Hello! I'm Ambur
I was a mormon, until I wasn't...
# Why I left More stories of 'Why I left' the Mormon church
This was my resignation letter to my friends and family:
"Dear Friends and Family,
This is my official resignation, my final testimony, if you will. My beliefs and my experiences. If you are easily offended, or are uncomfortable with views that differ from your own, I suggest you just keep scrolling.
Three months ago, I would have testified to anyone of my testimony of Jesus Christ and his Church.
I would have told you that under no circumstances, and in no certain terms, that there was NO way I would deny Christ or his gospel. I would’ve shared my testimony of the truthfulness of its teachings, of the Book of Mormon, and of Joseph Smith, someone I revered more than any of you are possibly aware.
I would have defended the church to my last breath.
In fact I loved the church and god so much that I would’ve jumped through every hoop just to make someone believe.
But a lot can change in a few months, in a few days, and in a few moments…
You might be tempted to think that I am taking the easy way out, but you couldn't be more wrong. By being true to myself and my morals, this is the hardest thing I've ever done, and if you know me, you know I’ve done an awful lot of hard things.
If you know me, and very few of you truly know me well, if at all, you should know that it is not in my nature to turn a blind eye to a lie, to harm, and to abuse.
I, like so many others,have found my testimony of the church to be based and built solely on confirmation bias, indoctrination, misinformation/incomplete information, cultural/family pressures, and an arrogant worldview. A testimony built on the testimony of my family, which were built on the testimonies of their families, and of their families, and so on, and so forth. Nothing was ever really my own, and my families weren't their own, and their families weren't theirs. These testimonies had been passed down, generation to generation, whispered into the ears of the young children until their thoughts were no longer their thoughts, until their identities belonged to the church, and they no longer had any informed consent that they so rightfully deserved, and believed only what they were told to believe.
I break that cycle and those ever-binding chains today.
All it took was one moment for all of that to come crashing down around me, one truth to rip to shreds what I had lived for, what I breathed for, what I fought for. But what I found, and what I have to say now, is and will be mine, totally and completely. It will not belong to any other individual or organization.
To those run by logic, and to my family who did me the great disservice of insulting my intelligence in believing I only left for some rocks, there are SO many reasons why I ran, screaming, from the church, so narrowing it down to just a few has been increasingly difficult, but I think the one thing that broke it all for me was the man himself, Joseph Smith.
In the midst of caring for and healing my children who had been abused and harmed in more ways than one by their other family half, the moment I found that Joseph Smith had also abused and threatened countless women all in the name of his religion, I broke down in tears. We were taught growing up that Joseph had been married to many, many women, but only after he had passed away, and that he didn’t want it, that he fought against it, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, among his wives were two 14 year old girls, one of which he threatened with an angel and a flaming sword. In D&C, he threatened Emma with “death and eternal damnation”. He married numerous women WHO WERE ALREADY MARRIED, and sent their husbands away on so many missions they would later beg to be home with their wives. The cherry on top? He never told Emma about any of this until he had already married around 8 other women. When she asked if she could pick his polygamous/polyandrous wives, he “graciously” let her choose who he could marry, not knowing that he had already married more than half of the women she chose. Emma was his 17th wife who he was sealed to in the temple. And to think he didn’t sleep with any of these women is, quite frankly, naive at best, though you have to look no further than their journals and accounts again to find out that he did. It is ugly and disgusting, truly disturbing, and that is why the Church tried to hide it for as long as they could, and excommunicated anyone who talked about it. Everything is now documented historically, the church now admits it because of these historians and the internet putting it out there for everyone to see. It is factual, and it is beyond reprehensible.
Other reasons include, but are not limited to:
1) Joseph Smith and his treasure digging
2) How Joseph Smith never actually used the Golden Plates to translate the Book of Mormon. What’s the point in having them then?
3) How Joseph Smith solely used a rock and a hat to “translate” the Book of Mormon, and how the church had several narratives on how he “translated” the Book of Mormon until recently, when they were called out for lying about it.
4) How Joseph Smith regularly sacrificed animals to find buried treasure, of which he never found.
5) How he was a convicted criminal in more than one court, in more than one case.
6) How the visions and miracles found in the Book of Mormon were actually dreams and stories that his family had been telling him since he was a young child, all of which is found in their journals.
7) NO Archeological evidence. You can't say the church trusts in science, and then be subjective about what fields you choose to trust.
8 ) NO DNA evidence. The church owns a DNA collecting and storing company, you'd think they'd be smarter about this one.
9) How the Book of Mormon included stories from the bible that the people in the Book of Mormon just wouldn’t have had because they hadn’t happened yet.
10) How Joseph Smith’s intent with the Book of Mormon was to create the actual history of America, and how that has been disproven time and time again.
11) The Book of Abraham…
12) The Kinderhook Plates…
13) How the church removes anything from its teachings that don’t align with the current worldview, but ONLY AFTER they’ve been called out on it.
14) Second Anointings: The only real way you can get into the highest degree of celestial glory, otherwise you’re only a servant to the “gods and goddesses” who made it there. And who can get their second anointings? Only men and women who are invited to by the general authorities of the church.
15) The discrimination, racism, misogyny and abuse of minorities in the church, minorities being the black members, LGBTQ+ members who regularly take their lives, women, children, etc.
16) The complete apathetic nature with which the church handles and covers up sexual abuse perpetrated by its priesthood members, and the Non-Disclosure Agreements members need to sign in order to get compensated for the abuse they suffered at the hands of the liars.
17) The list goes on…
To be able to align to any of these problems mentioned above and excuse them with the apologetic, “well they’re just human,” is to excuse all accountability that the church and it’s members have for correcting these problems. If you can’t apply the same critical thinking (they’re just human) that you do about the Mormon church to any other church (I.E. Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.) then there’s a problem. Not a single one of you reading this now would accept the above stated list if you heard it came from another church.
And for those who are run more on feelings, I will never hold my children to the impossible standards that the church inflicts on their members, and families inflict on their children. My children will never travel so far away from my love and my standards that I will be forced to cut them from my life, because my love for my family is truly unconditional. They will never feel threatened by me, they will never feel the need to withhold information from me, they will never question whether or not I love them or mean what I say. They will never be scared of me.
I will no longer justify the polygamy, polyandry, the abuse, the racism, the lies, the hidden agendas, and horrendous actions of the church and its leaders. I will no longer live in guilt for never being good enough no matter how much I did, constantly second guessing myself.
I am grateful for all the lessons I HAVE learned stepping outside of the Mormon bubble.
I am grateful for the increase in understanding and patience I have with myself and others.
I am grateful for being able to more fully recognize abusive, and narcissistic behaviors.
I am grateful for being able to support others who may be different from me without feeling the need to judge them.
I am grateful for learning how to set healthy boundaries.
I am grateful to finally be able to think for myself, to use the rational thought I was born with, and to think critically about difficult topics.
This is my final decision, I am not looking for advice. As I will respect your decision to stay in the church or not, I ask you respect my decision to leave.
As a bi, intelligent female (all three being “the great enemies of the church”), that is my testimony as a HAPPILY ex-Mormon."