Friday, October 19, 2007

Up Close and Personal; The Cr@ig P@xton Story

Having been born in the covenant, I was taught the gospel from my youth. I never had any reason to question or doubt what my parents, seminary teachers or church leaders taught me. I accepted their teachings and testimonies as fact. If I ever had doubts I don’t remember them.

My worldview, filtered through Mormonism, was secure, strong and confident, bordering on the arrogance, of KNOWING that I belonged to the ONLY true church on the face of the earth. I was right and the rest of the world was was so black and white to me. An easy and clear choice. The church is true, nothing else matters.

I couldn’t understand how the rest of the world couldn’t see the truth. It was so plain and simple. I knew that if given the chance to have the truths of the gospel explained to them, anyone would readily accept it. I was one of Saturdays Warriors...preparing the world for the second coming of Jesus Christ in these latter days. Little did I know then, that I had been “set up” by the church and my blind faith in it...for a very rude awakening...that would change my world and shake my very core.

From my youth, I prepared to go on a mission. I loved listening to the faith building stories of the returning missionaries as they reported the wonderful experiences from their missions. I would fantasize about the day that I too could serve a mission for the Lord. I knew in my heart that I too would be a great servant for the Lord and would be a valuable tool in His hands to bring many souls to the knowledge of His true church.

When I turned 18, I decided, with only a year to go that I needed to intensify my study of the gospel so that I would be fully prepared for my mission. I immersed myself in the study of the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon. Up until this time in my life I had never read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. My initial impressions were less than impressed. The characters seemed shallow and almost cartoonish in their behavior. The Book of Mormon lacked depth, it felt fake. But leaning on the faith of those I trusted, I accepted that the Book of Mormon was true. I didn’t allow these first impressions to affect my testimony. Certainly, the fault was in me not the Book of Mormon.

The day I received my mission call was one of the most exciting days of my life. I had prepared for this moment all my life and now it was here. Although I was willing to go wherever the Lord called me, I secretly hoped that I would be called to Australia. It held so many pluses. A distant, exotic, English speaking satisfied every mission wish I ever had. I was thrilled when I read that the Lord had in fact called me to the country of my secret desire.

I took to missionary work like a duck does to water. Through hard work and strict adherence to mission rules I advanced quickly up the ranks of mission leadership. Within a very short time I was serving as a Zone Leader. I guess you could call me a straight arrow. I loved mission work. The years of preparation and an unquestioning devotion were really paying off. I loved teaching the gospel, and although most of the Australians I came in contact with were not interested to listening to my message, the occasional person that would listen made the work worthwhile. It was during such a situation that I came in direct contact with information that was about to change everything I had ever believed about the church.

During a street meeting my companion and I met a very nice Seventh Day Adventists couple that expressed a sincere interest in hearing our message. We looked forward to being able to share the TRUE gospel with them. During the first discussion they showed promise and we looked forward to a future baptism. Then following a dinner date, which had included some interesting meatless dishes done with soy beans, we retired to the living room for another gospel discussion. Our investigator’s mood seemed a bit different this night, on further inquiry, they inform my companion and me that they had discovered some material at the local library that had caused them to doubt some of the information we had taught them. They then presented us with a book entitled “Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?” by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. I assured our investigators that it was nothing to be concerned with. I promised them that I would review its contents and get back with them. Nothing in my years of mission preparation had prepared me for this book and the information that it contained. I cannot begin to describe the massive cognitive dissonance that I experienced as I browsed through this book. My world had been completely knocked off its foundation and I was ill equipped to fix it.

Retuning to my apartment, I read the material in the book. My head swimming as I read for the first time in my life the many changes in the Book of Mormon, the failure of early leaders of the church to live the word of wisdom, promises of missionaries teaching the gospel to men on the moon, changes and additions to the Doctrine and Covenants and on and on and on. I was drowning; I was going down for the third time. I remember being in complete depression, my world had changed in the blink of an eye, the seeds of doubt had been planted, but the fruit would take years to harvest. I had so many questions and no I did what I had been taught to do...I turned to the Lord for help. If anyone needed help I did, but I wasn’t willing to take any witness as an answer I wanted a specific sign. I told God what was required and said that if He didn’t deliver I was headed home, period.

