Dianne Was a Mormon, an Ex-Mormon Profile Spotlight

Dianne’s path reflects a profound shift from unwavering faith to skeptical inquiry. Raised in the Mormon tradition and deeply devoted to its tenets and beliefs, her journey toward disbelief began with a clash between science and religious doctrine. As she grappled with the stark disparities between empirical evidence and faith-based teachings, Dianne embarked on an exhaustive quest for truth. After eight years of soul-searching and research, she made the difficult decision to part ways with the Church, driven by a commitment to authenticity and truth-seeking. Since leaving the church, Dianne co-founded CALM (Community After Leaving Mormonism) and served as a Board Member for The Exmormon Foundation. Her story serves as a beacon for those who dare to question established beliefs and seek enlightenment on their own terms.

I was born-in-the-covenant, lived in Utah my whole life, returned missionary to England. I hold an M.Ed. and a cum laude B.S. in Education; both education degrees are from BYU. I married in the Provo temple and held a myriad of callings. I have always had an extremely strong conscience that kept me on the straight and narrow path, always striving to do right, and never rebelling. I was a Mormon.

What started my disbelief? It started with science. Beginning in seminary and throughout the years, I was taught that “someday science will find proof for the Book of Mormon”, so I put it on a shelf and waited. However, as science progressed, my dissonance grew. After watching a dozen archaeology shows on PBS where nothing in the Book of Mormon was ever mentioned, I called a faithful BYU science professor and asked if there was any archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, and how did he handle the dissonance between science and religion? I could tell by his carefully worded responses that he was no longer a believer.

In many conversations with apologists and scientists, I have yet to see any credible scientific evidence of Book of Mormon civilizations. These are not events that occurred in the realm of the metaphysical, as these civilizations supposedly took place in the real world, and as such, there would be evidence to support these claims, yet there is none. That started my reading frenzy through about 100 science and religion books in about 6 months. It became undeniably clear that science proved the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham to be fakes.

After I was grounded in science, then I started with real church history. I read about the multiple contradictory versions of the First Vision, and Joseph’s face-in-the-hat translation method. The final straw was reading about Joseph Smith’s marrying a 14 year old, and his polyandry with married women. After reading the heartrending story of Zina Diantha Huntington and Henry Jacobs, I was in tears.

Since none of this evidence exists, I then did research on the brain, belief, and spiritual experiences and testimonies, and science again explained how these experiences occurred within a person’s own brain, without association to outside reality, e.g. Religious Tolerance. Indeed, all humankind has spiritual experiences and feelings, believing their own mutually exclusive faith is true, which is an impossibility. I learned that spiritual experiences and feelings are unreliable and insufficient as valid tests of truth.

Other than “feelings,” what evidence is there the church is what it claims to be? Feelings are not a reliable test of truth, as anyone knows whose feelings have turned out to be wrong, such as feeling good about an investment which failed or a marriage that ended. If feelings equal truth, then Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, and all other faiths are also the one true religion because their members also have a witness. Regarding faith, belief, witness, prayer, testimony, burning in the bosom, and other such feelings, many get those same inspirational feelings watching “Phantom of the Opera” or “Les Mis.” Does that mean they are true? Many get bad feelings learning about the Holocaust. Does that mean the Holocaust isn’t true? Most spiritual experiences can be scientifically explained within the brain.

Then came the rage over being deceived my whole life; I knew the church was a fraud, and there was nothing left of my testimony. I continued to research all the little details for eight years, both online and in books, until my family situation made it possible to resign. I so regret my time, energy, youth, and much tithing that were wasted on a lie, but my biggest regret is that I raised my children in the church. Some of my adult children see the fraud, but not all of them will, and there are many damaged familial relationships.

Faith cannot be sustained on falsehoods and deception. Faith is not sufficient when all tangible evidence contradicts the church. My testimony is based on evidence, facts, and historical research, and I know the church is not true, Joseph Smith was not a prophet, and The Book of Mormon is not the word of God. My integrity demanded that I no longer participate, and I resigned.

I emphasize that my decision is not the result of sin, or taking offense, or any other stereotypical justification, but simply that the church is not what it claims to be, and all evidence falsifies the church. The church is good at instilling ethics and values, so it is disturbing when it doesn’t follow its own teachings on honesty. After eight years of intensive research and documentation of all sides, I choose to no longer belong to an organization that deceives its members.


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