You asked me why, after defending the Church, I left it. Here is my answer. After many years of intensive research, I had to conclude that the Book of Mormon was not historical. Was it a "parable" (inspried fiction)? Perhaps, but certainly not history. Are the leaders of the LDS Church prophets, seers, revelators? In my opinion, no, they are not. Was Joseph Smith a Prophet? Honestly, I don't know. But, again, going by research alone, I would have to say, I have grave doubts. Too many doubts to be a believing Mormon. Also, I've had too many negative experiences with Mormons, to want to remain one. But, that is just me. Many people are quite happy in the Church. I was not. I was, for the most part, quite miserable. The uninspired arrogant leaders, the hypocrisy among Mormons, the lying, the gossipping, the failed prophecies, the UBER-borning Sunday talks and Sunday Schools and Priesthood lessons, etc. I was miserable. But, again, some people love it. Just not for "me".
Whoever wrote the BoM had a deep understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and human nature. The Mormons today are very much "like" the Nephites when they became rich and prideful and "ripe for destruction". Whoever wrote the BoM truly wanted to convert people to Christ. Unfortunately, Brigham Young added a LOT of bullshit to the system, such as Negroes cursed, blood atonement, heavenly incest (God having sex with Mary), and so forth. But, the Church is wisely trying to distrance itself from his unique teachings (without saying that, of course). The Church is becoming more "Christ-centered" and less "Joseph Smith centered". A good deal! As long as Mormons don't notice the massive Monster under their beads, which is called "True Mormon History", they'll be fine. But, once that Monster comes out, they have to deal with it, and most deal with it by leaving the Church and becoming atheists or agnostics. It is better they remain in it. So, my advice is, if you "like" it, remain in it. It's a great place to raise kids, and a great social organization, if you "like" it. I didn't.
Yes, I wrote the Gainsayers. Many anti-Mormons lie, but some do not. Decker was never a Christian, but a con-man using Christianity to make money. Simple as that. He found the more he lies, the more money he made. Simple as that. I don't regret writing "The Gainsayers". Everything in there is true. But, again, it comes down to "Was Joseph Smith truly a Prophet?" and "Is the Book of Mormon really history?" and I had to conclude "No" in each case; based upon tens of thousands of hours of painful research. But, again, I believe we are Judged by our works, not what religion we belong to. So, if a person can live a good and happy and moral life in the Mormon Church, I think they should stay in it. But, I "know too much" to stay in it and be happy. Also, even as a True Believing Mormon, which I was for at least 8 years, I was not happy in it. The meetings were BORING, the bishops were IDIOTS, the women were GOLD-DIGGERS, the temple rites were ABSURD, the top leaders were UNINSPIRED and DISHONEST, and most the men were IMMORAL. I was just not happy in Mormonism. I stuck with it because I thought it was true, but I was miserable. But I know that many Mormons are quite happy in it. They should stay, in my opinion. I'm glad that "I" am out of it, because it made me miserable.
I left the Church in 1990, and became a Baha'i in 1994, and "officially" resigned from the Church in 1996, when the Baha'is told me that was required. I left the Baha'i Faith mainly because they don't believe that Jesus arose from the dead, but I do. Baha'is think that the Gospels are historical "until" Jesus dies, then they are non-historical parables. well, I just couldn't accept that, so I resigned. Baha'u'llah (Baha'i Prophet) wrote a lot of noble things, but he just didn't "do" anything. No miracles. But, for the most part, the Baha'is themselves are very "idealistic" people. They want to change the world for the good. The Mormons are "Gimmies" (gimme this, gimme that). The Baha'is are "Lemmies" (lemme do this for you, lemmie do that for you). The Mormons are primarily selfish, and the Baha'is are primarily self-LESS. But, again, I could not accept their Dead Jesus.
I became a Daheshist in 2005, after reading about it in a book, the Encyclopedia of American Religions, at a library. I'll send you info on that. I believe Dr. Dahesh was a Prophet. He performed thousands of supernatural miracles, many detailed prophecies that came true. Also, I believe he visited me in 2005 and sat on the corner of my bed. I'll send you info on that. Daheshism is not organized yet. It may be when a film is made about Dr. Dahesh sometime within the next 10 years. You can read more here:
Good luck with your novel. You should try to find a literary agent in Vancouver once you've finished with it. Take care.