I placed the “Anti” Mormon book on my bed and retired to another room for the most heartfelt and sincere prayer of my life. I told God in no uncertain terms that I had placed the book on my bed...and that if the things that I discovered in the book were false, then he had to move the book across the room and place it on my companion’s bed. Anything less would be confirmation that the book was true and Mormonism was false. Upon returning to my bedroom, I was relieved to find the Tanner book sitting on my companion’s bed just as I had requested. My prayers had been answered; my personal miracle had taken place. In my mind God himself had proven the book false; I had survived this crisis to my faith. I dismissed the Tanners as liars and frauds...God had given me a personal sign.

In reality my comp had merely picked up the book when I was in the other room praying...he sat on his own bed to browse through the book and then set the book down on his own bed where he had been sitting, unaware of my plea or request for a sign.

With this crisis conquered, I redoubled my dedication to the church working harder than ever...ultimately ascending to serve as Assistant to the President. The church was true.

Like many members of the church first exposed to the truth behind church history, I had to build a defensive wall around this knowledge and file it away in a deep part of my mind. I successfully did this for nearly 10 years, ignoring or denying the facts. Enter Mark Hoffman...

In the fall of 1985 my wife and I were on a visit to Nauvoo when we first heard the news from Salt Lake of the bombings that took the life of Steve Christensen (who had served in my mission) and Kathy Sheets. These bombings eventually led to Mark Hoffman. For months I had been following with interest the documents that Mark Hoffman was discovering and selling to the church. The discovery of these bits and pieces of church history began to undermine the protective wall I had built around my doubts. It caused me great pain when I first heard of a Salamander turning into the Angel Moroni. Once again I was forced to face my fears regarding the church. At the time I was deeply entrenched in my ward as the Elder Quorum President.... but these new confirmations of the church’s secret past continued to haunt me. It was those bombings that saved my faith once more. Discovery and disclosure of the Hoffman forgeries gave me newfound hope that I could once again hide my doubts behind my protective walls. I could once again suspend my doubts.

In the years since 1985, I ascended once again the ladder of Mormon leadership. I have served as a Elders Quorum President, Councilor in a Bishopric, served on the High Council and as Young Men’s President. But in 2002, the planets aligned, the conditions became perfect and the seeds that were planted so many years ago while on my mission bore their first fruit. I was forced to face my greatest fears. I turned to the church for help with a personal problem, naively expecting that I would receive it, but instead was excommunicated. I might add, for the curious, that I never broke my temple covenants. But the reality was that I had been cast off from a church I had dearly loved and had devoted my life to. The process was excruciatingly painful and truly beyond my ability to set in words. But on the bright side, being unencumbered by membership in the church, the binds on my mind were set loose. It was the first time in my life that I actually felt free to honestly investigate the church, confront my doubts and find out for myself if it was truly all it claimed to be.

I became a voracious reader of Mormon history, devouring books by Quinn, Roberts, Larsen, and others. The discovery of the truth was my only mission statement irrespective of where that truth might lead me. I had finally crossed the line into the unofficial secrets of Mormon history. I experienced one epiphany after another, with each succeeding discovery and in the process I learned something else I had not known about myself to that point.... I loved the freedom of free open learning. My mind was expanding with new ideas that I hadn’t allowed myself to entertain in the past as a member of the church. I realized that I was unafraid to face the realities of truth, of the questions and realities of “Life and Death” without them first being processed through the Mormon filter.

I do however continue to experience periods of great pain with my former faith. It hurts me that the church, whom I placed so much trust in; which preaches moral standards and teaches an honest pursuit of truth doesn’t practice what it preaches.

It hurts that the church continues to whitewash and doctor its history even today.

It hurts that those leaders whom millions of faithful church members regard as prophets, seers and revelators and look to as a standard of truth are in fact the ones responsible for keeping the truth from these same members through the practice of promoting a “Faithful History”.

It hurts accepting the realization that those telling the truth about the church were the very ones that the church had accused of doing all the lying.

But most hurtful and painful of all is the reality that the church continues to hold my family…who refuse to listen to anything I have to say regarding the claims of the church…and who remain mega uber active Truly Beliving Mormon’s.

My evolution from the church is still in transition.

As an active member I believed my teachers when they told me that the native inhabitants of the Americas descended from Hebrew bloodlines...I have come to learn that this is false.

