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Welcome to Beyond Mormon! Take a moment to introduce yourself, where you are on your journey and what you're hoping to find here. You'll quickly find you're not alone.

Katrina's picture

I've been out for about 15 years now, but since my family is a generational LDS family, I can't ever totally get away from it. I just spent a weekend in Utah for instance, and in talking with my great-aunt, cousin, and her daughter you can't really avoid the LDS church. I felt like though this time there was some closure. . . I could witness without the emotions I've had in the past. I could talk about their LDS activities and be Ok with them. It was good.

Joel B Groat's picture

Wow, very cool to get a sense of closure, especially after 15 years. That's a long time. Grateful you've gotten to the point where you can be with TBM relatives and have it be good. Trust God will continue to give you grace and wisdom.

Bonnie Ricks's picture

I was a convert to the LDS Church, joining shortly before my wedding to a returned missionary whom I had dated in high school.  I eventually divorced him, and not long after that, became inactive in the church because the people in our ward were incredibly cruel to me and my children.  However, I was still a totally believing, temple worthy Mormon.  A year later, the Lord sent someone to help me see the lies, and I left the church.  I'm now an ordained Christiani minister with a worldwide ministry that I operate along with my never-Mormon husband.  I praise God every day that He loved me enough to save me - both from my sins and from the lies of Mormonism.

Joel B Groat's picture

Hi Bonnie - so glad to have you here.  Thanks for sharing some of your story.  To anyone who might not know Bonnie - she's knowledgeable, articulate, compassionate and wise - and she appreciates how much we all need grace.

Joel B Groat's picture

It's bittersweet to let you all know that Bonnie died Nov 16, 2013.  She was a wonderful, godly woman who love Jesus more than anything else and that love in turned touched countless other lives.  She is now well, whole and happier than she has ever been in the presence of her God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I was raised in the LDS church, not by choice, I live in Utah, if you don't do it you are left out.  Since they consider themselves christians, I thought that was all there was to Christianity, so I became agnostic for a long time.  Then, after living in another country, a Christian country, I knew something was missing.  When I got home I went searching and found an amazing non-denominational church that teaches me the bible and how to have a relationship with God, the one true God, and how it is not about rule, but your relationship.  And that you do things to please God, not because you have to, but because ou want to.  But now I am struggling with family members in the church, and close friends, really struggling

Joel B Groat's picture

Hi Me - thanks for posting your comment. It is so cool God used time in another country to help open your eyes.  I'm so glad you found a good church. Would you mind telling us which one it is? There might be someone else out there looking for what you've found.So, what sorts of things are you strugging with related to your family and close friends.  There are probably several of us here that would love to help.Can you give us more of an identifier than "Me!"?  Welcome to Beyond Mormon!Joel

itramnevets's picture

I have been out of the Mormon Church since 1990, having grown up a totally active and devoted Mormon in Salt Lake City.  On my mother's side, Mormon membership goes back to 1845 in Ohio.  In the spring of 1990, still single at 35 yrs old, I was asked to be a Stake Missionary, and when I thought about it I realized I'd lost my faith in Mormonism.  God had used the time as a single man, not fitting into the Church, to enable the doubts and questions I'd had most of my life, rise to the surface.  I left and was out, but looking for the truth, until 1995/1996 when He reached down and saved me.  I've been a missionary almost since becoming a Christian, and am now with Western Indian Ministries in western New Mexico, where we minister to the Navajo people and other Native Americans.  I am married to Katrina, who many of you know, from her years of activity here with IRR.

Joel B Groat's picture

Hey Steve - you did it!  Welcome aboard.  Just so you know, I've approved your request to join MIT-Talk as well.  Did you get some kind of approval notice?  Glad to have you on.

itramnevets's picture

Yes, I am here!  I'm in MIT-Talk, but I can't seem to start something new.

46yrs of CTR's picture

I live in Utah, come from a very stong Mormon Backgroud. Far back as Joseph Smith marrying my Great Gandfathers sister for one of his wives.  My great gandfather is Benjermin Franklin Johnson. I am the sibling of 7 that live out of the Salt Lake area. I started my jouney 2011.  I married a non mormon after a 20yr marriage to a Mormon. My husband Howie asked quetions that I had no idea about so I researched some things for him. Before I knew it I was asking questions. I have begun to ask my father and sister somethings about the history of the church, and as soon as I did my family began to put my name in the temple and pray for me because I am delusional an dmany other things. I am finding peace with in myself. But the family thing is the hardest thing I have gone throgh.

