I am a convert to the Church. I grew up in a state (not Utah, thank goodness) that has a high population of Mormons. I had Mormon friends growing up. I knew they had some wacky beliefs. When I was 19, I had a run-in with some members of the LDS church and began taking lessons with the missionaries. I learned great things from them -- plan of salvation, word of wisdom, etc. I asked them about all the weird stuff I had heard about Mormonism, and they assured me that everything I had previously heard about were lies. I was very attracted to the things they were teaching me, but I still had some doubts. I told the missionaries about these doubts, but they insisted that it was Satan's way of tempting me to abandon the truth. One of the missionaries told me that he knew with "every fiber of his being" that the Book of Mormon was the literal word of God and that even though I didn't exactly have a testimony of it yet, that I should still get baptized because my testimony would probably come later. So, I got baptized. I continued praying, fasting, and reading. I longed for the day that my testimony would arrive. Still no burning in the bosom. One day, while visiting a friend in Utah, I was home alone in her apartment. I turned on the TV and came across a show called "Heart of The Matter," which basically exposes all the dirty panties of Mormonism. The host of the show is a former Mormon, so it's not like he is just some random guy pulling all of these false ideas out of his butt. I began to research the things he talked about on his show and was APPALLED. I knew about SOME of the weirdness of Mormonism, but I certainly did not know the DEGREE of weirdness. I mean, holy cow. This stuff was absolutely INSANE! I was completely shocked at how anyone could know all this crazy stuff and still believe Mormonism was true.

 

So, to all you fellow converts -- what was the turning point for you? What made you see the light? How long were you in the church before you realized how crazy and messed up Mormonism really is?

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I'm not a convert, but I just have to say I like your phrase "the dirty panties of Mormonism."
The 1st time I was ever approached about converting was right after we had moved back home to Michigan from Indiana in 2004 and almost instantaneously our friends had the missionaries come over to either invite us to the ward or convert me. (Probably both in this case). Naturally,  I being the "Bible College student" <--- really I was, spent 4 years studying Bible/Theology,  started doubting everything the missionaries were teaching me then.  I politely declined about converting then. Just didn't see why I needed to.  Fast forward to 2007 and I was approached YET again.. this time it was hook, line and sinker for me.. why? I don't know.  Maybe it had to do with my husband was a convert for 9 years by now and I really thought it was all good and that the previous missionaries were just not fully telling me everything.  However.... after I was baptized in 2008, I started getting this funny feeling something wasn't "right" all starting with... all of it mainly and especially when I never heard a word about Jesus or hardly anything from the Bible, unless it was taken out of context.   Now I know why I had that funny feeling it's because none of it is true and I do not understand how I fell for any of it. I'm just glad I walked away from it 2 weeks ago this Sunday. I've never felt better about doing something so right.

I don't know if I really count as that kind of convert either because I was only 11 years old and my mom joined so I saw only the good in the church really but what caused me to leave is pretty similar to the doctrinal issues everyone else has but my own personal problems with the church requiring everyone to get temple married in order to achieve highest salvation, which brings to the problem of what if someone doesn't want to be married or have a romantic life...

 

I started to have doubts about God's existence when I was a teenager and saw the problems with such conservative dogmatic thinking like a lot of people do when they start to study things like culture, societies, and philosophy, but you aren't supposed to let them mix, but keep them separate from what you learn in the church.  However, the mind cannot go on believing in two conflicting things, pretty soon you have to choose where you stand.  I couldn't believe that the Bible was wrong and that Christianity could have easily have been made along with God but believe that Joseph Smith had his vision.  That is a clear conflict in the mind that one cannot rationally continue to go on believing.  So after I learned more and more about the church it was over again and I can be who I really was and say screw God.

I left just over a month ago. I am 39 had converted when I was 28. I felt I should join the church but never did gain a feeling that the BoM was true or about Joseph Smith. After awhile I did start to believe it. I started to explore other ideas about 3 or 4 years ago but tried to reconcile them to Mormonism. I was teaching church history to my daughter at home one day and felt strongly repelled so I stopped. What really got me were a couple of things. First, I have always loved the church's teaching on animals having spirits, kindness to animals, hunting for sport is wrong etc. and had recently read an article in the Friend magazine about that very thing. Then I found out that the church owns hunting reserves. There are many other examples of contradiction in the church. To me that was when it really clicked that the church couldn't possibly be true and perfect. I also belive in honesty and the amount of information that the church hides or tried to cover up or spin was not right. The emphasis on conformity was choking the life out of me. Also, I found some other websites like puremormonism and  feministmormonhousewives and realized it was okay to dispute the church's teachings and I didn't have to bury my real feelings about gender equality, same sex marriage and other things. Also, the way I was feeling and experiencing god/the universe, divinity, creation was not as a man but more of an energy or a sense of something different than that image. I didn't read anything about church history until after I left and I am still coming to terms with that. Overall, I was led out of the church by the spirit/higher self/inspiration or whatever term you have for it. I needed to do it to live in integrity and honesty. I had some disturbing dreams that indicated health problems were on the horizon or underway because of the denial of self. I didn't delve into church history until after I left and I am still coming to terms with that.
Welcome Katydid!  Though I was born and raised in an active LDS family, I truly wasn't converted to the gospel until a few months before my mission at the age of 18.  That's when my testimony became MY testimony and solidified my belief and desire to serve a mission.  I left Mormonism at the age of 29, just 3 years ago in 2008 for similar reasons as what you just expressed Katydid.  My integrity required that I resign and remove any and all perceived support of a dishonest and hurtful organization, but I didn't find out about all the lies and coverups in Mormonism until after I had already left.  Resignation came after I learned all of that garbage.  It's good to be out!
I am BIC but my husband was a convert at 17. (He is now 56). He knows about a lot of weird stuff, but somehow manages to justify it all. He remains TBM in spite of me leaving the church and sharing all the weird stuff with him. He just doesn't want to see it. I don't know how he does it.

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