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u/jasonellis · 2 pointsr/exmormon

I feel for you. I decided I no longer believed just as my younger daughter was being born. My timing was just slightly better, as I was somewhat out the door, but not publicly, at the time of her blessing. So, I was able to give a good blessing that was more of a general "your parents love you, make good decisions" then anything Mormon specific.

My wife also left eventually, but it was after some pretty rocky conversations and tense times in our marriage. I would wait for times when she would say something that I could use as an "in" to say something about church history she didn't know about. Joseph's polyandry, especially with teenage girls, is very powerful stuff with many women. So, if a report came out about a guy in the news that had sex with a teenage girl, my wife might say how that is gross, and I would reply "Joseph Smith did it multiple times" and leave it at that. It planted seeds. Later she would bring it up and ask for supporting details. Try and think of what responses she might give to those ("back then, men married younger women", etc.) and have calm counter-responses to those points. It will get the wheels turning. Eventually, like I said, my wife left and is now a more ardent/militant atheist than I am. I can proudly say my children will not be brainwashed by any religion.

I would also emphasize that you need to really concentrate on your love for her. Women are taught in Mormonism that their marriage is their key to exaltation. They cannot do it alone, they need a priesthood holder sealed to them. They can see this apostasy of yours as the end of their marriage in a very real way. Constantly ensure her of how much you love and cherish her, and how you need her in your life. That will help comfort her that you are in it with her and not to take off and be a sinner in the world.

Good luck. If you need "softer" info that your wife can read if she gets to the point that she is willing to look, there are resources people can recommend here. I would recommend these:

  1. Why people leave the Mormon church. This video takes the approach that people leave for legitimate reasons. It isn't the best as far as conclusions, because in the end it tries to say that they should stay, but it can get her started in reasons from a non "anti" point of view.

  2. 20 Truths About Mormonism. I LOVE this site and don't think it is referenced enough. Have her read it in order, because the intro is very important, as it sets the context that he is only seeking truth, and that is why he left.

  3. Remembering the wives of Joseph Smith. This site is good in that many members don't think Joseph was a polygamist, or that much of the story are just anti lies that are spread. It has a wonderful table on the front page that shows his wives, their husbands at the time Joseph married them, and how old they are. The links are to a short biography of each, with reference links to the LDS church's own family search genealogy web site for source info.

  4. Book: An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. Great book. Also, this interview (4 PARTS) with the author is wonderful to listen to, maybe even before reading the book.

    Good luck!
u/DeignLian · 2 pointsr/exmormon

You're getting a lot of suggestions for a French press, but I'd recommend an Aeropress instead. Don't get me wrong, the French press makes good coffee, but for me it makes way too much and inevitably you get some grounds in your cup. If you're only going for a single cup and want something a little bit more espresso-esque without the grounds in your mug, the Aeropress is great. Combine that with a nice little burr grinder and a good electric kettle to boil your water (which your DH can use to make cocoa or Crio-Bru) and you're set. It's also nice because it's small and doesn't take up the kind of counter space that a Keurig does, so it also travels well (and it's plastic so you don't have to worry about it breaking in your luggage).

If you do go the Aerporess route throw out the instructions they send you and use the inverted method. I like my coffee a bit stronger and tend to do closer to 1:13 coffee to water ratio. I'd also recommend using a kitchen scale (which you can also use to make yourself a better cook in general, if that's your thing) as you'll get a more consistent cup that way.

Unless you have quite a bit of money and counter space to shell out for a quality machine, don't waste your time with any of the home "espresso" machines. Most of them can't actually get the pressure necessary to make a proper espresso and will either give you something you can make similarly with the Aeropress or French press or they come with pods with pre-ground, coffee, which is shit. The extra time to make a good cup "by hand" rather than using one of the automated machines is well worth the effort.

Regardless of the method you go for, whether you get a French press, an Aeropress, a Chemex pour-over, or a Mr. Coffee drip machine take the extra step of grinding your own beans at home. Coffee beans start losing their flavor as soon as they are roasted, but that can be mitigated by storing them in a cool place in an airtight container out of sunlight and grinding right before brewing. I buy my coffee in bulk at Costco and then vacuum pack my beans into about 1-2 weeks worth packages, but I'm pretentious. Most people will say get a burr grinder, and I tend to agree, but America's Test Kitchen tested to see if you could get a good cup with a blade grinder and it turns out you can (thought they only tested with a really high quality drip coffee maker and no other methods, so it isn't safe to extrapolate their results to other brewing methods).

Happy drinking!

Edit: Apparently I didn't finish a sentence.

u/4blockhead · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Feel free to skip over my essay, and down to my recommendations. The essay is intended to add some context for someone trying to understand mormonism from the outside.

The mainstream branch of mormonism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is starting to diverge significantly from its historical roots. The folk magic/occult practices found at the church's origin are now considered completely foreign and abhorrent. The same for the practice of polygamy, it is disavowed and a distant memory within the mainstream church. The membership hardly remembers how central of tenet plural marriage once was. It isn't a relevant part of the religion anymore.

The original church is being watered down and the rough spots sanded over and evened out. The temple rituals originally included some very disconcerting elements and language. They have been significantly revised over time. First, they modified their nude bathing initiation to be a semi-nude washing off with a small hose. Now, as I understand it, all washing is omitted. Initiates are allowed to wear undergarments and not be naked under a sheet. Now, the officiant doesn't touch the initiate at all, if I understand correctly. Also, the death oaths for revealing the secrets of the temple are gone, as is the oath of vengeance against the United States of America for not preventing the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

The personal priesthood interviews to determine worthiness are another thing that is being changed and toned down within mainstream mormonism. The change is being driven by new order mormons, NOMs, who are putting their ward bishop on notice that they won't tolerate the bishop asking invasive questions of their children. I don't think that would've have gone over very well when I was a youth in the church. My parents would have been excommunicated for trying to dictate terms to the bishop. Still, today, I assume that some bishops would not accept terms presented by the NOMs.

I believe studying the church's origins helps to show that the church is not the one-true church that many of us have been taught that it was from birth. Studying the early history shows their practices were even more cultish than today. That said, outsiders would still consider their current secretive, masonic-based temple rituals plenty cultish, though.

Outsiders need to be able to separate its history from its current practice. Except for the temple, the LDS church's Sunday and weekly worship services are standard fare, albeit with a significant time commitment each week. Most of their services are about propping up their mythology, with some socialization- getting to know one another thrown in. They don't delve too deeply into any troubling elements of scripture, or of church history or former practices. The lessons are standardized by committee. Certain topics are definitely too hot to handle. If I were to say one thing about it, I think church is now more about being one of the ways that is used to present their family into the community, especially in highly mormon communities. It's a way to primp and preen, and try to impress the neighbors. Parents thoroughly wash, dress, and parade their families before the other members of the ward. The goal is to appear to be the perfect mormon family. To add the final piece to the puzzle, the family must fall into line and prove they are worthy of respect, that means regular participation in temple rituals. To be eligible to attend the temple, the member must affirm they agree with and try to follow the current theology of the church 100%, but mostly that boils down to agreeing to pay 10% of their income to the church. At this point, I think the temple rituals are a lot like Tevia said in Fiddler on the Roof in the lead in to Tradition! They don't know why they do those rituals, but it was good enough for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, so it must be good for something. The faithful would say it is a requirement to seal a legal agreement with god; it is buying an insurance policy that says families are forever.

I'll stop here, except for stating that a new dynamic is emerging in the church. People are quitting, either by simply not attending (going inactive), or by formally resigning. Issues like the church's support for prop 8 begin to call into question whether the church is on the right side of history. They see the tremendous cash outlay required to build their mall and wonder whether the church is making the right kind of financial choices for a so-called charitable organization. As noted above, these issues can lead a member to begin to question whether their church is everything it claims to be. Is it the one true church? That question runs headlong into the buzzsaw of early mormon history. The information is available online that shows that it is not what it claims to be. Of course, this type of research can lead to loss of faith. What happens when only one partner in a marriage learns the truth? How should young adults respond to their parents' expectations for them knowing that missionary work for something they don't believe in is not something they are wiling to do? How should young women attempt to break out of the rigid sex roles and limited life plan offered by mormonism? I discovered these existential, heartbreaking, and painful experiences detailed here on this subreddit. The politics of how to deal with that fallout when the blinders come off and people face a new reality is what the subreddit is mostly about. It provides a new community for those who are looking for a new worldview, free from the clear cut and rigid worldview presented from childhood as the truth.


u/nocoolnametom · 2 pointsr/exmormon

The Oxford Short Introductions Series has a great volume on Mormonism that covers the faith in a very even-handed and neutral manner. If you're pressed for time, this would probably be the best thing to read. The Dummies and Idiot's Guide are actually not that bad in their presentation of the faith; they're both by what would be termed "liberal Mormons" and do a pretty good job of being realistic in their presentation (though both still being very positive, of course, but they're not conversion texts).