Joel B Groat's picture

 I'm so glad you found us too!  Wow, that is some rough stuff to go through.  Its hard enough to discover the faith of your whole life is questionable, without then having your family make you out to be the one with the problems.  I'm glad you are finding peace.  What is your husband's religious background?  Do you have a church you can attend together to get spiritual support? Don't hesitate to let me know if there is anything we can do to help you more.

46yrs of CTR's picture

My husband comes from "The First Born" Church of Christ with self healing and has never been to a doctor or hasn't ever taken an aspirin in his life. So he is very strong in prayer and his realationship with God. But some of the teachings of his beliefs when he got older wasn't making sence to him. This has not changed his Ideas about going to a doctor by any means. I fell in love with his overwelming faith in the Lord. And we are trying to find somthing that fits us both. One thing I miss about the Church is the comradery of the members, the social aspects. I'm scard to look into anything because of the Crazy road I was lead to belive. Whats to say it wont happen again?

itramnevets's picture

I grew up in SLC, in a devout LDS family.  Never knew anything else until I was 35 years old, when some old questions I'd had forever came to the surface.  That changed everything, letting God in to begin to change my life.I feel for you in your situation with your family.  That's some of the roughest things to go through!  My family was very loving, but even then, there was disapproval and thoughts that I must be sinning and wanting to get out of the Church.  Suddenly, I was an apostate, being told by the church leaders who visited me that if I left the Church I would never be happy again.  I trusted that it was the right thing, and after about 5 years of looking and struggling, was found by Jesus and everything changed.I will be praying for you!Steve MartiMentoring Coordinator for IRR

46yrs of CTR's picture

I know now that I am not alone. Thank you for your thoughts and prayer while I'm on this jouney of finding "TRUTH".

I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong place. I'm just not really sure where to go for this.I'm a return missionary. I just got back from my service literally 2 and a half months ago. I served to the end of my mission full of faith and with a 100% percent earnest desire to serve God and live up to his expectations. Let me just say, I was once inactive in the church and didn't believe in God at all, didn't keep the commandments and had no intention of being apart of the church at all. Then one day a little over 4 years ago, my world was shaken in an "alma the younger" sort of way, and God was introduced into my life again and I found a testimony of the church. It was a very personal experience that involved very little input from those around me. I hated God and especially Mormonism. Yet after this spiritual experience, I took to preparing to serve a mission and worked tirelessly and put in 110% to become worthy to serve a mission (effort and care that most members and missionaries never show or have). I served my whole mission and just arrived home and had the usual experience that most RM's have when they get home: they think the world is going to hell, then they think they're going to hell, then after a few more weeks they start feeling normal. I was way depressed and things started improving.I moved out to Utah for school and since I came here, I've seen a whole different side to mormonism. Questions and doctrinal schisms are raised a lot more frequently here... Soon I became curious and started looking for answers; quickly, my doubts about the book of Abraham were augmented by the information I found, which cast doubt on the book of mormon, and then the 1990's changes in the temple endowment and the removal of the penalty signs and the all the other changes of doctrines on a whim based on secular conformacy. I now am faced with a big question, and this is why I'm here: The church always tells you to watch out for "anti-mormon" and "apostate" doctrines or teachings or material and tells you its of the devil. They say that they have the undiluted truth and nothing more or less. Yet I can see them bending the truth in church history, however I would not have found it had it not been for "anti-mormon" material. A lot of the evidence is stuff that I can't see with my own eyes. I have to trust other people who have their own biases. Basically what I'm getting at, is that the church teaches that those other sources of information are false. The other sources teach me that the church is false. The church covers up the truth. And outside sources of information have also been proven to doctor the truth and weave lies among the truth about the church. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT'S TRUE? WHO CAN I TRUST?Evidently you can't trust what's in your heart and go off of feeling, because a lot of people feel very differently about whats true and whats not. As far as I can tell, I'm in a world full of liars and fools. We're all easily lied to and fooled. I can't figure out who's telling me the truth, or who's lying to me, or who is just fooled like everyone else. I'm sorry I ranted so much. I can't believe where I am right now. I'm a return missionary. I'm supposed to be strong. Please don't tell me to leave or stay with the church. I don't know who I can trust when it comes to that question. What I want to know is is there a way to find truth? It feels so elusive to me. I can't muster anything more than pathetic belief at this point in my life.

