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?
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.
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.