he spoke of… He said he’d roast you over an open flame causing you unspeakable pain and torture for all eternity. Explicitly.

    Your “lord” said it three times in Mark 9… Look it up. There are other mentions as well for you to look up in your “holy” bible – if you have the inclination to understand. Or do you just believe whatever your pastor plops down in front of you? I’m not trying to be mean here. I just want you to think for yourself.

    This is the “choice” he is offering you? “Love me or suffer!”

    That’s not a choice. Forcing your power of will over someone’s life is rape. If it were a real choice then there would be a third option… An option to not accept his “gift”.

    Regards,

    IgniteMe

  49. IgniteMe says:

    If it were a real choice then there would be a third option… An option to not accept his “gift” – without consequence.

  50. blazingshark says:

    i hope you get to enjoy some parties now. a friend in elementary school was never allowed to stay and celebrate the nondenominational holiday or birthday parties with us.

  51. runtu says:

    blazingshark,

    That’s the JWs, not the Mormons, who don’t do parties.

  52. OrrinJ says:

    Wow. Nice list and I can understand. I’m a Mormon, but most of these I’ve learned to deal with and overcome. #7 is not entirely true; although the ceremonies are similar, there are distinct differences. And the Mountain Meadows Massacre and Utah War, yes, it did happen, and I learned to accept what happened as an effect of miscommunication and short-sidedness on all parties.

    As for #1 “Most of all, the church’s pattern of hiding all of these things. If you grew up Mormon, you were never told any of these things.” I totally agree with you. I wasn’t told these things because my parents did not know of many of these things–and forget grandparents, because mine weren’t too tied into church stuff. It is definitely time for these things to come out, the parts that are true, but you won’t find us preaching about it in the church meetings. Those meetings are meant to be centered around Christ, not mistakes of our past. Plus, I think the largest problem why members do not know of these things, true or not, is because they don’t care to study it or look it up.
    Just an additional note, just because I think that some of the items here are misrepresented, one should get a view of both sides/viewpoints and then decide for their self what and who they should believe.

  53. OrrinJ says:

    Oh, and Eric, the Masons did not get their rites and rituals from the Mormons. Theirs date right back to Solomon’s temple, just like ours do, only ours were given by revelation and theirs were what they could gather from archaeological remains gathered and held by the Templar.

  54. smed says:

    The only reason that I’m replying to this bullshit you publish, is because “stumble upon” landed me on it, and it pissed me off. Regardless of your either bare faced fucking lying ass, or your totally deceived witless mind – publishing stuff like this can only harm other people. Hope you have opinions about other, much more real and urgent subject material in the REAL world, because bashing Mormans is about as courageous and pertinent as slapping innocent children. Sorry about your luck, but you are an asshole. This, to the person who originally wrote this bullshit here.

  55. CoraB says:

    Congratulations, Runtu, on your liberation from the church. I’ve been out for many years and when I think of it, I still feel jubilant! My new religion is skepticism. Being a devout Mormon never felt this happy.

    The above debate with Eric is not going anywhere because YOU can’t unlearn the whole Mormon story any more than you can forget that you know how to read and write. And Eric can’t hear the truth in your words because he knows in his heart that if you’re right, then he’s wrong and all of his beliefs and choices and paths are based on a series of fallacies. Having opened that door myself, I appreciate Eric’s position. But, you, I cheer for!

    The thing that baffles me is why more members like Eric aren’t ALARMED at the directives to study and teach ONLY from church published manuals and books. I’d think the words “propaganda” or Kool-Aid” or “whitewashing” might pop up — at least subconsciously — and arouse their native curiosity.

    Ah well…the Mormons can’t outrun the Internet! Good luck to you.

  56. runtu says:

    I love the way that some people think calling me an a-hole is a logical refutation of the truth I posted. Posting the truth does not constitute “bashing” in any way.

    I’m sorry the truth makes some people angry.

    A note for Orrin: You should probably do some research on the Masons. They don’t date from the time of Solomon’s Temple at all. They come from Middle Age construction guilds. And the similarities are there, though some of them were removed in the 1990 temple changes. It’s not a coincidence that Joseph Smith came up with the temple ceremony just a few weeks after becoming a Master Mason.

  57. OrrinJ says:

    No, I’m not saying the Masons originated from Solomon’s temple, but rather their claim is that the rites come from that temple. Eh, oh well…

  58. runtu says:

    Orrin,

    The Masons haven’t made that claim in a very long time.

  59. Guy says:

    Interesting, but I left for a completely different and more simple reason: belief in the supernatural defies reason. Can’t be Mormon without being religious and you can’t be religious without being superstitious.

  60. […] Ten Reasons I Can’t Be a Mormon Anymore […]

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