I Was a Mormon: Sean Murphy
At the time I joined the LDS Church, I did not realize their different view of God and Jesus. If I was told that Joseph Smith peeped into a stone in a hat, changed his account of the first vision 4 times, and other fantastic stories, I would never have joined in the first place. There is a lot they don't tell you up front. They slowly bring you in with a nice little story that doesn't contradict what you already believe, and just kind of add to it. Then they let you know a little more over time. And then you wake up and find yourself believing in a guy who lives on a planet near the star Kolob and his 2 first sons Jesus and Satan, and when we die we will be just like him, making worlds and filling them with people through our many wives. Well no thank you, sir. When I die I just want to live in the presence of the Lord, because that is why He died. He wants me there, and you too.
My time in the Church had been relatively low key. I never held a calling, went twice on home teaching, never got a temple recommend, never wore temple garments, and thought my being a priesthood holder was a sham. I had been working overseas as a contractor in the wireless industry for 6 of the 10 years I was involved with the Church. I did attend church in the countries I worked in, but I really did that for companionship and trying to not be so homesick. I did find the Church to be a great social club full of nice people, but that doesn't make it true.
I was raised Catholic by my father, but went to church with my maternal grandparents at Calvary Chapel. I stayed in Calvary Chapel until I married an inactive Mormon in 1996 (she converted to the LDS Church just 3 years beforehand), and her Mormon friends brought the missionaries over to our house. I was baptized after the lessons, but my personal view of God and Jesus did not change at all. I was still acting and worshiping like a born-again Christian, just going to a different building. Well, I read the Book of Mormon (BOM) several times, read the Pearl of Great Price (PGP), and couldn't make it through the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) without thinking what a bunch of bull. Without seeing any anti-Mormon propaganda at all, I KNEW it was all a great BIG LIE; it was right there in front of me.
My 10 years of sitting through sacrament and fast and testimony meetings, people crying about how grateful they were for the Church, the prophet, the bishopric, the leadership, and how they know the Church is true because they have a 5 bedroom home and a new Chevy Suburban big enough to seat all 7 of their kids.
And they start the brainwashing early. Every child between 3 and 7 going up to the podium said EXACTLY the SAME THING, and I quote:
"Hello, my name is... I want to bear my testimony. I know this church is true. I love my mom and my dad, and I love the prophet. I say these things in the name of..."
They all worship the prophets, the Church, the temples, the leadership, the pioneers trek, the Mormon handcart companies, the missions, the phony art of Joseph Smith reading gold plates, and the 320 pound gold plates that he picked up and ran home with in a sack. Mormons are proud of their accomplishments as an organization, but at no time did I hear how much they love the Lord or how they have a personal relationship with Jesus. It was always about them and their things. Mormons have managed to bring God's status down to man's level and at the same time elevated man's status up to God's level.
I had been visiting with the bishop and taking temple prep classes. I thought I would give it a go, and was hoping it would be true. But I knew it wasn't. I was just reading my scriptures. I questioned everything in the PGP. I always had a problem with the PGP book of Abraham. I had a friend show me a picture that was on the papyrus that Smith had when he "translated" the book of Abraham, and my friend asked me if I knew what the picture was. I told him yes, I had seen that in the Cairo Museum in Egypt when I was there. I told him it was a picture of the pharaoh and Egyptian gods and pharaoh ascending into heaven. He said I was right, but he pointed out it was on an LDS website and it said it was about Abraham. I thought it was absolutely whacked.
I want to bear my testimony that I know the location of the historical events of the Bible: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beer-sheba, Galilee, Nazareth, Caesarea, Meggido, Dead Sea, Jordan River, etc. I've been there and have seen these places. There is no EARTHLY MAP of BOM locations: Zarahemla, Bountiful, etc. They can't correlate them, because they didn't exist. They are made up in the mind of Joseph Smith. No proof of an entire race of tens of thousands of people, iron swords, helmets, breastplates, horses, cows, pigs, elephants, chariots, walled fortresses and cities. I will not be duped into believing this because of something that feels like heartburn. I have sent my letter to the Church records to have my name removed. And stop showing pictures of Jesus standing with Meso-Americans next to ancient pyramids. That's just ridiculous. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
My friend Scott was an Ex-Mormon, and he was trying to get me to quit early on. It took me a while, but I think I held on for my family's sake and not my own. Scott also taught me the correlation between the Masonic temple and the LDS temple. Found that little tidbit interesting.
The whole temple scene seemed pretty silly, with the secret handshake, secret name, white outfits with baker’s hats and green aprons. Sounds more like a childish club with weird rules to get in the clubhouse. I found this out about February 2008 on YouTube videos after I decided to stop going to church November 2007. I saw some videos on temple rites made by ex-Mormon temple workers, and seeing this and other similar videos, it just firmed up my position that I made the right decision, and had no intention of changing my mind.
And then there is the KINDERHOOK plates! Wow, how much more does one need to know to get it? One thing I learned in the Special Forces (Green Berets for those unfamiliar): one must make sound decisions based on reliable intelligence. Gut feeling may be used to be cautious, but don't base your decisions on stuff that doesn't have ANY evidence to back it up or is COMPLETELY made up. Any doubts, read 2 Corinthians 11 vs. 12-14.
My wife and 4 kids are still active in the Church. My wife just thinks I quit to be a rebel. My daughter is at BYU, and thinks it is terrible we don't have a priesthood holder in the house. My 3 boys don't care. They stay home with dad on Sundays if mom doesn't want to deal with them at church.
In September 2008 I went to a Calvary Chapel event here in San Diego, and the special guest was Pastor Greg Laurie. After he spoke, he asked people to come up and dedicate themselves to Christ. I was the first one up by the stage, and I rededicated myself and asked Jesus to come back into my life. I have new scriptures, New King James Version (NKJV) with commentary and notes by Pastor Chuck Smith. It feels good going back to church and back in familiar territory. Going to the LDS service just drained the life out of me.
I want to add, my grandmother was dead set against the Mormon religion, being a born-again Christian. When I joined the church in 1997, I did not tell my grandmother what I did. But she found out about 2003, and didn't speak to me for the last 4 years of her life. She died in June 2007, never knowing her prayers had been answered.
Anyway that is my story. I am kind of new at this. I don't have a website, and haven't made any videos. I just hope to meet people with a same point of view and can use their knowledge to someday witness to Mormons including my own family and friends and bring them to Jesus. I don't hate Mormons, which is why I am trying to lead them to Jesus.