I was born into a very loving Mormon family. I kept all of the commandments and did everything I was told I should. I attended seminary for four years, went on to institute, magnified my church callings, attended every week, and even read my scriptures.
I came up to BYU-Idaho a few years ago, attracted to it by the low tuition and by my faith in God. I may have had a few doubts about the church over the years, a few holes in my testimony, but I thought if anyone could fix them it would be a church school. I certainly did not expect what happened the moment I stepped into a religion class. The instructor stood up and confidently taught things that I already knew weren't true. From the creation account to the flood, from it being okay for Lot to offer his daughters for rape and being considered righteous while otherwise consensual homosexuality in the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah was sinful, and Satan — despite being the devil — speaking face to face with god even though I was taught that no unclean thing can dwell before him.
This taught me to read the scriptures with a more skeptical eye, and when I brought that skepticism to the Book of Mormon it fell apart spectacularly. Nephi had a bow made of steel 2,000 years before steel was invented, and any metal available at that time would have been unsuitable for making a bow. They had animals and foods in the Americas that didn't exist here until the Spanish brought them, and none of the plants and animals that are native were mentioned.
When I anonymously emailed my instructor about my concerns, he simply told me that I had to have faith. But faith is supposed to be belief in things unseen, not belief in things proven untrue. You cannot use faith as a substitute for truth. He then gave me links to Mormon Apologetics websites, known as FAIR and FARMS. These not only failed to give coherent answers to my questions, they alerted me to dozens that I missed, and gave half-baked explanations for these. Many of the things I found there were quite mind-blowing, such as the Book of Abraham and the conflict between D&C 132:1 and Jacob 2:24-28; which they tried to explain by invoking Jacob 2:30 — which not only failed to address the original contradiction but instead introduced another one with Mormon 9:9.
I soon realized that the entire thing was made up, but I persevered and convinced myself that the church still did more good than harm. Once again, they overwhelmingly confirmed this idea false by pushing for Proposition 8 in California. Then the science classes here spent more time defending the church than teaching science, making it even more obvious what the real goals of the church were. To brainwash members into believing regardless of opposing evidence.
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