Uploaded by iamanexmormon on Aug 13, 2011
My name is Nick Godfrey. I was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My dad is a lifelong member, while my mom converted to the church when I was three years old. Throughout my life I chose to believe and participate in the church. I always attended my church meetings and fulfilled my callings. I strove to obey the doctrines and practices of the church as strictly as possible. I drew a great deal of comfort from my beliefs. Mormonism was at the core of my identity.
In July 2010 I started questioning whether I had a solid basis to believe in Mormonism. I concluded that I couldn't base my testimony on subjective feelings or personal spiritual experiences because first, people of all faiths feel similar emotions when they worship their gods, and read their holy books and if that is the standard of evidence that I accept Mormonism under, I would have to extend the same standard of evidence to these theologies. Second, the emotions and feelings that lead me to accept Mormonism, no matter how strongly they felt, or how externally generated they felt, could too easily be a product of self-delusion, hallucination, miss-perception, pattern-seeking, or wishful-thinking. I concluded that I needed to look for objective evidence if I was going to accept Mormonism.
As I began to study Mormon history and doctrine deeper than I ever had in my life I began to discover many parts of the church's history that were intentionally hidden from me. I learned that Joesph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon from a hat, using a magic rock which he had previously used to defraud his neighbors through a practice known as "money digging". I learned that every truth claim in the BoM is contradicted by modern archeology, linguistics, and DNA evidence. I learned that egyptologists unanimously agree that the papyrus which Joseph Smith claimed was written "by the hand of Abraham" actually dates to thousands of years after the time that Abraham lived, and not a word of the Book of Abraham translates correctly. The deeper I studied, the larger problems I discovered in the first vision, the priesthood restoration, and every other foundational claim in the LDS church. Eventually I concluded that the historical record is consistent with Mormonism being a product invented by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and their contemporaries.
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