To understand the different faiths in the Latter Day Saint movement you need to understand the history of the faith as so much of the faith claims are rooted in historical events. Books like Rough Stone Rolling and No Man Knows My History give a good overview of Joseph Smith's life. The upcoming Brigham Young biography by John Turner seems like it will also be a good source for information on Young's tenure as president of the Church as it will discuss some of the darker/stranger issues like blood atonement and Adam-God. If you want to go in depth on the history of the Temple ritual, I'd recommend Buerger's The Mysteries of Godliness.

The last information I would give is that most (but not all) books published by Christian publishers should probably be avoided. Nowadays most of them are factual in their content, but their presentation is not meant to provide an understanding of the LDS Church but rather is meant to provide a multiplicity of reasons not to associate with the faith. A few exceptions I'd say are most books by Sandra and Gerald Tanner, and By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus which is an amazing overview of Joseph's "Book of Abraham" and the history and implications of the papyri Smith used in producing it which were rediscovered in 1967 to the subtle consternation of the CHurch ever since.

u/kerrielou73 · 1 pointr/exmormon

You're allowed to want basically the same things the church wanted for you. You don't need Mormonism to fall in love with a great guy who's lifestyle and goals align with your own. It sounds like you may be very naturally religiously inclined and that's okay. As a matter of fact, you don't even have to believe in God in the traditional sense to have the same connection and focus on understanding God. Mormons do not have a monopoly on spirituality.

In some ways Mormons lead ascetic lives that aren't terribly dissimilar from monks or nuns. They abstain from much of the world's pleasures and concerns. They spend a great deal of time in religious worship and thought. They primarily socialize with each other. They live in a monastery of the mind, rather than a physical one. Unfortunately it's not a very good monastery, but guess what? Now you have choices.

I would recommend looking up Karen Armstrong and reading the Spiral Staircase. Armstrong was on her way to becoming a nun. Near the end of her Noviship she began to doubt, but her passion for knowledge of religion and God never left and she has spent her life studying it. You will probably be able to relate to her anguish and feeling of loss of the life she so deeply wanted to live. If you like it, read A History of God. Remarkably, Instead of remaining angry, though you certainly feel it, especially near the beginning, her intense passion for religious knowledge kept her intensely fascinated.

If you want to keep a connection to your pioneer ancestors you have to go beyond the CES letter. It's invaluable, but it's not designed or meant to take you beyond the point of disbelief. Instead or in addition to, read the works of believers who have studied the early church and it's people in great depth with both curiosity and compassion, rather than anger and nihilism. You don't have to believe what your ancestors believed to stay connected to them. Knowing Mormonism isn't true isn't the same as intimately knowing the truth of it's people and the time and place they inhabited. Put yourself in the mind of a historian who loves what and who they study and wants to get to know them, even in their flaws, beyond the faith promoting anecdotes shared at family reunions.

Start with Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, which is sourced from the RLDS archives and In Sacred Loneliness by Todd Compton, who is still a member.

edited to add: It would likely be too much for your family to handle now, but at some point you might look up the Unitarian church or the Quakers (underground railroad anyone). If you miss a religious community you can find one much more focused on actually doing good; not just self justifying busywork.

edited edited to add: Mormon Enigma and Sacred Loneliness should be okay to read in front of your mom so you also don't have to feel like you're sneaking around. Replace the fear with curiosity. It will be okay.

There's evidence even Mother Teresa seriously doubted the existence of God. It didn't stop her.

u/dangling_participles · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Perhaps it's time to move away from LDS specific arguments, and start questioning the God concept in general; especially as it relates to morality.

One argument I've always liked, is that even if there is a god, by far the strongest test of morality it could ask for is if a person will be moral while believing there is no such being, and no promise of reward or punishment.

If she is willing to read, I recommend the following:

u/ordinaryhumans · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Highly recommend reading a good book together with your wife written by LDS women about Emma Hale Smith. It will help you both appreciate Emma's perspective and is well researched. It's called Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. It was sold in Deseret book stores. There shouldn't be too much about this that threatens your wife but if read together can lead to interest in that time and good discussions together. This was very helpful for my wife and I when we were in a similar situation two years ago. Show more love now with your wife, your courage honesty and integrity will make a huge difference, that's what's real, that's what's good.

u/pater_familias · 6 pointsr/exmormon

I was this missionary. Not really, but I could rationalize with the best of them. Logic just did not enter my way of thinking. This missionary is SMART. You have to be smart to maneuver a conversation the way he did.

Looking back on it, I'm not sure if one conversation could change my mind. My mind was changed very, very slowly and by many, many conversations. With that said, I think you should just debate one topic and stick to it. Don't change...don't let him change. The reason to select just one topic is because five years from now, that's all he'll remember.

I had a conversation 10 years before I left the church with a guy. He said "Is the world more righteous now than it was 50 years ago?" I said "NO! We are more wicked now than ever!"

Then he said, "We're curing cancer, providing insulin, creating artificial limbs, and generally healing more people with more technology and medicine than in the history of the world. Surely God wouldn't bless us with such longevity for no reason? We're SUPER righteous!"

That stuck with me for a long time. It made no sense to me. Why would God do that? If God wasn't doing that, then why would Satan bless us with long, happy lives?

I guess what I'm saying is that this conversation might have been a major victory for you, but we won't know for years to come. People need lots of time to abandon their delusions.

Personally, I think you were on the right track when you attacked faith. Everyone feels the spirit. Everyone thinks it tells them what is true. Everyone believes in really different things. Therefore, faith and the spirit must be an unreliable way at arriving at truth. His central message is that faith is the ONLY reliable method for arriving at truth. He's using a method that is deeply flawed at finding ANY truth.

This is directly from Peter Boghassian's book, A Manual For Creating Atheists

u/aPinkFloyd · 14 pointsr/exmormon

Lots of love for you, here are some thoughts of mine...

  • it is a mistake to believe that you should be asking the question "What is the purpose of my life?" it's not a question you ask, IT IS A QUESTION YOU ANSWER! and you answer it by living your life as ONLY you can, having the adventure that is your life experience, discovering the magical miracle that is ONLY YOU in all of this vast universe!

  • After losing Mormonism and the understanding of the universe that goes with it, I find myself an atheist, which has made this little journey of life INFINITELY more precious to me. It's all and everything we have! (as far as we know).

  • I have pulled in many helpful, empowering, peaceful ideas from Buddhism, Philosophy, Science that has helped me start to form a new, optimistic, and amazingly open minded new world-view. I no longer have to believe anything that doesn't make sense, I get to believe only sweet things now, and that is SO nice.

    Here are some resources that I have been really grateful for on my journey, which I am 12 months into...

    The Obstacle is the Way

    The Daily Stoic this is my new "daily bible" I read a page every morning

    Secular Buddhism podcast

    Waking Up podcast

    End of Faith

    The Demon Haunted World

    Philosophize This! podcast OR Partially Examined Life podcast

    I wish you the very best in your journey, be patient with yourself, you have EVERY reason to be! Start filling your mind with powerful positive ideas, keep the ones that help you find your way, set aside the ones that don't.

    And remember, you are young and free and the possibilities of what your life can become are boundless!
u/bertrude_stein · 5 pointsr/exmormon

Daymon Smith is the best you will find, especially if your friend is the brainy type. This series of interviews is long but worth the effort. Also, if your friend is patient, I would recommend they listen to the whole Mormon Stories interview with Daymon, episodes 149–52. Even though these interviews are six years old, they are still the best in-depth commentary on correlation. Daymon's writings, including Book of Mammon, were instrumental in my throwing the TSCC out of my life.

You might also recommend the chapter on correlation in Greg Prince's book, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism.

edit: Your friend may also be interested to know that these two sources—Daymon Smith and Greg Prince—approach the topic of correlation from a faithful yet analytical perspective. For another faithful/analytical perspective, I'd recommend reading Matt Bowman's chapter on correlation in this book, or this essay. PM me if you want pdfs of the chapters by Bowman and Prince.

u/GettingReadytoLive · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done a lot of research on the ideas of religion, morality, empathy, biases, villifying others, etc. He approaches morality from an evolutionary perspective. Watching and reading his work really helped me have more compassion and diffuse some of the anger I've felt. Haidt is a liberal atheist, but he acknowledges the value that can be gained from certain conservative ideals and traditions. I felt like he validated my Mormon experience and the experiences of my loved, while at the same time deconstructing them.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

TED talks:

In any case, I've gained a lot of empathy from this stuff. It probably saved my marriage and family relationships. It made me feel OK with my family as they are, even if they never change.

u/Jithrop · 6 pointsr/exmormon

Studies of the Book of Mormon

Elder Roberts was the LDS historian I admire the most. Leonard J. Arrington, who is commonly called the "Father of Mormon History", once remarked that Elder Roberts, who was the assistant church historian for 21 years, was “the intellectual leader of the Mormon people in the era of Mormonism’s finest intellectual attainment.”