The church taught me that Joseph Smith was never involved with money digging.... I have come to learn that this is a lie.

I was taught that the temple ceremony was handed down from Solomon’s Temple...I have come to learn that this is a lie.

I believed Joseph Smith was telling the truth when he denied practicing polygamy before the introduction of Sec 132 of the D&C...I have come to learn that he was was lying.

I believed the church when it taught that wicked apostates were spreading lies about Joseph Smith when he ordered the destruction of the “Nauvoo Expositor”.... I have come to learn that the church did and continues to lie about the truth behind this historical event.

I believed the Church when it said that the re-discovered Egyptian papyri where not the ones that Joseph Smith Translated into the Book of Abraham.... I now know that this was a lie.

I believed the church when it claimed that Brigham Young never taught the concepts in the “Adam-God and Blood Atonement Theories” as doctrine... I now know this was a lie

I believed the church when it claimed that that the stories of Joseph putting his face in a hat during his supposed translation was a false story made up by enemies of the church.... I now know that it was the church that was lying.

I resent that the church still holds power over my family.

I resent that the truth is a lie in Mormonism. As members, we must forsake actual, verifiable fact, for completely unverifiable mythological yarn. I resent that the truth teller is the apostate; the liar is considered righteous. Facts don't matter in the church. If a fact contradicts a blatantly false assertion, the fact is wrong - even more, it is evil. It will kill you spiritually.

I trusted the church to be honest...yet it never taught or told me that Joseph Smith Sr. had the same tree of life dream that Lehi supposedly had, nor told me about the Kinderhook plates or the story of Zelph ... This is a lie of omission

I bought the whole kit and kabutal, I paid my 10%, and I devoted my time, my talents and everything which the Lord had blessed me to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I confessed my sins, I laid myself bare, I believed in the rewards of being a Mormon. But in the end I finally discovered the courage to critically examine the facts and in so doing, I discovered the TRUTH and the TRUTH has made me FREE!

I look forward to each new day with anticipation to the opportunity I’ll have of gaining new knowledge about this world in which we live. I hope someday to be completely free of the influences of Mormonism in my life.... but I’m not holding my breath…

Craig Paxton


Interested said...

As I read your story I think of my daughter and the crisis I know is inevitable. She is a convert because she fell in love with a mormon, but I know in her heart of hearts, she is living a lie. It will hurt her but one day she will open her eyes...and I am holding my breath for that day.

Cr@ig said...

Mormonism has a way of affecting an individuals ability to think logically...I wish you and your daughter luck...

jen said...

Craig, what a story! The truth is everything and so is the freedom. I was raised Catholic and found out brainwashing is what religions do. I now know my true Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit and I have more to learn . He guides us into all truth and I wouldn't trade that for anything!!


Viv said...

I find you fascinating and full of anger. My was a wife to the apostle Taylor. Mentally I left the mormon cult when I was a teenager but wasn't able to physically disengage with them until I was out from under my parents wing. Having left well over 25 years ago, my family has come to accept the fact that I'm happy and much better off. As a woman, I could never understand why we were never given the same status as the men and how I was repeatedly told that the most worthy women were the ones that ensured their husbands would be happy. Happiness for women in that cult was and never will be a consideration.
It's amazing to watch how many people blindly follow. I liken them to the Taliban, as followers will do anything that the prophet tells them and women are considered second class citizens. If your interested in another book, try One Nation Under God. It's quite interesting. I have many others I could list if your interested.

Randy said...

I always thought JS was lying about not practicing polygamy, but lying to serve a higher purpose. My big stumbling blocks always were the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham. No matter how much my spiritual development was furthered by other aspects of Mormonism, the provenance of those two books was always in the back of my mind. Also, the increasing drumbeat of unquestioning obedience rubbed my libertarian instincts the wrong way.

I, too, found the local ward uninterested in my personal situation--rather, my entire famiily's situation. No doubt that played a role in my decision to just walk away.

Anonymous said...

original Mormon teachings, uncensored:

Anonymous said...