Joel B Groat's picture

Thanks for posting - this is totally fine place to tell your story.  Your questions are both legit and common for someone at your stage of transition.  And it's not a bad thing to be asking who to believe and to want to deal with facts and not opinion.  We have a couple of good resources that are just quotes from LDS sources that I'd be happy to send you free of charge. One is called "Where Does It Say That?" It's full page documentation so quotes can be seen in context - very little to no editorial comment.   The other thing we'd be happy to provide is a copy of the documentary video on the BOA unless you've already seen it - Lost Book of Abraham and the book that covers much of the same historical material - By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus.  We offer these resources free to people like yourself so they can start wading through the issues.  You're wise to see that you can't just trust feelings alone, but the answer is not to become a simple rationalist. After all we are beings created in God's image (yes, I believe there is a God even if the LDS church has distorted the picture of Him) so we have spiritual, emotional dimensions to who we are that should not simply be ignored or neglected - they just can't be primary. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you what to do in terms of leaving or staying with the church - you'll be able to figure that one out when the time comes - in the meantime there is no rush.  The only way to have confidence that something is the truth is to be able to go to a source wholly outside yourself that is objective and absolute. Something that doesn't depend on how it makes you feel to be right or wrong but something that tells you simply what "is."  Also, we have a 7,000 volume library with a lot of primary sources so if there is a partcular piece of documentation you are interested in - don't hesitate to ask.  If it is something we have we will gladly photocopy a page or two (or scan it) and send it off to you.  If you want to continue the conversation via email - feel free to write me directly ----  Joel@irr.org  Yeah, this is a tough time but sometimes the bravest and strongest thing we can do is admit we don't know but that we want to know and we're willing to follow the truth wherever it leads. 

I have been LDS for most of my life and have served in many positions in the church. I have always felt uncomfortable with "As man is God once was, and as God is, man may become", and polygamy, but I kind of just swept those under the table and went about living my faith. Recently, I found reasons to do a lot of research into Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, the Book of Mormon, and many of the doctrines of the church and I no longer believe the church to be true. However, my wife is staunch LDS and will not leave the church, says that she has seen too many miracles to think that the church is anything but true. I have found a friend who is helping me understand biblical Christianity, but my wife is not on board, gets in despair when I talk about false prophets and false doctrines and says that if I leave the church, she will probably have to leave me. Why is it so hard? I read all these accounts of couples who both got it at the same time and left the church together. There have got to be more people like me who have spouses who refuse to leave. So, in order to please her, I have to pretend to still believe, though she knows I still have doubts, she has no clue as to the extent of them--just because I can't stand all the stress of marital disharmony. Help!

Joel B Groat's picture

Thanks so much for writing - yes, your situation is one of the most difficult that exist. I have a good friend who is a former Mormon who has put his faith in Christ, left the LDS church and does outreach ministry to LDS people and is still happily married to his firmly LDS wife.  Part of the secret to the success of his marriage is that he realized it wasn't up to him to convince his wife the LDS church was not true.  Instead he has committed to loving her the best he can, to be the best husband in the world to her so she would be crazy to think about leaving him.  They rarely discuss Mormonism, though he is open about his love for Jesus and his desire to know and obey the Bible - which any LDS person should be able to agree with. The church attendance issue can be hard to figure out, so I can't tell you exactly what to do.  However, I can tell you that if you come to trust Jesus alone for your salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life and accept that as the free gift God the Father intends it to be, you will have the Holy Spirit living in you permanently and giving you direction and an understanding of the Bible you've never known before,  That will be your basis for knowing how to move towards your wife that lets her feel loved, cherished and honored by you which may be what God uses to open her to the truth and falsehood of the LDS system.  I'd also like to encourage you to join our FB group called Mormons in Transition.  You can see it and request to join here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/139462380423/  Let me know if I can be of any futher help.  Joel

Thanks, Joel. Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you.

Want to be christian , yes you are in a difficult situation but guess what ?  I am in the same boat !!!!!!!   Veri interesting I hope we can receive some guidance.       Persevere . Madman. 

Joel B Groat's picture

Hi Madman,
Not sure how I missed your post but wanted to check in and see how things are going with you. When you said same boat, did you mean you have a wife who is still LDS also? That is a tough situation. Anything going on recently?
PS. Hopefully the notifications are working better than before so I know if you reply. Blessings on you, Joel.

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