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Creole voanouvel. Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter. First, I want to define my audience. These stories contrast with the why-I-joined stories. People see and hear things as they want to interpret them, so rather than writing to persuade anyone in particular of the right or wrong of my decisions, instead, I am writing this entry for myself. When I joined the LDS church, despite my efforts to research the pros and cons, I never really grasped all the complexities of the faith and religion itself.

One rarely has a rich understanding of things, especially at You learn about issues little by little, and you manage to brush aside the troubling ones through simple explanations. When you want to believe something, you willingly accept many workarounds to accommodate your belief.


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Like many others, I did this time and again. But gradually I started to feel a sense of dislike for the Church — for the Sunday sacrament meetings, Sunday School classes, and Priesthood meetings. I did not like the way teachers would often skip over difficult issues. I did not like that Church-produced manuals could be so selective about the history it included. Where I wanted to ask questions, the Church wanted to provide quick answers or no answers at all.

Rather than close things up, I wanted to open them up. Instead of simplifying complexity, I wanted to see the complexity behind the simple. I wanted to learn the complete and real histories, and more. See Historical Summary. Additionally, these manuals were selected excerpts of various talks and essays, cobbled together in a piecemeal fashion, presented as if a single article. For example, there might be excerpts from 20 different speeches or articles on a specific topic, with paragraphs extracted from each of the talks granted, with footnotes indicating the references.

What was left out from their talks? No doubt any controversial statements or non-sanitized information would be filtered from the manuals, so they could be made safe for a positive, faith-promoting classroom discussion. In particular, I imagine the Brigham Young manual was carefully selected, given the many non-canonical doctrines he taught.

Without question, the Church manages its information carefully. Joseph Smith was jailed in Carthage, where he was soon murdered, for destroying a printing press the Nauvoo Expositor. This printing press disseminated information he did not want known. In the accounts from Church-produced histories, you never quite get the full picture of why Joseph wanted the printing press destroyed. What were they printing?

Why did Joseph incite so much anger among his enemies? Apparently it was still a secret at the time, even though Joseph had been practicing it for years. The Expositor would make this information known.


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  • The press had to be destroyed. But why? This is why you never hear many details about why Joseph commanded the printing press to be destroyed — because if you knew the details, you might raise questions like these. By filtering the history, the Church is able to suppress doubt.

    But the way the Church manipulates information is just as frustrating as the history itself. Can God be the author of this manipulation?

    Controlling information

    You distrust the information as if the enemies of the church were writing lies to manipulate and distort the truth. I just mentioned one example of a selective history that the Church creates.

    This is not an isolated incident. There are dozens of historical details that have been whitewashed from contemporary Church materials because, I assume, they do not promote faith. When one party suppresses information, warns against unofficial sources of information, and sanitizes problems, doctrinal inconsistencies, evolution of ideas, etc. I feel manipulated. It goes against my sense of who I am and what I love — learning.

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    Book of Mormon Difficulties, Contradictions and Explanations

    It makes me distrust Church leaders and curriculums. How can one increase faith and love in a God who runs a campaign of misinformation? This culture of information manipulation is what finally led me to ask questions about belonging. I did not feel that I belonged in a culture that held up the banner of truth in one hand while hiding many facts beneath.

    In this culture, church was not uplifting or inspiring to me. It was often frustrating, and when I brought up difficult information, many people did not know how to handle it. I did not know how to handle it.

    Understanding the Book of Mormon

    General conference talks from leaders almost always stick with the most basic, simplistic issues. This is why everyone falls asleep during general conference.

    13 Mormon Beliefs - Now You Know

    There are quasi-third-party sources, like fairmormon. Most likely they do not have answers either, so engagement would only raise awareness of the problems with the end result of creating more doubt.