Some more from him: “If from all that has gone before in Part 1, the view be taken that the Book of Mormon is merely of human origin… if it be assumed that he is the author of it, then it could be said there is much internal evidence in the book itself to sustain such a view. In the first place there is a certain lack of perspective in the things the book relates as history that points quite clearly to an underdeveloped mind as their origin. The narrative proceeds in characteristic disregard of conditions necessary to its reasonableness, as if it were a tale told by a child, with utter disregard for consistency.”

“One other subject remains to be considered in this division… viz. – was Joseph Smith possessed of a sufficiently vivid and creative imagination as to produce such a work as the Book of Mormon from such materials as have been indicated in the proceeding chapters… That such power of imagination would have to be of a high order is conceded; that Joseph Smith possessed such a gift of mind there can be no question….In light of this evidence, there can be no doubt as to the possession of a vividly strong, creative imagination by Joseph Smith, the Prophet, an imagination, it could with reason be urged, which, given the suggestions that are found in the ‘common knowledge’ of accepted American antiquities of the times, supplemented by such a work as Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews [published in Palmyra in 1825], it would make it possible for him to create a book such as the Book of Mormon is.”

This was an account of his meeting with other church leaders: “Richard Lyman spoke up and ask[ed] if there were things that would help our prestige and when Bro. Roberts answered no, he said then why discuss them. This attitude was too much for the historically minded Roberts…After this Bro. Roberts made a special Book of Mormon study; treated the problem systematically and historically and in a 400 type written page thesis set forth a revolutionary article on the origin of the Book of Mormon and sent it to Pres. Grant. It’s an article far too strong for the average Church member but for the intellectual group he considers it a contribution to assist in explaining Mormonism. He swings to a psychological explanation of the Book of Mormon and shows that the plates were not objective but subjective with Joseph Smith, that his exceptional imagination qualified him psychologically for the experience which he had in presenting to the world the Book of Mormon and that the plates with the Urim and Thummim were not objective. He explained certain literary difficulties in the Book….Instead of regarding it as the strongest evidence we have of Church Divinity, he regards it as the one which needs the most bolstering. His greatest claim for the divinity of the Prophet Joseph Smith lies in the Doctrine and Covenants.”

u/tksmoothie · 9 pointsr/exmormon


"Dec 9,1933 - [Less than a year after Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany,] 'Church News' article 'Mormonism in The New Germany,' enthusiastically emphasizes parallels 'between the LDS Church and some of the ideas and policies of the National Socialists.' First, Nazis have introduced 'Fast Sunday.' Second, 'it is a very well known fact that Hitler observes a form of living which Mormons term the Word of Wisdom. Finally, due to the importance given to the racial question by Nazis and the almost necessity of proving that one's grandmother was not a Jewess, there no longer is resistance against genealogical research by German Mormons who now have received letters of encouragement complimenting them for their patriotism.'

"Jan 25,1936 - 'Church News' Section photograph of LDS basketball team in Germany giving 'Sieg Heil' salute of Nazi Party."

"Many of those who felt the greatest anxiety about being able to carry on their religious activities are finding that at least one branch of their church work has received its greatest boon since Germany’s adoption of Hitlerism. It was always difficult for Genealogical workers to get into the archives of the recognized church to trace back family records. When the pastor learned of the intention access to the records was often denied. Now, due to the importance given to the racial question, and the almost necessity of proving that one’s grandmother was not a Jewess, the old record books have been dusted off and stand ready and waiting for use. No questions are asked. In fact, some of the Saints instead of being refused by the pastors now have received letters of encouragement complimenting them for their patriotism. All genealogical workers who are interesting in tracing back family history in Germany should take advantage of the present unusual opportunity." –Deseret News 1933

Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany

u/jell-o-him · 6 pointsr/exmormon

Some here will disagree, yet I think your cause is a noble one.

My suggestion would be to keep encouraging her to be a freethinker, question everything, and learn all she can about science. If she can be at a point where she understands that "science is more than a body of knowledge, it is a way of thinking" (Carl Sagan), if she can fall in love with the wonders of the creation of the universe and the evolution of life on this world, then you'll be done, as those things will show any thinking person the absurdity of religion as a moral compass.

If she likes to read, here are some books you might consider getting for her:

  • The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. An amazing argument for the use the scientific way of thinking in every aspect of our lives.

  • A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss. How math and science can fully explain the creation of the universe, and a powerful argument against the universe needing a creator.

  • The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins. The subtitle is The Evidence for Evolution. Meant as a book for readers your sister's age. Big plus is that if she likes it, she may want to read The God Delusion and/or The Magic of Reality.

    Edit: grammar
u/japanesepiano · 5 pointsr/exmormon

I highly recommend reading "The righteous Mind" by Johathan Haidt available here. It does a really good job of explaining why we justify the religion while we're in and why we're so angry when we get out. I found it useful in processing what's going through my mind now as well as what is going through my TBM wife's mind. In the end, our "rational" minds aren't very rational at all. We are all very good at justifying decisions, but rarely do we objectively make these decisions. It may give you some needed perspective.

If you're shy of 30, I say you have a very good shot at making it out as a family and enjoying some great years whether or not your spouse makes it out. Look back to understand, but don't forget to look ahead and live the amazing life in front of you.

u/TheDukeofEarlGrey · 12 pointsr/exmormon

Get this book.

One of my favorite activities from it is to write these following types of choices up on our little board and discuss each of them.

  1. Impossible. We talked about what superpowers we would want and how there aren't choices we could make that would realize those.
  2. Difficult. We talked about demanding choices such as becoming a scientist, finishing a PhD, climbing a mountain etc that you can do, but can't do right away without repeated effort.
  3. High Consequences. We talked about choices we can make but have high consequences, like never brushing your teeth or hurting others or breaking the law. We emphasized this is a huge part of what parents are trying to do, help us make good choices with good consequences.
  4. Preferences. We joked about what we would do if someone said there was one true breakfast, and there would be consequences if we didn't eat oatmeal every day. Or that I would take away Isaac's iPod if he didn't wear dark socks on Wednesdays. We talked about what books to read, what friends to have, what to study, what to be when we grew up as examples.
u/tonedeath · 5 pointsr/exmormon

Thanks for mentioning us pre-internet pioneers of exmo-ness.

I left in late 1995. Made the mistake of reading Richard S. Van Wagoner's "Mormon Polygamy: A History"

I felt so guilty for reading that book. But, I just couldn't put it down. It was the first time I felt like someone was giving me a real picture of Joseph Smith the man, not the myth. Decided I needed to balance out what I was getting in Van Wagoner's book with something more "church approved." Went to Deseret Book. Asked the girl working if they had anything on polygamy. She said she thought they had one book- they did. It was the book I was already reading.

That was the moment I took the red pill. There was no turning back and the floodgates were opened. I then read:

  • No Man Knows My History
  • Quest For The Gold Plates
  • By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus
  • Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders
  • Secret Ceremonies
  • Where Does It Say That?

    And then I started checking out copies of Sunstone and Dialogue.

    I started checking out some of the articles at Utah Lighthouse Ministries and made one trip to their book store, but I was already becoming an atheist and I didn't really like how they weren't just trying to debunk Mormonism but also trying to sell born again xianity.

    By November of 1996 I was already attending a Unitarian Universalist congregation and also pretty much an athiest at that point.

    When stuff like MormonThink came along, I was already pretty much post-Mormon. And, when I discovered r/exmormon, I was suddenly surprised at how much I liked watching what was happening here.

    I'm always surprised at the announcements people make about being done with this place. But, then I found it when I was already over all the emotional rage at having been deceived. I think I just like watching the train wreck at this point. People's posts here really give me the sense that Mormonism is imploding at a rate faster than this stodgy institution is prepared to deal with- makes me happy.
u/ElderSalamander · 1 pointr/exmormon

The book Recovering Agency could be helpful for you and your friend to read, it would be from an outside perspective of a different church which your friend may be more willing to listen to. It's really good, as is using logic and reason.

The other book is The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine one of America's Founding Fathers. you can get it free online or for not much on amazon, it is a very excellent book and a good read.

u/freedomshocked · 2 pointsr/exmormon

We had a very similar experience! 4 years of treatments, when another IUI failed we called it all off for a break. At that point we were truly at the "not ever going back to church" decision. One month later, preggo! Our son is now almost 17 months, not blessed, will never be involved in the church himself, and I have formally resigned. Its AWESOME! May I recommend two great parenting books I've loved reading and that have helped me a lot on my way out of Mormonism and in learning how to raise my boy without the church?