Any organisation that seeks to subject your mind and life to their view is full of fertilizer. The LDS Church is no more than an insurance company that sends people out on two year missions with promises of blessings and eternal sex if they do what they are told.. If you look at the LDS faith it is really quite perverted and mean. Look at how they use fear and intimation as motivators.
"Whoever wrote the BoM had a deep understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and human nature."
"Whoever wrote the BoM truly wanted to convert people to Christ."
What leads you to believe these statements?
The Book of Mormon teaches a "salvation formula" exactly like that of Evangelical Christians, that we are "fallen" and sinful beings destined for endless misery unless and until we are "born again" by asking Jesus to save us. The Mormon Church teaches a different formula; that we are sons and daughters of God already, and that to become Gods we must be baptized and then "follow the Brethren" and attend meetings and receive Temple ordinances and pay tithing and endure to the end (i.e. do what Church leaders say to the moment of our deaths). I was a Mormon missionary and an active Member, and never once did I hear that we had to be "born again" and never once did I hear anything about Hell. I was told many times "There is no Hell". The Book of Mormon teaches that the Devil inspires men to say "There is no Hell".
Also, the Book of Mormon teaches the "Nephite Malady"; which means when people become rich they become prideful and arrogant and forget God "until" tragedy or poverty strike, then they become humble again, and then they eventually become rich again and the process repeats itself. Also, the BoM teaches that the rich despise the poor, and are haughty, greedy, mocking of the poor, practice whoredoms, etc. The rich Mormons do all of that. I SAW it!!! The BoM describes human nature when humans become rich...to a "T".
I don't think Joseph Smith wrote it. He was too young and naiive to understand human nature that well. I think that Sidney Rigdon (who was once pastor of an affluent Baptist church in Pittsburg), or Ethan Smith (who was pastor of several churches for many decades); probably based originally upon a short book by Solomon Spaulding, who wrote bad novels because he needed MORe MONey.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Spaulding Theory: Solomon Spaulding was a congregationalist minister who was in poor health and had several failed businesses. In order to support his family he tried to write novels, but he was a very poor writer. He wrote at least three novels. According to his relatives, he wrote a book much like the Book of Mormon that was in scripture style and included "And it came to pass" alot. His neighbors thought his novels to be very pooring and monotonous. One of his novels, Manuscript Found at Conneaut Creek, was found in 1901, and was not the basis of The Book of Mormon. But, he wrote at least two others; one of which, according to his daughter and widow, included the names Lehi, Nephi, Mormon, Lamanites, etc. Spaulding took this novel to a printer in Pittsburg in 1816 to have it published, but the printer, knowing the novel was boring and monotonous, told Spaulding that he would have to find a financier for the project. Spaulding left the manuscript at the printer, and said he would find an investor. But, Spaulding soon thereafter died. According to Spaulding's widow, Sidney Rigdon, who was a friend of a printer at the shop, took the manuscript home with him in 1822, and never returned it. Rigdon moved to Ohio.
Moroni appears to Joseph Smith one year later. The BoM is published 7 years later. According to a later business associate of Oliver Cowdery, who was never a Mormon, Rigdon wrote it based upon a manuscript by Spaulding. According to a man who stayed at a hotel with Martin Harris in Mentor, Ohio, in 1856, after Harris left the Church, the BoM was written by Rigdon based upon a novel by Spauding. At least eight people signed affitavits saying they knew that the BoM was based upon a manuscirpt by Spaulding upon which Rigdon added much "religious material" that was not in the original manuscript by Spaulding. You can read more about this in "Who Really Wrote The Book of Mormon?"
Mormon apologists say: "Manuscript Found by Solomon Spaulding has been found, and published, and bears no resemblance to the Book of Mormon".
