In my investigations as to what "my religion at the time" was really about, I think Joseph Smith using the hat with a peepstone must surely rate at the top of the list in being a shock to my system causing me to investigate further.

For me it was mind blowing to say the least, because all pictures and testimonies had depicted something so totally different up till then. This is what sent me on a quest to find out more and to find out things for myself and not just believe what others were telling me as 'the truth'.

I started with 'approved" church history and from there realized why there was the wording "anti mormon literature" - a very clever ploy to keep me ignorant. 

I was just wondering what your "Big Shocker" was...?.

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Blood Atonement was by far, the most shocking to me:
"Rasmos Anderson was a Danish man who came to Utah... He had married a widow lady somewhat older than himself... At one of the meetings during the reformation Anderson and his step-daughter confessed that they had committed adultery... they were rebaptized and received into full membership. They were then placed under covenant that if they again committed adultery, Anderson should suffer death. Soon after this a charge was laid against Anderson before the Council, accusing him of adultery with his step-daughter. This Council was composed of Klingensmith and his two counselors; it was the Bishop's Council. Without giving Anderson any chance to defend himself or make a statement, the Council voted that Anderson must die for violating his covenants. Klingensmith went to Anderson and notified him that the orders were that he must die by having his throat cut, so that the running of his blood would atone for his sins. Anderson, being a firm believer in the doctrines and teachings of the Mormon Church, made no objections... His wife was ordered to prepare a suit of clean clothing, in which to have her husband buried... she being directed to tell those who should inquire after her husband that he had gone to California.

"Klingensmith, James Haslem, Daniel McFarland and John M. Higbee dug a grave in the field near Cedar City, and that night, about 12 o'clock, went to Anderson's house and ordered him to make ready to obey Council. Anderson got up... and without a word of remonstrance accompanied those that he believed were carrying out the will of the "Almighty God." They went to the place where the grave was prepared; Anderson knelt upon the side of the grave and prayed. Klingensmith and his company then cut Anderson's throat from ear to ear and held him so that his blood ran into the grave.

"As soon as he was dead they dressed him in his clean clothes, threw him into the grave and buried him. They then carried his bloody clothing back to his family, and gave them to his wife to wash... She obeyed their orders.... Anderson was killed just before the Mountain Meadows massacre. The killing of Anderson was then considered a religious duty and a just act. It was justified by all the people, for they were bound by the same covenants, and the least word of objection to thus treating the man who had broken his covenant would have brought the same fate upon the person who was so foolish as to raise his voce against any act committed by order of the Church authorities."( Confessions of John D. Lee, Photo-reprint of 1877 edition, pages 282-283)

I think that this Website is my biggest Shocker lol.  I was one of those typical do nothing kind of LDS Church Youth.  I didn't read the scriptures outside of required reading for seminary, to this day I've never read the D&C.

 

I didn't study anything when I left the church, I just asked my mom if she minded that I left the church and she said "sure." So finding out all of this stuff that I've never known or even heard of about the Church and Joseph Smith have all been learning moments for me.  

 

Thanks for the knowledge.

At least read section 132 of the D and C.  I don't think too many people in the church have.  From your new perspective, I believe you will see through the threats and the lies.  Crazy amazing!

Initially, polygamy...  but stuffed it away.   Then the temple ceremony - receiving my own endowments (it felt very cult-like to me).... but again, stuffed it away.    Church's stance on gays (after discovering my favorite brother-in-law was gay)....   didn't quite stuff that one away - I never bought into the church's position on that....  

 

But what really launched it was learning of Joseph Smith's 33 wives... and very quickly all the information that followed (masonry, blood atonement, first vision variations, peepstone, etc.).   It was literally an avalanche of verifiable data that confirmed all the doubts I'd stuffed away for 25 years previously.  

This may sound stupid but my biggest shocker was what happened after I stopped paying tithing.  I truly expected bad things to happen to me.  I am a single mother and I was scraping by.  I left the church slowly and I stopped paying tithing because I no longer wanted to financially support such a mysoginistic system.  I really thought financial disaster would happen (because I had been told that for years).  Instead I had 10% more money.  WOW.  What a concept.  My other big shocker was years later when I learned about the killing of other pioneers and the way they tried to blame the indians.

