Aaron faithfully dug in deep to explain away the anti-mormon lies he was exposed to. The more he studied, the more problems he found until he realized the anti-mormons were the ones being honest and sharing the true history with evidence, not the church to which he’d dedicated his whole life to. This sent him into a depression which he eventually found his way through and now can speak authentically and is happy.
I was born and raised into the LDS faith. I paid a full tithing on my gross. At home, I actively prayed, read the scriptures, watched and attended General Conference, held Family Home Evenings with my family, and did everything else a good Mormon should do. I am an avid reader, I study cryptography and mathematics for fun, I love solving puzzles. I was a Mormon.
When the church published a series of 13 Gospel Topics Essays on their website, a friend pointed out to me that the church finally admitted that Joseph Smith was a polygamist. I fought back, because I was raised and taught that he was monogamous, and even went so far as to tell my friend he must be mistaken, or the church had it wrong.
However, I admitted that I didn’t know a lot about the issue, and promised him I would look into it. As an avid reader, and an amateur researcher, I held to my promise. But the deeper I dug into Joseph Smith’s history, the deeper I went down the rabbit hole of LDS church history.
I was soon learning not only about Joseph Smith’s polygamy, but also his folk magic, and the problems with the Book of Abraham, and the Kinderhook Plates, and so much more, to the point that it became very clear to me that the narrative I was learning was not matching the dominant narrative I learned growing up, nor the dominant narrative that is currently being taught.
I tried hard to give space for the historicity of the church claims, but every essay, paper, blog post, podcast episode, and so much more, was lined with mountains and mountains of references and citations, all of which could be verified. The “anti-mormon” literature I was reading was really the true church history, and it rocked my world.
I was deeply consumed with everything I could get my hands on to try so hard to prove that these “antimormon lies” were just that – lies. But it the exact opposite. After 9 months of intense and exhausting research, I realized that the evidence for the truth claims lied overwhelmingly with the critics of Mormonism, and not the apologetics.
For months, I dealt with anger and depression, as I tried to wrestle with 40 years of my life essentially being a lie. But, the storm settled, the relationship with my wife grew stronger, and now I have honest conversations with my wife and daughter about real issues, doctrine and policy, that shape our lives and the lives around us. These discussions are healthy, they provide deep reflection and introspection into difficult topics, and we have a space where we are happy, vibrant, and authentic.Aaron
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