Best wishes and of course CONGRATS!!!!

u/aw232 · 1 pointr/exmormon

I've recommended this book on this sub before, but it really is a fantastic read and helps talk to other people and even get some movement on talking with people in the church. It's A Manual for Creating Athiests by Peter Boghossian. It is excellent.

Essentially it teaches people to use the Socratic method to help people understand just how bad faith is at determining what is real. You can also look up "street epistemology" to find other sources and videos of people employing Dr. Boghossian's techniques.

u/AintYoMomoNoMo · 6 pointsr/exmormon

I think this was just published, hadn't seen it here yet. Many of you may have heard of Robert Ritner, a respected never-mo Egyptologist who has taken a special interest in refuting the bad scholarship coming from LDS hacks. He actually trained John Gee, who is one of the main LDS scholars that defends the BoA and was cited in the latest essay. Ritner takes personal disappointment that Gee has become a shill for the mormon party line, and I think that helps motivate him to stay engaged long past the point that he needs to.

Ritner published a book on the BoA that I recommend if you're interested in all the gritty details:

The linked response essay contains the important points from the book, and is written as specific refutation to the church essay. It's succinct and devastating enough that it might be a good candidate for sharing with friends and family.

u/VernonT_Waldrip · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Home teaching started in 1963 when TSCC underwent correlation. Harold Lee gave a talk in the priesthood session of conference explaining correlation, and in that talk he announced the start of the home teaching program (starts on page 86, second column, Chart #6. It was basically a way to make sure everybody got the word out about this new-fangled correlation and to enforce priesthood hierarchy/keep tabs on all the priesthood holders.

If you don't know much about correlation (the period in the 60s when the church became completely centralized, started white-washing its history, and got rid of inconsistent/contradictory doctrines/teachings) I would recommend the work of Daymon Smith. He has an entertaining blog as well as some great books (one about his experience working in the COB), and did his PhD in anthropology studying the history of Mormon correlation. His dissertation is long but completely fascinating. For a shorter account of correlation, see the interview he did with BCC. Also, here's a hilarious video the church put out in the 60s about the "importance" of home teaching (cue the loser, inactive dad, and the clean-cut home teacher who is a better father-figure to the confused, but faithful, young man).

I think visiting teaching started in Nauvoo when the Relief Society was organized as a way for the sisters to go around to collect donations to then distribute to those in need.

u/YoungModern · 12 pointsr/exmormon

> You better believe I am going to plug it here for two reason: 1. This is my target audience…

Yes, /u/Porter_rockedwell, this is your target audience. Luna Lindsey plugged her book Recovering Agency here and even bought banner adds for the top of the page, and I remember much complaint but lots of praise. I suggest that you make your book available for kindle, which is easy for amateur self-publishers and how most people here would buy it.

As far as /u/daysofapostacy goes, it's seriously bizarre that anyone would claim that /r/exmormon is a lucrative place to gain followers for a fashion blog instead of sticking to bourgeoise TBM Utah Valley-girls. If /u/daysofapostacy was chasing fame and profit she would gone on pretending to be TBM. Choosing to come out as apostate is probably going to hurt her business.

u/Mithryn · 9 pointsr/exmormon

They are a corporation the same way that the Vadican is a corporation.

There is a for-profit company named "The corporation of the President" that owns the trademark "The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". It has a non-profit arm.

All proceeds from members go directly to the president of the "Corporation of the president"; which means tithing goes through the non-profit, directly to the for profit; where they put it into accounts for 3 years, spinning interest; and then can buy private companies with the interest.

Details exist in Damon Smith's "The book of Mammon"; but you can get a pretty good feel for it [here] ( or here.

Also the charter for the corporation of the president is here

Also you can look at the supreme court case that ended the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a church Here

u/cinepro · 1 pointr/exmormon

>That was my only or primary point with that example: that the rule, "he who asserts must prove" is only a very general rule of thumb, and that we are allowed to make presumptions as long as we have some independent grounds for those. If I've established that much - and you seem to have acceded on that - then that point is made. That only leaves one other question.

I've never pretended the claim about Joseph having sex with HMK was anything other than a presumption, or that you weren't allowed to make such a presumption. But even if you consider it a justified or logical presumption, it's still a presumption, and to present it as anything other than that is disingenuous. That's the only thing I've ever raised a question about; the surety with which people present their opinion on the subject.

If people simply said "we presume Joseph had sex with HMK", that would be great. But that's still far different than saying "Joseph had sex with HKM".

I don't mean to be condescending, but it really seems like you haven't done your homework on polygamy. At the very least, if you haven't read "In Sacred Loneliness" and "The Persistence of Polygamy", I highly recommend taking the time to do so, especially if you're going to be making claims based on historical context and what should be considered "unusual" or not for Joseph Smith's polygamy. If you don't have time for "In Sacred Loneliness", the Compton's article here is a decent summary:

A Trajectory of Plurality: An Overview of Joseph Smith's Thirty-three Plural Wives

But if we both agree that the actual evidence is ambiguous, and that claiming Joseph had sex with HMK is a presumption and inference, that's all I've ever been saying, so we don't need to belabor a point we agree on.

u/PXaZ · 1 pointr/exmormon

Rough Stone Rolling is good but soft-pedals some things.

Some of the stuff from the church historian's press looks worthwhile:

Greg Kofford Books has an extensive history line. I've enjoyed what I've read and found it to be well done.

Natural Born Seer is good, more of a critical lens on Joseph Smith's early years, really intriguing.

Joseph's Temples regarding the Freemasonry connection.

People highly recommend D. Michael Quinn.

Leonard Arrington's stuff is supposed to be classic, Great Basin Kingdom.

David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory Prince.

u/BlunderLikeARicochet · 4 pointsr/exmormon

This person has definitely been talking to someone trying "street epistemology". It's an approach based on Peter Boghossian's book A Manual For Creating Atheists. For anyone who wants to challenge the religious (or simply irrational) beliefs of others, it's highly recommended.

For a quick taste of the idea, there's a guy on Youtube who interviews strangers using street epistemology. It's careful, non-confrontational, Socratic approach to getting others to critically examine "faith" as a valid tool for acquiring knowledge.

Watch his "breakdown" videos, where he shows encounters with religious people and explains what he's doing in an educational way. It's really fascinating how effective the approach is.

My top two recommends:

Seth, a Christian

Maha, a Muslim

u/NoMoreCounting · 2 pointsr/exmormon

First off, welcome! I'm glad you're here. But I'm sorry for what you're going through right now, and for the loss of your parent. What a hard situation. I'm not exactly sure what to say for each of your three points (except I totally agree with you on the 3rd - those thoughts pop into my head too). But I just suggested these two books for someone else on here, and I'm going to recommend them to you too. They were both helpful to me in sorting out what I was feeling, and why. Good luck!

u/crvd · 2 pointsr/exmormon

As for Freemasonry itself, you will have to be very discerning with the information you come across, and especially on reddit.

In the Golden Verses of Pythagoras, it is said,
> -> 30. Never do anything which thou dost not understand.
> -> 31. But learn all thou ought'st to know, and by that means thou wilt lead a very pleasant life.

I advise against joining Freemasonry as a means to contrast it with Mormonism. A prominent feature of the Mormon temple ceremony is the trade of oaths with penalties for guarded information. This is also present in Freemasonry, and though they would portray themselves as benevolent, there is much to cast this into doubt.

I'm happy to direct you towards information relevant to your search. Maybe this information is not exactly what you are asking for, but I'm sure it will broaden and deepen your understanding of the topic at hand.

  • Joseph Smith and Kabbalah:
    The Occult Connection by Lance S. Owens

  • Early Mormonism and the Magic World View by D. Michael Quinn

    Both of these works were rigorously researched and have cited sources. Quinn's Early Mormonism and the Magic World View has over 300 pages in notes and sources. It is my opinion that if you don't have an understanding of the esoteric, occult foundation of Mormonism, then you don't understand Mormonism.

    Personally, it has allowed me to temper my understanding of Early Mormonism and the actions of my ancestors. For some, learning this may only condemn it further.

    After finding the edges of the current popularly held views of scientific materialistic reductionism, we are left looking at chaos and nondeterminism with wonder. There are so many evidences that our universe and our existence is much more meaningful than society would admit. Without passing judgement on the details of early Mormon history, I now have greater context for understanding it.