My reply: This is true. But Spaulding wrote more than one novel. Manuscript Found at Conneaut Creek was found, and yes it was not the source of the Book of Mormon. But, according to the testimony of Solomon Spaulding's widow, Rigdon stole Spaulding's second manuscript, the original (no copy machines in those days) from a Printer's office in Pittsburg in 1822, and that Manuscirpt had the names Lehi, and Nephi, and Laman and Lemuel and so fouth, but not the "relgiious material" that Rigdon added over a period of seven years. Whoever wrote the BoM had to be somewhat familiar with Hebrew, as well as the works of Josephus, and Shakespear as well as somewhat familiar with the Septuagint (Greek Bible) because two Isaiah verses in the BoM agree with the Septuagint but not the English Bible Isaiah that Joseph Smith would have known. Solomon Spaulding studied the Septuagint, as well as Shakespear and Josephus, at Dartmouth College in the late 1700s. One of his friends there was Ethan Smith, who was the pastor of the church that the Oliver Cowdery family belonged to in Vermont. Cowdery had relatives who lived close to Rigdon in Ohio. The term "Moroni" and "Camora" probably comes from the village of Moroni (mor-roe-nee), capital of the Comoro Islands (then called the Camora islands) which are north of Madagascar. No map of the day would have revealed the name "Moroni". However, Captain Kidd of New York Colony in 1690s once hid from British vesels at Grand Comoro (then called "Camora") and the village of Moroni (mor-roe-nee) is mentioned in his accounts and in the trail notes which were published in booklet form in, and 1701 . Kidd lost a third of his crew to cholora while hiding out in Moroni. Dartmouth College, known for its extensive library of "hundreds" of books, probably had a copy of that booklet which was called: Howell, T. B., ed. (1701). "The Trial of Captain William Kidd and Others, for Piracy and Robbery". The original 1829 edition of the Book of Mormon calls Cumorah "Camora" but the spelling was changed in later editions. There are maps from the time period where the Comoro Islands are named "Camora islands" but Moroni, being a small village, is not mentioned. As I said, "Moroni" is mentioned in the book "The Trail of Captain William Kidd and Others" which was published in 1701 and most likely available at Dartmouth College which had the most extensive library of English books in the New World.
Until the year 1870, the Comoro Islands were called "Camora" with "Moroni" (mo-ro-nee) as the main village. "Comoro" means "Place of Fire" and "Moroni" means "Fire Village" in Swahili. The Comoro islands had active volcanoes until recent centuries--hense the name Place of Fire.
I know a little Swahili. I have never heard 'Moroni' before. Fire in Swahili is 'moto' and village is 'kijiji'. It doesn't look like a word that would appear in the language at all. You have some interesting opinions. Can you provide sources for your information?
I still don't see how you came to the conclusion that the person who wrote the BoM had virtuous intentions.
Where did I get my info on Comoro and Moroni?
In my opinion, the writer of the BoM had good intentions; to convert the Indians to Christ, and to warn Americans about the dangers of Freemasonry (at the time Freemasonry was closer to a criminal syndicate in many parts of the US). Again, I don't think JS wrote it. That means JS may have had very bad intent, but the true author (perhaps Rigdon based upon a novel by Spaulding) had good, but fraudulent, intent; i.e. a "Pious Fraud".
IMHO, it would be better to give the money that you give for Fast Offerings to a lady with no husband that has kids. I wouls focus on the human aspect than the LDS Corporate aspect. People are more important than huge international corporations even tho they call themselves a Church. Give it to a homeless shelter...just do not pass it thru the greedy hands of Salt Lake. I can be no more open and honest than that. Not paying tithing (dues) to Salt Lake is a smart thing, but to give them money, the same money mind you, and feel that it is somehow justified because you call it a name from another column on the sheet is... not good. Just keep your money and make another persons life happy yourself. Every month take that same money and give it to a social organisation. Buy a families kids shoes, do the good thing "yourself". When I lok at SALT lAKE i AM FILED WITH VITRIOL BECAUSE i SEE THEIR MORPHING, i SEE THAT THEY ARE CHANGING FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT AND NOT FOR YOURS OR MINE. (darned caps key :)
Salt Lake is interested in only one thing and it aint Christ. They are interested in their own furtherance, nada damned thing more. Salt Lake is off the wall, fake, there for their own interests and are loving and kind only in so much that it benefits them. As far as I am concerned, the BOM is a waste of good paper and ink.