My biggest shocker had to do with books (which is only fitting because I am a librarian. :-)) Anyway, I used to point to the Pearl of Great Price as being the LDS Church's scientific backing - after all, in it, it talks about other worlds, other people, how time passes, etc. We weren't some backwards religion that didn't believe in any science - we had science written right into our books! Oh, to find out that all of it had been disproven - the drawings are all badly edited and the "translations" that ol' Joe did that were so far off the mark, it's like aiming for the sun and landing on Pluto...Wow was that rough.

The other book was the Book of Mormon. Oh, I used to read and love that book. I can't even count how many times I read it. I actually started a fiction book based on the stories of the BoM as a child (I've always been a writer) - rather like Chris Hemmingdinger (sp?) wrote. I adored the BoM as much as the PoGP. So when I found out that there were a MULTITUDE of anacharisms in the book (like the wheel, the horse, wheat, and a number of other items that simply didn't exist in the New World until the Europeans came) I was absolutely blown away.

I then read about Joe and his "wives" who were already married. I had always heard that they had polygamy because there were not very many men in comparison to the amount of women, and so the men had to marry a lot of women so that all of the women could have a husband (because back then, you HAD to have a husband). Fine, whatever, except when I found out that Joe was "marrying" women who were already married, that kinda blew that explanation out of the water.

I found out all of these things ON THE SAME DAY. I woke up that morning with a fairly shaky (but kinda intact) testimony, and went to bed that night with absolutely nothing to lean on. I bawled so hard that day, I felt physically sick.

But you know what? One item at a time, I might have been able to talk myself into ignoring it. You can "put things on a shelf" quite easily as a human. We're good at talking ourselves into anything that we want to. So having it all clobber me over the head on the same day kept me from being able to do that. There was no going back - I could never believe again.

And oh, life is so much better now. :-)

Absolutely stunning reply TheLyoness! You put it so eloquently - you probably wrote what many would have liked to have said but could not verbalise. Thank You!

Mormon Temple Ritual

 

I participated in this and it BLEW my MIND... all the SECRETS and the BODY CUTTING PENALTIES

and the WEIRDNESS !!  

 

And THEN the church leaders CHANGED it... (uh huh, right) and said the changes were "preparatory

for the second coming of the Savior"... then I thought, "Wait a minute, I already received my endowment

(weird as it was!) and now they are CHANGING it? How is it that ANY change is necessary it is perfect

and directly from the Lord and at His direction?

 

It was an "AH HA" moment for me for sure that God had NOTHING to do with this church and

it was all a bunch of crazy "HOO HA!"

 

That led to more and more reading, REAL investigation and research and when I discovered the origin

and meaning of the Egyptian Papyrus that Joseph Smith used to "translate" the Pearl of Great Price

and that it was merely piece of the Book of Breathings funeral scroll and had NOTHING to do with

Prophet Abraham or Israel or the Judeo-Christian God or anything... I was DONE! That PISSED me off! 

I never went through the temple, so I am ignorant about the ceremonies--but I have to ask. What on Earth is a Body cutting penalty?

Sharing my husband with a plethora of other women in the hereafter.  But you are right about the peepstone, and it amazes me how little this is delved into in classroom situations in church.  Really, if you are raising children to think in intellectual terms, a hat, weird glasses, sticking his head in for instruction, I mean, this should have been such a tip off for me.  Why on earth would God, for those who believe, resort to such silliness, and even more ridiculous, why would he resort to polygamy to promote the gospel, when all he has to do is gently persuade mentally and spiritually people's motives.

I would have to say that it was Josephs 14 year old wife. All the lies up to that point I just ignored. But the thing that sent me over the edge was when I realized that they let me grow up believing that Blacks were inferior. They knew that the doctrine was based on Joseph trying to get in good with the slave holders. From there to the book of Abraham suddenly proving the stupid idea. Lying to children and letting them grow with that crap in their heads is just plain evil.

Gene

I agree. I also think that frightening litte kids with notions of eternal punishment, the devil, etc. and teaching them that their thoughts are always being monitored is a form of psychological abuse.

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