    If you should find yourself lost in searching for answers within the paradigm of linear thinking, send me a message. I have found that some of the greatest minds have been marginalized or silenced for embracing nonconforming, nonlinear, nondeterministic thinking.
u/TheHolySpook · 5 pointsr/exmormon

It depends what you're looking for and what your budget is. Personally, I make my coffee with an AeroPress, which makes a beautiful, clean-tasting cup of coffee. I actually use a super fancy grain grinder leftover from the prepping days of Mormonism. Be sure that no matter what grinder you get that it's a burr grinder, not a blade grinder. A blade will give you inconsistent sizes which will lead to over- or under-extraction of the beans. If you want something relatively inexpensive but still good, you should get a manual grinder. The Hario Skerton or Mini Mill is a good place to start. But it really depends on your budget what you should get. Electric, you might go with the Baratza Encore. You might make your way over to /r/coffee for a better answer, but that's my advice.

u/Fartfax · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Wow. Sounds like your dad is part of the Not even once club

So much for unconditional love. Wishing you guys the best.

u/curious_mormon · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Jaded Comments

>> next unto it is to say something disparaging about Sherry Dew (i wont go into that one, apart from saying that I may have called her a haggish old woman),

I find it funny, that the role model for women in the church is a never married CEO.

>> As time went on, because my employment was directly tied to my beliefs I spent many painful nights trying to get myself to believe

This is my theory on apologists.

>>I have never felt more at peace, happy and self confident as I do now that I have left the church behind me.

Congratulations! I'm happy for you.



  1. Have you read this?

  2. Do you have moderately relevant numbers on activity, tithing, expenditures, any of their internal studies, corporate expenses / losses, or other information long kept hidden from the public?

  3. What were your "Wow, you're kidding me. This happens in the Lord's church!" moments.

  4. How many of your coworkers do you think have completely drunk the kool-aid vs just want to keep their job?

  5. How are women regarded by the COB?

  6. How many missionaries did you see take the jobs of FTEs, or FTEs reduced to contractor status to keep their jobs?

  7. Were there any pleasant moments working for the COB?
u/Gileriodekel · 8 pointsr/exmormon

Thanks for the ping /u/vh65!

Hello /u/mckennahyoung! I'm Gileriodekel. I help run /r/LDSINC, which is the subreddit dedicated to the church's financial information. I run it with /u/hiking1950 (who honestly does more than I do now-a-days).

Another good resource would be /u/Mithryn's blog post "Structure of the Corporation of The President / Bishopric (Actual LDS “Church”)". He lists all the businesses that the church owns. /u/Mithryn himself is also a fantastic resource.

In regards to the mall, I made this spreadsheet. It is a year-by-year comparison of the church's humanitarian aid to the mall they built. I searched through thousands of archived documents to find all official financial information and humanitarian aid factsheets, most of which the church has tried to throw down "the memory hole".


Anyway, if you have ANY questions, please message me or /u/hiking1950 directly. We love talking and researching this kinda stuff. I actually used to help run /r/exmotalks (which is more-or-less dead), and I'd even help you write your paper if you'd like.


EDIT: I forgot to mention, professional Mormon historian and former BYU history professor D. Michael Quinn is releasing a book called "The Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power". The release date has been pushed back more than a couple times, but if it releases in time it will be an invaluable resource.

u/PostMormon · 1 pointr/exmormon

For a TBM, he does a pretty good job staying neutral, but yes, he has his biases.

You might prefer his:

Grant Palmer's book is fantastic.

u/crash4650 · 5 pointsr/exmormon

What an awesome perspective! I've been out for four years and I'm constantly frustrated that my exmormon missionary efforts have been mostly fruitless.

Recently I've been studying Street Epistemology and though I'm still inexperienced, I'm hopeful that I can finally talk to friends and loved ones without anybody getting defensive. You should check it out if you haven't already. This book is literally a manual for using Street Epistemology. Interestingly enough, the goal isn't too de-convert people but rather get them to recognize, just by asking the right questions, the flaws in their own reasoning. If you can get them to be less sure of their beliefs, even slightly, then your encounter is considered a success.

u/AWakefieldTwin · 4 pointsr/exmormon

I was coming to say this exact thing! I'm about 1/3 into it and it's SO fascinating. I live in SLC, so I went to his author event when the book came out at Wellers Book Works. He had a lot of pictures and things on display, gave a great talk, and there was some really great Q&A and discussion. It's by David Conley Nelson.

u/bananajr6000 · 9 pointsr/exmormon

Here is a great book about it:

It wasn't just Smith Jr and the peep stone (whitewashed to "seer stone",) there were lots of other magical practices the Smith family engaged in. From dowsing that has been scrubbed from the D&C (now listed as the "Gift of Aaron", you know, the one with the staff that allegedly turned into a snake?) to animal sacrifice and the nature of the solstice and what it had to do with recovering the mythical golden plates, the Smiths were deeply engaged in folk magic and the occult. Smith Jr had a Jupiter talisman in his pocket at his death that you can get a replica of today on eBay, and hairs from his and Hyrum's head were placed in walking canes that can be seen at the Daughters of the Pioneers museum today.

One more thing: Smith Jr supposedly learned how to scam people use a seer stone from another seer, Sally Chase and (allegedly) used her stone to locate his first one. I believe it was simply an attempt to legitimize his own scamming by showing he learned from another confidence schemer. Smith Jr never found any treasure that was recovered with his peep stone other than the golden plates, which no one has ever seen, including none of the 3 or 8 witnesses or anyone else. And where are the plates today? Taken away in to heaven? Really?!?

u/infamousjoe2 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Joseph made edits to the manuscript while it was at the printer. And from the time Joseph received the plates (1827) to the time the manuscript was completed (late 1829) was more than two years. That's plenty of time for Joseph to have the story completely laid out in his head. Read an original 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon and you'll see how different it is from today's version. And I'm not talking about punctuation, chapter headings, or verse separations.

Stephen King wrote Running Man in a week. Brilliant and creative people can write stories in a flash. BH Roberts, a former General Authority in the 1920's and 1930's, did a study on the Book of Mormon and Joseph's history. He concluded that Joseph had the necessary faculties and intellect to produce the Book of Mormon on his own. Read this.

The Book of Mormon is nothing more than Bible fan fiction.

u/Sansabina · 2 pointsr/exmormon

> the modern church offers a lot of value for raising children

When I first left the church I felt the same way.

But then I ordered some non-believer parenting guidebooks on raising your children with ethics and it blew me away.

One easy reading 250 page book had more valuable and useful information on teaching children to be kind and loving than I could find in all the 1000s of pages of mumbo-jumbo, confusing, contradictory scriptures and church publications put together.

Raising Freethinkers - Practical Parenting Beyong Belief

And then there were brilliant books I found for the kids, I stupidly didn't realize stuff like this existed outside the church.

Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong

What Should Danny Do?

u/chrises67 · 3 pointsr/exmormon

You are absolutely right – there is no one true way. Good for you for not falling into that trap again. Here is an amazing book I’ve been reading that explores morality and has helped me better form my own morals while understanding morals of others. I highly recommend it.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

u/zart327 · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Bret Metcalfe’s Book demonstrates how the first books of the BoM were produced at the end of the “translation “ process after the rest of the book had been written because of the loss of the 166 pages Joseph continued on and did not backtrack to first produce Nephi until the end of the process. He shows how the specific details about Christ were written after the later portion of the story had been produced and how vague Joseph is in the first few books with names and places and the story as he perhaps could not remember the names or details written in the 116 pages of the book of Lehi.

Dan Vogel’s you tube accounts demonstrate how the BoM directly deals with issues in Joseph’s home and family issues in an attempt to bring family together on theological issues and draws on the popular issues of the day such as the presumed advanced lighter skinned peoples who were responsible for the mounds and advanced civilizations they observed.

Michael Quinn’s Early Mormonism and Magic World View truly provides the context for Joseph’s treasure digging and how the BOM fits into the magic world perspective even to the day Joseph looked for the plates to have significance in the magic calendar. It is not valid to view the history without the magic overlay.

The most important thing to discuss is the spirit and elevation emotion see

u/Corsair64 · 5 pointsr/exmormon

Our own /u/Cagelessbird did an excellent version of this project a couple of years ago. He contacted a couple dozen Egyptologists from the ranks of accredited university professors. Those that responded universally assured him that the Book of Abraham does not rise above the level of religious fan fiction. I'll bet his results are still online somewhere.

In addition, Robert Ritner, an American Egyptologist currently at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, did publish a book about this very topic. Dr. Ritner also wrote a response to the BoA essay (

I'm sure that /u/Cagelessbird could have found someone from BYU that might agree with the BoA translation. But getting confirmation from multiple experts across the field was very compelling.

u/Joe_Sm · 7 pointsr/exmormon

Dude: Close this deal.

