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Many years ago – before the internet was really born, I sat next to my lovely wife and watched her cry. She had asked me at odd times through our marriage, why I doubted the church? Most of the time we did not talk about it – it was too painful to discuss. I can remember moments where my entire family sat in a room – all trying to persuade me I was wrong. I had my own intellectual arguments and gut feelings, yet nothing you might call substantial or concrete…. no evidence, just a different opinion on certain doctrines and policies. Everyone thought ‘I’ was the problem. She was a very beautiful, loving and kind person to me – regardless of the worry I must have caused her. If she was still alive now and asked me the same question, she would still cry, but at least I’d have an avalanche of facts available.

In those days members would say to me: “You think too much.” The truth is, I did not think enough, or I should never have joined. Over decades, the burden of doubting and trying to soldier on became so very exhausting. I wanted so much for it to be true (I do not know of any Ex Mormon who wanted and hoped it was false), so when I still hear GA’s call people like me lazy, lacking in faith, deficient in tenacity, endurance, patience or spirituality…. and to cap it all: prideful, I feel so bloody angry!

Right from the start of my church life (at 18) I would regularly go out after dark in local woods where I lived to pray; always vocally and on my knees (with poly bags under them). Over the years I have had some long agonizing petitions and soul wrenching conversations with God. In later years I still continued this practice, except I reverted to going to remote locations near home and would sit in my car to pray. It grew into a form of meditation, where I asked for nothing – only talked about how I felt, cried and offered praise back. The strength and sustaining I felt from this was just unparalleled.

…… A wedge was forming in my soul between God and the church. The equation was changing – the relationship was shifting, I no longer needed to affiliate or equate God WITH the church – the two had separated. Slowly, ever so slowly, I gained a certain confidence within myself to trust what I was feeling – my own gut revelation, if you like. So when I began to assert a stronger opinion to those in priesthood leadership, I noticed a change – in them. Somewhere beneath the surface of kindly faces, white shirts and dark suits, was a harder line – a harsh uncompromising dogmatism, which, if crossed, or provoked, would rise to the surface. Then I saw the other face; the face that is soulless. The Church is bogged down with procedure, rules, conditions, rigidity, dogmatism, compliance and morbid guilt. They talk of Christ and then so often proceed to deal with you as if He did not exist. Sometimes their God can feel so beautiful and you really want to believe.

Sometimes you so desperately want to return to that soft cotton wool emotion of thinking, “you know” it is true, because that feeling is so reassuringly peaceful. I came to realize I COULD NOT TRUST those kind of emotional whisperings, without becoming fundamentally dishonest inside. I am a man who found huge poetic beauty in Mormon scripture. On this basis alone, my divergence proves something was seriously wrong. It is rather like being in love and adoring a woman, yet leaving her regardless. I should have found every justification for staying – not deserting.

40 REASONS WHY I FEEL BETRAYED:

  1. Blood atonement
  2. Polygamy
  3. B of M Witnesses confess to NOT actually seeing and feeling plates, angels etc.
  4. Early magic, spiritualism, Invented vision, invisible plates,
  5. Character of prophets and other leaders
  6. B of M problems (all evidence against it)
  7. Sources for B of M now found
  8. Polyandry
  9. Creation (7000 years since death)
  10. Doctrinal contradictions (stupid teachings and mothballed ideas of prophets)
  11. Secrecy and deliberate lies
  12. Temple endowment
  13. Book of Abraham + other translation failures
  14. Outright racism in disguise
  15. Corrupt and dishonest Kirtland Bank fiasco
  16. Tithing – corrupted in its interpretation and application
  17. No financial transparency
  18. DNA proof B of M narrative is false
  19. Lack of power in priesthood, failed predictions, no revelation
  20. Homophobia
  21. The promise that the Church would never be led astray
  22. Smith’s life and conduct
  23. Restoration of Priesthoods – not as described – retrospective claims inserted later
  24. Changing Doctrines
  25. Changing Endowment
  26. Rewritten and retro invented History
  27. Corrupt prophets
  28. Discredited claims and beliefs
  29. The methods of ascertaining truth by the church are totally inadequate
  30. Greedy, money soaked Corporation – fronted by a church
  31. Misogyny, cloaked in the patronizing pretense of esteem
  32. Biblical myths, like the flood with Noah’s Ark – creation timeline
  33. First Vision claim not credible – inserted later to bolster Smith authority at time of widespread apostasy, even of the 12 apostles
  34. Smith’s 3 heavens is actually bloody awful and NOT merciful. It reveals ‘separation’ by default, unless you prove ‘worthy’ to men playing God. There is a powerful level of anxiety and fear, due to variations in conformity by their family members, classified as ‘unworthy’ of the Celestial kingdom.
  35. Unfulfilled prophecy by Smith in the bucket loads
  36. Current Gay policy punishing children – the church pretends it is protecting children, which is another way of saying that their possible baptism and Gift of the Holy Ghost would have had NO effect upon any child, to guide and protect them?!! Instead, they leave each child to feel terribly isolated, alienated, unworthy, guilty and unwanted – compared to their peers. It was presented as a Revelation from Jesus Christ. My God – what a load of shit… if you believe that, you will believe anything! “Whosoever hurts one of these little ones, it would have been better for him…. “
  37. Hoffman forgeries which show prophets are NOT seers and have tried to buy and suppress information.
  38. Kinderhook plates nonsense
  39. Leadership succession totally devoid of guidance and sinister
  40. Church Essays themselves, are evidence (if you ever wanted it) of how the church tries to excuse its way out of all responsibility for its own sins and wrong doing.

~Robbie Bridgstock, FB Post – 12 Sept 2017 (used with permission)~