Where Will You Go?

Musings of a Formerly Devout Mormon

The Three Witnesses What I Think Happened

Mormon believers and apologists often imply that no plausible explanation exists for the Three Witnesses’ experience other than the traditional, literal interpretation. But, there are other explanations. Here’s one that I think is most likely to be the truth.

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The Three Witnesses’ Experience Wasn’t Unique

At first glance, the account of the Testimony of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon seems extraordinary. In truth, experiences like theirs were common for the time.

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The Mormon Church’s Advice for Dealing With “Doubt”

The message used to be use the brain God gave you, then seek spiritual guidance. That message has changed. Today, you are more likely to hear something like ask God first; if you get an answer then what else do you need?

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Mormon Scholars Encouraged to Lie for Their Faith

Scholars at BYU’s college of religion were recently told by a Mormon apostle that their loyalty to their church trumps everything — facts that don’t favor Mormonism are not allowed, and “mistakes” that do favor Mormonism won’t be corrected. He told them that they are no longer scholars but disciples.

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“As Transparent as We Know How to Be”

Mormon apostles continue to say that they are being completely transparent about their Church’s history and that critics are misrepresenting the facts. This message isn’t doing their cause any favors.

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“How Else Do You Explain the Book of Mormon?”

A common argument goes something like this: Joseph was a poor, uneducated farm boy. Witnesses say that he dictated the entire Book of Mormon without any notes or aids and yet it is incredibly complex and inspiring to millions of people. How could he have done that without inspiration from God? This is my response.

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My Response to an Apologetic Video About the Kinderhook Plates

There’s a really bad apologetic video out there about the Kinderhook plates. Here’s my response.

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Trend: Mormon Membership Will Begin Decline by 2030

The Mormon Church continues to grow but its growth rate has been declining for more than 20 years. If the trend continues, the Mormon Church will actually start shrinking by the mid-2030s. I predict that the decline will actually begin at around 2030.

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What the Mormon Church Knows

Does the Mormon Church know that its version of history is frequently at odds with truth? Do they know why people are leaving? What are they planning to do to fix this problem? An internal, confidential report from 2013 was released a few days ago that addresses all of these questions. It’s fascinating.

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Dear Elder Callister

A Conference talk by Elder Callister bothered me from the first time I’d heard it in 2011. One day, after hearing a ward member refer to it frequently from the pulpit, I decided to write this letter and mail it to Elder Callister. He called me back about a month later. We had an interesting conversation that lasted about 70 minutes.

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Why I Left Part II - Mormon Apologetics

My faith transition began with fundamental issues with the purpose of the Mormon Church. This is the end of that transition story. I tell it to you in the hope that understanding might bridge the gap between me and my believing Mormon friends and family.

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Perspective on my Mormon Mission, Twenty Years Later

For years I called my Mormon mission the “best two years of my life”. Today, my perspective has changed. For sure, a lot of good came out of my mission but in all, I think that it has had an overwhelmingly negative impact on my life. Here’s why.

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Should You Follow the Spirit?

As a Mormon, I sought to always have God’s Spirit with me, to seek its guidance and to trust it implicitly. Today, while emotion still plays a big part in my life, I try not to allow any emotion to trump reason.

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Leaving the Church Isn’t the Easy Way Out

There’s a myth out there that people only leave Mormonism because they can’t cut it — they’re sinning, they’ve been offended, they’ve neglected their testimony etc. In other words, they’re taking the easy way out. But the truth is that if you live in Utah, deciding to leave Mormonism in Utah is definitely not the easy way out.

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Why I Left the Church

I was born and raised in a wonderful Mormon family. I had a happy childhood and I have a happy life now. But I can no longer call myself a believer. This is how it happened.

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Scouting Was the Beginning of the End for My Testimony

Leaders of Mormon Scout Troops aren’t as dedicated, or as well-trained as leaders of other troops. Both leaders and parents in Mormon Scout Troops are more interested that scouts attend meetings and receive awards than they are in any impact that scouting is actually making.

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How Mormonism Measures Success in Life

The metrics that a group uses to measure individual success and failure largely determine the actions of the people in that group. How does the LDS Church measure success and failure?

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Missionary Work Justifies Poor Treatment of Friends and Neighbors

Mormons have a duty to share the gospel with the world. Sometimes this causes problems.

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