• Grant Palmer's Insider's View of Mormonism

• Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith

Close this crap now. Immediately. If you haven't read the two books, they are super easy reads. Nearly as easy as the CES Letter. DO IT!!!

u/Zadok_The_Priest · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Brigham H. Roberts was considered the best church historian of his age, (early 1900's). A brilliant man, faithful member of the church, and author of "The Comprehensive History of the Church". In my mind nobody knew the history of the church better.

He also authored a volume called. "Studies of the Book of Mormon" which was published after his death by 'Signature Books'. I think it is the most damning evidence for the book of mormon fraud that I have read.

"Studies" is available on-line for your personal library, or do what I did and just borrow it from the Local Library. A fascinating read, thoroughly footnoted and documented in the style of one of the worlds great historians.

u/richenloaf · 1 pointr/exmormon

I agree with many of the comments here, I think a few soundbites here and there aren't going to do much unless you have a more solid understanding. I would strongly recommend this book
so you can really discuss the issues from a knowledgable standpoint. Besides, maybe you will find out the Mormon church is really true and he will baptize you. Haha.

u/truth_seeker6 · 5 pointsr/exmormon

Woah... Hadn't read those before, but agree completely with the "most helpful" comments.

For those who might be interested, here's the link to the Amazon reviews:

u/atoponce · 6 pointsr/exmormon

According to D. Michael Quinn in his book, Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power, he estimates that that church members payed $33 billion (with a "B") in tithing donations in 2010.

I did some back of the envelope math a few weeks ago, based on estimated activity rates in the United States, family size, and median income, and came up with just over $3 billion in tithing donations. If the United States is home to 41% of the global Mormon population, and if D. Michael Quinn is right in his guess, then I seriously underestimated my assumptions at about $7 billion in donations.

What's interesting though, is that the church is more wealthy as a corporation than a religion. They have investments in agriculture, real estate, properties, farming, stocks, and much more. Some estimate that the church is worth more than $100 billion, and if so, tithing is making up anywhere from 20-35% of its total revenue.

But the church is bleeding members, and to lose 1/3 of your income would be a serious financial setback for the church. With that in mind, it perfectly clear why the church leadership is spending so much time focusing on "stay in the boat", and other related topics.

But I prophesy that in 100 years, the "Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" won't be a religion any longer, at least not as we know it, but instead will be a literal non-profit, tax exempt, run of the mill charity. It'll be more akin to the Salvation Army than Protestantism.

u/dudleydidwrong · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Lots of people here are or have been in the same boat. You are not alone.

Focus on your relationship with your wife and kids. Most people recommend going very slowly with spouses. You will have to bring up your issues some day. If nothing else your wife may notice your change in attitude. The critical thing at that point (or before that point) is to make sure your wife knows that you love her. You are questioning the church, not your marriage. Many TBMs have trouble making that distinction.

The second most important thing is that when you do start talking to your wife about church issues is to make sure she does not run to her family for advice. That is one reason to start slowly at the very edges. Ask that she keep your confidence. Cultivate the idea that this is something that the two of you have to work out together, and that family interference will only make it worse. It is the two of you against the world.

A family member or close friend leaving the church might be an opportunity to talk about why they left. I know you said that your families are uber TBM, but don't be surprised if someone does come out as ex.

One thing you might do is get a copy of No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie. It is an old book. Get it in paperback and let your wife see you reading it. Encourage her to read it with you.

I think the book used to be sold at Deseret Books, but I don't see it on their website. It might still be available in a brick and mortar store. Here is the Amazon link if you can't find it an official church site.

u/e0052 · 5 pointsr/exmormon

Heard that before. Faith is so obvious because the beauty of our environment can "only" be explained by divinity. Faith is "pretending to know things you don't know." Faith is not a reliable source of why/how one knows something for several reasons.

My personal opinion is if there us a God, he's a jackass and fuck him.

I suggest this book, Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian, if you have not already read it. You can listen to a sample on Amazon.

u/whitethunder9 · 1 pointr/exmormon

>You accused the left of not being patriotic

Wrong. I did not. Let me re-phrase: It is when left-of-center folks shun patriotism (especially where all can see and hear) that they lose all influence over the right-of-center. This does not imply that the entire left is not patriotic. I am left-of-center and consider myself patriotic. But it seems to have become cool in liberal circles to publicly hate on the US, and that's how we end up with someone like Donald Motherfucking Trump as president. Moderate conservatives were won over by such a dipshit because all he talked about was "Make America Great Again!" If you haven't read the book I recommended, you need to.

>Three examples that clearly don't bother you

Wrong. You are assuming. Please note that I said nothing about Russians whatsoever. Don't pin that shit on me.

I get the feeling that what you're thinking of patriotism and what I'm thinking of patriotism are not the same thing. Is colluding with Russians to win an election anti-patriotic? Of course it is. However, so is saying things like "my country is arrogant and the general populace is stupid". Totally an over-generalization and I guarantee you if any democratic candidate says anything of the sort, moderate conservatives will be turned off.

u/LightMinded · 3 pointsr/exmormon

I don't believe there is. However, on Amazon's listing you can send feedback to Audible requesting an audio version. The link is on the bottom of the right hand column.

>Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

u/Norenzayan · 5 pointsr/exmormon

If she's interested in books, Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman really dismantled my belief in the veracity of the New Testament. I haven't read his other books but I've heard they're good. Also, Mormon Stories has a really interesting series on the New Testament featuring religious academic Jared Anderson.

She might want to check out the New Order Mormon board for a safe place to ask questions. It might feel less threatening than this sub.

u/sleepygeeks · 9 pointsr/exmormon

Most of it came from classes and lectures. I don't have the class book list and sources anymore. I do hope you really, really like reading!

Forged writingss

Misquoting Jesus A well known book.

Introduction to the new testiment

The new testament: a historical intoduction

Revelation and the End of All Things Also a somewhat popular book

You can also do some Wikipedia reading on Gnosticism and other early Christen sects to get an idea of just how many groups their were and how differing their beliefs could be. Also look for things on the Q, M and L source.


You can likely find a number of online pod-casts (or whatever you call them) and lectures on these things.

I am not a historian so my access to books and memorized sources is very limited, I am a student and have been accused of reading serial boxes at least once when I accidentally quoted the wrong book name, It was too much fun to make the correction as no one had ever said that too me before and I felt special, like I had hit an academic milestone.

Also, Don't feel bad about asking for sources.

u/hermionebutwithmath · 1 pointr/exmormon

I did join the new sub!

Switching to a better brewing method can cut a lot of the bitterness and acidity and an aeropress is only $30 and a French press would be just as cheap (and let you make more than one cup at a time).

Grad school is very busy so far, but in a good way :)

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/exmormon

"An Insider's View on Mormon Origins" by former Institute Professor Grant Palmer -


Anything by D. Michael Quinn -


I'm reading "Early Mormonism and the Magical World View" now, and it is giving really fascinating insights into how Magical Occult ideas made their way into Mormonism, the Book of Mormon, and Book of Abraham.

u/DrTxn · 14 pointsr/exmormon

Here is a book about it by Ritner:

I think his axe to grind is it is not accurate and in his field. It is like nails on a chalk board. I believe one of his former students is an apologist which probably fuels his angst as well.

So have you looked at other essays like Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo? Have fun going down the rabbit hole. If you are married I would suggest taking your spouse with you.

u/Praise_to_the_Pasta · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Parenting Beyond Belief —cannot recommend it enough.

I am also eager to check out the companion book: Raising Free Thinkers

u/Wreckmaninoff · 7 pointsr/exmormon

I've read A View of the Hebrews. I recommend reading B.H. Roberts' Studies of the Book of Mormon first as a primer. There are significant historical knowledge gaps between the time View was published and our own and I found Roberts' work helpful in bridging those gaps. Roberts set out to answer a few simple historical questions about the BoM that a member had written in to a GA...

Reading View will get you:

  • a firsthand read at what was probably the source of a lot of major thematic points of the Book of Mormon, rebutting FAIRs claims of no connection; and,

  • firsthand read of numerous and very specific pseudoscientific linguistic and cultural theories that were considered credible at the time the BoM was written, which have since been discredited, and which were incorporated into the BoM by the author(s) of that work.

    Reading Roberts work provides:

  • firsthand knowledge that when FAIR characterizes Roberts' work as a piece of "devils advocacy" they are lying;

  • a well-articulated summary of early concerns with BoM anachronisms (linguistic, anthropological, metalurgical, and agricultural/animal husbandry);

  • strong evidence to the theory that Joseph Smith incorporated material from his life/social milieu into the Book of Mormon;

  • examples of overt and thinly disguised plagarism from the Bible;

  • analysis of simplistic and superficial stories/teachings of the BoM;

  • Roberts' retelling of how his findings went over with the 12 and FP when he shared them with that body; and,

  • all of this written from a perspective of faith from a President of the 70 who died in full fellowship, was church historian, who literally wrote The History of the Church and was formerly a strident defender of the Book of Mormon.

