Hey, I'm Micah
I'm a technical support analyst in the financial information systems industry with over 10 years experience in the support field and certified in Kepner Tregoe rational and analytical situation, decision and problem analysis processes. I was a mormon.
I am a born in the covenant, 5th generation, “Happy Valley” (Utah County) former Mormon from a family of 10 kids (I am 4th oldest, and the oldest boy). My GG-Grandpa is William Clayton on my mom’s side and my GG-Grandpa on my dad’s side was proxy baptized in the St. George Temple for the founding fathers of the USA and was temple president of both the Manti and St. George temples. Both of them were polygamist. I served a full time "honorable" mission to Chile Santiago from 1998 to 2000. I met my darling wife upon my return during the summer of 2000 and married in the temple in early 2001. Together we have 3 kids.
I fully believed and lived every bit of Mormonism to the best of my ability and had a strong testimony which I bore often before, during and after my mission. In the spring of 2008, I followed what I believed to be the promptings of the Holy Ghost, now recognized as intuition and cognitive thinking skills, on a search for deeper secrets of the gospel and to purify myself in preparation for the 2nd coming. But as is often the case, opening your mind can lead one to the underlying truth. I formally resigned from Mormonism on August 1st, 2008 to keep my integrity and remove any implied support in the LDS deception.
On my shelf
On the Mormon Spectrum
When it comes to evaluating or scrutinizing the LDS church, most LDS members will tell you that the doctrine or church is perfect, but run by imperfect people. While this may sound good in theory to LDS members, it should be a blaring red flag. This is actually a “stop think” method utilized to keep members from thinking critically about the organization and blaming themselves for its (the organization’s) shortcomings.
LDS membership can be distinguished and segregated into two groups: The first group is comprised of the average member, serving in their local vicinity in various capacities and generally trying to do their best to fulfill what has been asked of them and what they believe is right; the second group is what could be considered “upper management”, those at the top of the pyramid dictating the direction of the whole church. This group includes the First Presidency, the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, Seventy and many office positions that keep the church running.
This second group is where I would like to focus and apply my theme of “Do as I say, not as I do”. Though there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of examples of this, today I will only focus on one, which in a way, covers most of the rest: Honesty. To setup this example, let’s establish from the LDS Church’s own Gospel Principles what it means to be dishonest:
"Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when he was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest. "(“Chapter 31: Honesty,” Gospel Principles, 203)
While I was on my way out of the church in June of 2008, I met twice with my Stake President. In trying to understand my reasons for leaving, he asked me several questions. “Have you been offended?” No. “Do you have any unresolved transgressions or sins?” No. (Side note: These are the typical off hand reasons that LDS members think of when hearing about a member going inactive or falling away. While these reasons may sometimes be the case, it is usually not the norm for stalwart members who leave unexpectedly.) “What is your main concern regarding the church?” My response to this question was the lying and deception to cover up and withhold the full history of Mormon origins from unsuspecting members.
What evidences are there that the LDS “upper management” is knowingly deceiving their members? Apostles themselves have admitted and admonished to not teach the full version of church history. Their reasoning is the whole “milk before meat” mentality. However, the diet of church history is never transitioned to “meat” and members are forever left to subside on “milk”. Church educators for seminary and institute often take it upon themselves to learn the “meat” of church history but when they attempt to share this “meat” with eager students, they are sometimes disciplined, threatened, or even fired.
So while the “upper management” of the church preaches “honesty”, they themselves are failing to be honest under their own definition of the term: “We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth”. Essentially what is taught in seminary, institute, primary, and Sunday school doctrine classes around the globe is a severely biased, watered down, and even modified version of the real events. Michael Quinn, an ex-LDS Historian articulated well this hypocrisy:
“It is . . . my conviction that God desires everyone to enjoy freedom of inquiry and expression without fear, obstruction or intimidation. I find it one of the fundamental ironies of modern Mormonism that the General Authorities, who praise free agency, also do their best to limit free agency's prerequisites--access to information, uninhibited inquiry and freedom of expression.”
The following quotes are excerpts from a discourse given by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1981 to LDS church educators during a conference at Brigham Young University. This clearly depicts the lengths and means that “upper management” is willing to enforce to keep the LDS faithful on a steady diet of “milk” while withholding the more telling and needed “meat”. (source: BYU/Packer-pdf)
"Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer."
“There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful."
"The writer or teacher who has an exaggerated loyalty to the theory that everything must be told is laying a foundation for his own judgment. The Lord made it clear that some things are to be taught selectively and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy.”
"That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith - particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith - places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities. Do not spread disease germs!" (Boyd K. Packer, 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271, emphasis mine)
While it is somewhat understandable why the LDS church is concerned with building faith instead of “destroying” it, the question remains that if the full version of history and events is such that faith would likely not be established when taught plainly, then perhaps it is not a foundation one would want to have faith in to begin with. Notice that Elder Packer’s concerns are not whether truth is being taught, but whether faith is being established. Using this logic, one could freely modify and teach the history of events for any cause to recruit followers, gain power, wealth or whatever it is they are after and feel that the ends justify the means. However in the LDS church’s case, this is in clear contradiction to their own values and creed. Christopher Dawson, a distinguished scholar and author of many cultural history books, stated well the dangers of such hypocrisy: “As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil they set out to destroy.”
When history is modified such that it only paints a positive light for any organization, it is easier for people to get warm fuzzies about it, such that they falsely think they are joining a good cause and fail to recognize or accept all of the skeletons in the closet from both the past and present. They only see and accept what the organization want them to. Unfortunately, when combining this control of information with other subtle means and tactics, the free agency and authentic identity of individuals is literally robbed from them, and their faith misplaced in a fictionalized version of the facts. As Thomas Edison so stated, “for faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction - faith in fiction is a damnable false hope.” Though facts or so often ignored and left out of LDS instruction manuals, they do not cease to exist and can be found and verified to any vigilant seeker of truth.
Teaching a biased, watered down version of history is, in a very real sense, teaching fiction, spun to the benefit of the organization at the expense of the individual. Deception, lies, and cover-up are normally attributes of evil. An organization that preaches one thing but does another is not an organization worthy of loyalty or trust. The leadership of the LDS church is subject to the same commandments that they exact of their membership. Their inability to do so exposes them for the false prophets that they are.
Questions I've answered
Did you want to sin? Is that why you left? More was mormon answers about 'Did you want to sin? Is that why you left?'
Were you offended? Is that why you left? More was mormon answers about 'Were you offended? Is that why you left?'
What aspects of your life are better after Mormonism (or Orthodox Mormonism)? More was mormon answers about 'What aspects of your life are better after Mormonism (or Orthodox Mormonism)?'
After attending the 2008 Exmormon Foundation Conference, I was inspired to create the social network Life After Mormonism as a safe haven and support group for those transitioning out of Mormonism into authentic living and I am an active contributor there and throughout the ex-Mormon community.