Ken converted to the church and then faithfully served in church callings and as a CES Educator. Over his 27 years teaching for the church, he grew increasingly uneasy with the whitewashed history the church teaches and took notes along the way. Eventually, this led to a tipping point where he “just couldn’t violate [his] conscience anymore” and he left both the church and his career. Since he has not been silent and has spoken at Exmormon conferences and believes that “The Mormon Church is not truthful. This deception should not be tolerated by disaffected members”.
I’m a convert and served as a Bishop. I was a CES teacher for 27 years. I resigned from both the CES and the church at the same time. I was a Mormon.
I pressured, begged, pleaded, cajoled my new wife into joining the church in 1970. As a new convert I wanted to become a full time CES professional after graduation from college. I thought teaching full time for the church meant using a scholarly, studious approach to the church’s origin story and its doctrine. I worked hard to become a noted defender of the church. I read everything, developed elaborate outlines and notes. I outlined chapters of the scriptures (all of them), with commentary.
I kept a journal and had large binders filled with life experiences and personal musings. I read them for inspiration from time to time (my personal Doctrine and Covenants), but all I could find on every page was guilt and feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. It was a record of a man riddled with angst and shame. I was miserable. Rather than bore readers with a lengthy list of “what else happened to me,” I’d rather list the principles that left me wondering how I could have ever agreed to convert.
I learned when studying and asking sincere questions that swift discipline and warnings came from leaders. They were not remotely interested in the true history and evolving and constantly changing position on “doctrines.” Only that the membership would never learn the true history and absurd adjustments to doctrine.
Certainty Breeds Intolerance. Teaching the gullible members to preface testimonies with “I know” is not only dishonest, it prompts members to think that they possess some secret and superior access to facts, otherwise unknown to the rest of the world.
Emotions are Superior to Evidence based Truths. The Mormon leaders’ admonitions to members about why feelings (testimonies) are superior to anything else including facts backed by hard evidence. The overwhelming message from leaders is doubt your (own) doubts and trust your leaders. Because they will never lead you astray.
One need only read church history to note how often lying to protect the church and its leaders was used as a practical management tool. I started to compile a list of significant (not little ones) lies the church leaders have spread throughout history. I quit at 150 big lies from Joseph Smith to the present. (I later presented and published this list, they are easy to find with a quick “Lying for the Lord” search)
I just couldn’t violate my conscience anymore. Years of study demonstrated “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that Mormonism’s leaders had no intention of sharing the truth with the world. They were instead committed to a giant coverup of all historical and doctrinal information that might sully the image of the church.
I love being contacted by former students, friends, ward members, who wonder how me and my family are. I am happy to tell them why I left, but the majority don’t want to know. That’s okay. Live and let live. The Mormon Church is not truthful. This deception should not be tolerated by disaffected members anymore than it is tolerated with an unfaithful spouse. Four of our five children graduated from Mormonism ahead of us. They set a good example for us. My wife and I; and the family, are happier than we have ever been.Ken Clark
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