    Your husband might read Roberts work with you or on his own, given that he probably has a copy of Roberts six volume History of the Church and doesn't consider that anti-Mormon (in fact it's quoted extensively in official church publications.)

    Best of luck.
u/LucidSen · 1 pointr/exmormon

By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri by Charles M. Larson

Quick read, great full color foldout photos of the papyri (best available anywhere, I believe).

No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie

u/addictedtothetruth · 3 pointsr/exmormon

You can go to the Marriott library Special Collections dept on the 4th floor...just ask them about the BH Roberts stuff, they will be glad to bring you tons of stuff...that I am sure that the church doesn't like people to know about. You can also buy his writings now. The book is called Studies of the Book of is the amazon link:

u/BigCircleK · 2 pointsr/exmormon

This! I'm reading Boghossian's 'Manual' on street epistemology right now. It's helped me have calm, rational discussions with my TBM family members when it comes to faith - because it ALWAYS comes back to faith.

Edit: link

u/ShaqtinADrool · 9 pointsr/exmormon

2 great books, on this topic.

  1. An Insider's View on Mormon Origins

  2. Secret Combinations Evidence of Early Mormon Counterfeiting 1800-1847

    In summary: Joseph, and others, were heavily involved in conning others. This was their thing. These were not honest farmers trying to make an honest buck. They swindled people. The gold plates were just another con that eventually worked its way into a religion (only after Joseph couldn't sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon in order to make some $).
u/cuauthemoc · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Get an Aeropress. Very easy to pack up in the cupboard and makes a fantastic cup.

And they are very cheap!

u/HappyAnti · 2 pointsr/exmormon

"Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith"

Don't be confused by the title. It engages very successfully with Joseph's lecherous side all throughout. It's almost as much of a book about Joseph as it is a Emma. It merely looks at things through her perspective. It was written by 2 faithful LDS historians as a way to honor Joseph and Emma, but by the time they were finished their shelves were completely destroyed and both eventually left the church. This is why it is probably one of the best unbiased sources there is.

u/ClayChristensen · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Grant Palmer’s Insider’s View is a great start:
An Insider's View of Mormon Origins

u/HumanPlus · 2 pointsr/exmormon

I second the call for an aero press. Grab one, a coffee grinder, and a storage container (mason jars work fine too) for your locker or safe location.

After the initial investment (less than two weeks of your 5$ a day), this plus hot water gets you coffee at pennies a cup. The container keeps your beans fresh, and you only grind what you need every time.

u/DoubtingThomas50 · 3 pointsr/exmormon

PS - Look for this book to be released very soon:

I highly recommend Quinn's work. Fascinating, documented, and studious reading.

u/zelphthewhite · 1 pointr/exmormon

Magic World View is a great book, but the first half -- the section that traces the development of folk magic in the West -- is so dense and hard to get through that I usually suggest it after some more accessible material. But Quinn's insights into magical thinking, folk practices, and superstitious traditions in 19th century America and among Mormonism's founders are fascinating.

u/22snappy · 3 pointsr/exmormon

If you read grant palmer's book "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins" at the same time you read rough stone rolling you can identify more issues. They both address the same problems to some degree but bushman spins it in a pro-mormon way while palmer spins it the other direction.

It is actually quite fascinating to see how two scholars interpret the same facts totally differently.

u/spoiled_orange · 2 pointsr/exmormon

You're right, I was snarky.

An eye opening book for me was Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman on biblical textualism. I think by the end of his studies Erhman was no longer christian and perhaps an atheist.

Strangely enough, COLDS realized sometime in the early 1900's they had nobody educated in the church on biblical issues with advanced degrees. They sponsored a number of students from BYU to attend University of Chicago to pursue divinity degrees. I believe wrote on it. They did have problems with the program because many students would end up leaving the church.

You mentioned being a history major. I can understand studying religion as a historical phenomenon and the influence it has on society. Critical thinking would be involved. However, I had too many Institute teachers that would happily tell you about the validity of pillars of fire/smoke/vapor that lead the Israelites through the wilderness. Critical thinking takes a vacation on that one. We have a fellow in my ward that is highly respected for his understanding of the scriptures and is consistently called to be the GD teacher or an institute teacher. He will tell you unequivocally that when the 2nd coming happens that the moon will literally be turned into a giant drop of blood. I tried to talk him off that particular ledge with no success. I now listen to what he says on any subject with a huge grain of salt if his thinking skills are that highly impaired.

Edit to add words.

u/phxer · 3 pointsr/exmormon

I came to specifically link to the two things you shared, including the link to the Peer review post

I'll also add that Robert Ritner's book The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition is highly recommended by most Egyptian scholars.

EDIT: Why didn't somebody tell me my link looked like shit?

u/BroBrotherton · 5 pointsr/exmormon

That phrase from the temple ceremony was autobiographical. JS was not an original thinker as much as he was very well-read and very tuned in to the philosophies of men and the theological trends of the day. You could have taught your class using Grant Palmer's excellent book.
An Insider's View of Mormon Origins

u/howardcord · 4 pointsr/exmormon

The video says that you wouldn't be able to do research.

That's BS. I didn't watch past that. If they are going to make stipulations like that, assuming Joseph didn't have access to some sort of research, or a pre-written book even, than I could care less what other shit they dribble on about.

If you have time to read a book, No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie covers a lot on the authorship of the BOM. Truthfully though it wouldn't matter what books or websites you gave your brother, as a true believer he has to deny all evidence contrary to his beliefs.


u/canyonprincess · 2 pointsr/exmormon

I feel ya there. It's been healing to learn about the psychological manipulation the Church uses, and how my own cognitive biases played right into their game. This book has really helped me deprogram and separate my identity from the Church.

Remember, TSCC was just scaffolding. Your values, personality, memories, quirks, and strengths are your own.

Recovering Agency: Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control

u/ajay2u · 2 pointsr/exmormon

I was just looking for both of these on Audible, too. Thanks for the tip to request the audio version. I just requested it for both, too. I'd appreciate it if others did, too:

u/wondrwomyn · 2 pointsr/exmormon

if she still wants to stay within christianity, I suggest UU or TEC (the episcopal church) both are fairly progressive non-indoctrinational churches. We go to TEC, and my girls love it the two oldest got to go to their first sleep away camp and they loved it, they are even open to the fact that even tho I am still Christian, my spirituality is more closely align with agnostic theist and my hubby is Secular humanist/agnostic atheist. but as with everything it would also depend on your parish, not all churches are made equal even within a particular denomination. also I suggest helping her develop her own critical thinking. have her read [the magic of reality] (, and [Philosophy for kids] ( also read [Raising Freethinkers] ( Edited: for grammar and to add one more book suggestion..

u/curioboxfullofdicks · 1 pointr/exmormon

I thought you were making some shit up but you are correct:

From Moroni and the Swastika Book Review

"Chapter Five focuses on how Mormons used their strong belief in genealogy, which they used to provide sacred saving proxy ordinances for deceased family members, to ingratiate themselves with the Nazis, who had a strong belief in genealogy, which they used to determine an individual’s racial purity and whether or not they would lose civil rights or even be imprisoned. Chapter Six is called “Mormon Basketball Diplomacy in Hitler’s Reich”. It covers the German hosted 1936 Olympic games and gives details on how Mormon missionaries were the early coaches and trainers for the German Olympic basketball team. "


Buy the book

u/Iamstuckathope · 10 pointsr/exmormon

I'm no scholar, of course, but it seems like the majority of scholars believe that a man named Jesus existed in the first century C.E. and that he caused some trouble. Some of the New Testament (parts of Mark specifically) may be credible, but much of what we know about Jesus is myth. Pretty much everything written about him was written long after he died. The writings of Paul are some of the earliest Christian writings, and those don't go into much detail about Jesus.

I would recommend reading the book "Misquoting Jesus" if you are interested.

u/SpaceYeti · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Early Mormonism and the Magic World View was on my reading list, but I eventually (and recently) lost interest in reading anymore about Mormonism. I might get back around to it eventually. I did read Studies of the Book of Mormon by B.H. Roberts and An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, by Grant Palmer. From what I understand of The Magic World View, a lot of the same themes are covered in those other two books.

u/ThidwickTBHM · 1 pointr/exmormon

Grant Palmer's An Insider's View of Mormon Origins has a nice high-level roundup of the prevailing issues in the 1800s North American protestant zeitgeist that wound up in the BoM, too.

u/LDSdotOgre · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Absolutely best historical account of it all coming to be is "No Man Knows my History" by Fawn Brodie.

