Who most influenced your current thinking about Mormonism?

Mormon, PostMormon & ExMormon
philosophers, writers, teachers, bloggers, Internet personalities, and thought leaders who have influenced my current thinking.

By Andrew "Flat Lander" Callahan

From time to time I have been asked who has influenced my current thinking. Usually I respond that "I'll have to think about that." Well, here is my initial thinking on the subject, and it will likely change. It has been a useful exercise for me, and I would encourage others to think about positive and negative "thought leaders" in their current thinking. The list is in no particular order, and even with some considerable thought applied, almost certainly leaves out several key people on both lists. (My lists refer specifically to Mormonism, so other obvious non-Mormon influences e.g. Richard Dawkins, etc. are not included.) July, 2010

POSITIVE INFLUENCES

My wife
My children
Richard Packham
Infymus
Brian Keith Dalton
Samuel the Utahnite
John Dehlin
Steve Benson
Bob McCue
Jeff Ricks
Ken Clark
Peter & Mary Danzig
Steve & Linda Stay
Arza Evans
Grant Palmer
Todd Compton
Jesus
Micah McAllister

NEGATIVE INFLUENCES

Gordon B. Hinckley
Jeffrey R. Holland
Dallin H. Oaks
LDS Apologists
John Dehlin
Joseph Smith
Boyd K. Packer
Bruce R. McConkie
Elohim
Jehovah
Brigham Young
Heber C. Kimball
Thomas S. Monson

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Here's the more colorful version:

Excellent lists. For me, I have to include my mom and my step-dad (on both lists). I think my mom is one of the primary reasons why I am now an atheist :) It's one of the reasons why I place her on both lists. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

Positives:
Parents
Husband
Family
Friends
Facebook (Ex Mo)
The Bodies (As in Stuart and Kerri, and Jean. Not as in "Where are they buried?")
Richard Packham
Brian Keith Dalton (Mr Deity ROCKS!!!!)

Negatives:
My Mom and Step-dad
My family (large extended Mormon family, came across "The Plains." Nope, no baggage there. )
The God of Abraham
The Book of Mormon and The Pearl of Great Price (Hey, how can you argue with a book that contradicts itself in so many ways??? It makes the argument against Mormonism for you).
Rulon Allred
The Lebaron Brothers
Fundamentalism in all of it's forms
Jehovah
Elohim
The one group that gave me the greatest negative influence was the Mormons themselves. Cl8ckish, mindgames, redefining words and terms....

Don
For me positively :

Jean Bodie
Michael Quinn and Grant Palmer helped me most to see the truth.
My family and better friends helped me most to see the good in the Church.
Brigham Young, Ezra Taft, Mark Peterson, and any apologist's caused me sadness or worse.
John Dehlin helped me transition.
My wife helped me remain comfortable and confident.
Boyd K and Bruce Hafen continue the pain.
My Conscience (my Conscience, not the indoctrination). I can't go along with things and "follow the leader" or "follow the crowd" when I know something is off.
Actually it was not anyone it was issues and the really bad answers that I received.
So I guess it was the leadership and teachers of the church.

Blacks - I had to learn the truth on my own. There was no doctrine
Polygamy - They lied. 14 and 15 year old girls are never fair game.
Women - Let' play the second rate citizen bit and keep them in their place
Prop H8 - Who in the heck asked the Mormons to rule the world?
Guilt trips - I never felt that God loved me because I was not perfect.
Organization - It was more important to be a good member than to be a good person
Blood Atonement, the Danites, the worship of GAs etc.

Gene
the Tanners at the Utah lighthouse ministry
I never thought about it like that.

I walked away from Mormonism and into atheism within a 10 month period, so it's tough to pinpoint just the Mormon dissuaders.

Positive:

My friends of other faiths
My husband
Hemant Metha
Richard Dawkins
Big Love
www.smithbusters.com


Negative:

Joseph Smith
Brigham Young
Parents
Brothers
Extended Mormon family
Prop 8
Truth about polygamy and blacks
Stealing masonic rituals
Christian ex-boyfriend

I haven't given it a bunch of thought, but that is how I view it right now. If it weren't for my parents and brothers harsh take on Prop 8, I may still be forcing myself to be Mormon.

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