Worth reading every page.

u/Al_Tilly_the_Bum · 1 pointr/exmormon

"A History of God" is a great read. It really makes the bible make so much more sense. Warning: the evidence presented in this book may lead to a loss in faith of the Judeo/Christian image of God.

u/KingPabo · 12 pointsr/exmormon

Try less of being an immature asshole and more of a critical thinker. Read some books on church history, the ces letter, A Manual For Creating Atheists, How to be a really good pain in the ass, etc and provide helpful rational polite commentary as the appropriate topic comes up. Really know your stuff and where the sources are coming from. Think about what their responses are likely to be and how to counter them. Consider it waging a polite private war on seminary if it helps you. If the teacher see you as an articulate and convincing influence on the other kids they won't want you there. Otherwise they will just think you are just another immature kid throwing a tantrum.

Or if that sounds like too much work for you than you can just nap your way through seminary or read a book for the few minutes a day they take up. I got a lot of good reading time in there when I was your age.

u/ATmega32 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Here's a shelf cracker for you. I read this book in early 2000's and the similarities within these seemingly different religions are remarkable.

u/WhoaBlackBetty_bbl · 7 pointsr/exmormon

You should read An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. It feels less amazing when you take out the parts that could be found in his own back yard.

u/formermormer · 9 pointsr/exmormon

If you are REALLY interested in learning about correlation, Daymon Smith is the expert.

He earned his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and wrote his dissertation on the rise of the modern, correlated church. Here's a link to his dissertation.

If you don't feel like reading through his 533 page magnum opus, he did a 9 part series on correlation back in 2010 at which is based on material from his dissertation.

If you want something even more succinct, he did a Mormon Stories interview with John Dehlin in which he discussed his book, "The Book of Mammon: A Book About A Book About The Corporation That Owns The Mormons" and touches upon the rise of the modern church and correlation.

u/Canucknuckle · 14 pointsr/exmormon

This has the best answers on the issue. But in short yes it is has occult or magical views as early principles but maybe not satanic. There were peep stones, talismans, magic handkerchiefs and canes, etc.

u/AvaDeer · 2 pointsr/exmormon

I found my way out by reading about church history over the course of many months (I didn't know about about the CES Letter at the time). The issues never seemed to end and never had good explanations, and I finally could not keep trying to dig the church out of the pit it had created for itself.

Nothing can definitively prove that the church isn't true. I still can't prove it isn't true, but I have overwhelming evidence that it isn't. If you're 1) a reasonable, open-minded person; 2) read about problems in the church/church history; and 3) realize that it is illogical that a supreme being would allow and perpetuate these problems, then you'll find peace of mind in leaving the church. Try picking up a copy of "No Man Knows My History" by Fawn Brodie from the library. Hide it under your bed when you're not reading it--that's what I did :)

Leaving has removed an enormous burden that I didn't even know I was carrying.

u/tetsuo29 · 9 pointsr/exmormon

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it" (D&C 135:3)

Seriously, after I read Mormon Polygamy: A History and No Man Knows My History and thought about how I'd been taught to deify Joseph Smith and knew little to nothing about the actual man, it was then that I understood the allegations of cult-like characteristics that are lodged against the Mormon church.

u/Mablun · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Why Evolution is True

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (free online!)

Guns, Germs, Steel

The God Delusion

Misquoting Jesus (Conceptional this is very compatible with Mormonism--the Bible not being translated correctly so we need the BoM!--but the specifics about what got mistranslated are devastating as Mormonism doubled down on the mistranslated parts. oops.)

Don't even both learning anything more about Mormonism. Just be widely read and you'll soon see that the Mormon version of history is in incongruent with reality. This will cause cognitive dissonance and when you're ready to resolve it, go back and read independent sources about Mormonism and it will be very obvious that the narrative they indoctrinated into you as a child doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

u/hasbrochem · 15 pointsr/exmormon

Check out D. Michael Quinn's book Early Mormonism and the Magical World View if you haven't already. There's all kinds of good stuff there.

u/CaptainExecutable · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Good list. But there is so much more. For starters every mormon and exmormon should read The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri by Robert K. Ritner. And journals, there are lots of accessible journals that can be read online. Wilford Woodruff's journal and William Claytons's journal should be required reading.

u/sanpompon · 6 pointsr/exmormon

No, I don't equate everything to Nazi Germany. I was recalling something I MIGHT have read in a book about Mormonism in Nazi Germany. And, yes, I do actively try to inform myself politically.

The reason you were downvoted is because you come across as uninformed.

u/hebermagalhaes · 7 pointsr/exmormon

It's like scientology + 200 years.

The Mormon Church started as a cult but has since slowly been absorbed by mainstream american society and has dropped some of the worst cultist practices.

It still works pretty much as a cult and includes subtle manipulation techniques capable of turning your head on itself. There's a very detailed book written by a former mormon on this. I strongly recommend it whether you join or not.

u/ebteach · 2 pointsr/exmormon

It took me a while. I started with more sugar and cream, and eventually worked my way down to black as my tastes adjusted.

If you can't get past the bitter flavor, and you can make coffee at home, get an aeropress and an inexpensive grinder. It's $30, and makes almost bitter-free coffee, as the water doesn't sit with the grounds for very long. Takes about three minutes to make a coffee. One of the best inexpensive ways to make a coffee.


The grinder I got, $15

u/i_am_a_freethinker · 2 pointsr/exmormon

If this is your first time hearing of pseudopigrapha, you're one of the lucky 10,000.

You should definitely check out Misquoting Jesus by Bart Erhman, or any book by him, really. It will blow your fucking mind.

u/Sr_Gato · 12 pointsr/exmormon

one source I just found from: "'10 Things Polagamy gave Mormonism' SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 BY LINDSAY HANSEN PARK.


\>10. Temple attendance, sacredness, holy garments, and oaths:

This is a complex and sensitive topic, so I will try and tread as respectfully as I can.

If biographer’s of Emma Smith are to be believed, the temple garment started out as a way to set polygamist men apart from monogamist men ( see Emma Hale Smith Biography, page 140). While the Endowment Ceremony first developed around those who were secretly initiated into plural sealings, it was quickly extended to more than just polygamists. Still, it is suggested that those receiving their endowments would have known about the secret practice, even if they didn’t currently live it. They would have been initiated into the Holy Order which meant keeping the practice secret, or rather- sacred, from the outside world.

u/Maalam · 1 pointr/exmormon


I see a historical parallel here between David O. McKay, Harold B. Lee, and Spencer W. Kimball.

Have you read this book?

u/elder94 · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Ummm I'd suggest just reading the actual book

That's how you're going to get the best answer. I read it and it was a huge factor in breaking my shelf because I think it's obvious he knew the BOM was bullshit (or at least that it wasn't literally/historically true).

u/ginandgreen · 0 pointsr/exmormon

D. Michal Quinn literally wrote a book called Early Mormonism and the Magical World View.

And, he has done interviews and podcasts explaining what he researched. Try Mormon Discussion, or Mormon Stories. There are plenty of exmo podcasts that “touch that topic”, and have a context to frame it in so the discussion is interesting and relevant. Not just a bunch of bro’s who don’t have a clue what they are talking about who end up on unrelated tangents as often as they are on topic.

u/BrighamDumb · 2 pointsr/exmormon

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole, you might as well read the book that started it all No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie.

u/lorxraposa · 1 pointr/exmormon

I'm eagerly awaiting reading History of god when I get to it on my reading stack

u/iveseenthelight · 2 pointsr/exmormon

If I can find it in the UK I'm sure you must be able to find it in the USA:

u/MonkeyMonet · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Love how it is all denied yet the The Not Even Once Club is a childrens book by Wendy Nelson about excluding kids from the club who do do exactly as you do.

u/scotland42 · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Demon Haunted World, by Carl Sagan

It won't prove the church is wrong directly, but it gives a good guide to scepticism and how to think logically. It is probably the most important book I have ever read.

u/fannyalgersabortion · 1 pointr/exmormon

Ask him if he has read the book of mammon:

he goes into depth considering the quad and how it related to sales being the reason for campaigns pushing certain purchases.

u/fingerMeThomas · 2 pointsr/exmormon

TSCC was pretty chill with the Nazis in this life, so it doesn't surprise me at all that there was some love for Hitler after his death.

I mean it's not like he was gay or black or anything. Instead he killed gay people, black people, and Jewish people (I've even heard TBMs alive today claim that the Jews deserved the Holocaust for crucifying Jesus—and not just alt-reich nutjob TBMs).

Totally not a fucked up cult /s

u/MormonAtheist · 1 pointr/exmormon

It's just under $14 on amazon.

I would suggest giving a bit more time since many of us on here have limited hours in the day to read.