It's so encouraging to my heart to hear that the truth got through to you. It's hard seeing close friends who are mormon & wanting to tell them what a lie it is, but knowing that they are so embeded with lies themselves, that my truths would seemingly never reach them. It gives me hope to see that it reached you. I will be praying for your family that the scales on their eyes would be removed & that they would see the truth in all it's fullness. Joseph Smith was a fraud Craig, but I know someone who isn't!! Jesus Christ. You can't find one error in the Bible no matter how hard you try. The historical evidence to back it up is most definitely un-deniable! May God bless you on your journey.

Anonymous said...

Hi Craig,

I have been reading your well-written and expressive blog with fascination, and also amazement at the control the church exerts over its members. Obviously you are a very courageous person.

I have no particular knowledge or experience with Mormonism, but have had my "issues" with organized religion all my life. Seems like the problems are similar with all religions, but the intense pressure the Mormon church puts on its members is unbelievable!

Anyway I just wanted to mention that I've currently been reading and working through "A Course in Miracles", and I've found it wonderful and freeing.

Keep up the good fight, and may God bless you and your family!

Anonymous said...

I hope you continue posting in 2008
Your story is very validating to me and I thank you, sincerely, for sharing it.

Anonymous said...


Sorry you are so bitter about the church. You had a problem, you were excommunicated, and your whole world unraveled. Everyone found out that you weren't as great as they thought you were...You were a super missionary(AP), you had all these important callings. Then you took the wrong path and strayed away. . Now you are bitter because you got kicked out. That's the bottom line.
Everything else you say is just the consequence of you getting kicked out. Bitterness never was happiness...

Have a great bitterness-filled day.

freespiritjen said...

Dear bitter Morman, I think Craig is free, what a way to start 2008!!! You know, he found the "flaw" in the morman religion, stood up to all of you back stabbers and he is still ticking, leave him alone!! The nice part is the real God out there will truly avenge his children when people like you turn on them, so you better watch out, your words may come back and bite you.....


Anonymous said...

Amen Craig,

I can relate to the anger. I sat through a lesson on JS today. Lies, Lies and more Lies.

I don't know - are those teaching naive ? They all can't be, can they ?

What about those that know the truth and chose to not say anything ?

My family has silenced me, they are terrified that I'm going to make a scene. But I'm angry at the lies, those telling the lies, those who enable it . . .


Shauna said...

I am sorry that you are going through a hard time. I really am. But why after your excommunication did all the things you had been taught suddenly besome lies? I don't think that is a coincidence. There are a lot of bitter people out there that make money twisting things. If you read about these people, very often they are not so nice indviduals. Not because of what they say about the LDS but because of how they live their own lives. I'm not going to address all your points. It would take a long time. Back in Joseph Smiths time the word Polygamy was used to mean "free love". It would be like singing a carol about eveyone being "gay" and our kids thinking it was refering to homosexuals. I think people should ask questions. But there should be a balanced view. Those that write neg lit. are not cross referencing any research. A man lives and dies in his own time and should be judged accordingly. No one in the church has ever been perfect. To believe so would be blasphemous. Didn't even Peter lie? He denyed knowing Christ out of fear. It wasn't the best choice, but it was a human one. The book did move off your bed. You asked for a sign (not really a great idea)and you were given one. You never stipulated HOW the book was supposed to move. Did you think it would fly? Much more likely to have another boy feel a need to move it. There are many things in the Bible that also go unproved by outside history (Israelites living in Egypt for one). It's about faith. And not listening when Satan whispers that it's too late for you. It never is. Would Jesus visit Israel and go home? Wouldn't he want the natives to also see "the Great White God"? It is not church doctrine that ALL the natives came from Jerusalem. It's much more likely they were a branch grafted in to those already there. I wish you the very best.

Cr@ig said...


Thanks for your well meaning comments... I believe you to be a good well meaning person but with all due respect...I think you've totally missed the point of my blog...

So....Hmmm...Where do I begin...?

Maybe if I address some of your assumptions I can set them aside.

First you said: You were sorry that I was going through a hard time.

Wow! If I my post came off like that I've totally failed. YES Mormonism broke my heart. Discovering that I had been lied to all my life by men whom I loved and honored and followed YES it broke my heart. But I've discovered a resiliency and love of life I NEVER enjoyed as a member of the LDS church. Life has never been better.

You said:... after your excommunication did all the things you had been taught suddenly become lies? No of course not. Most of Mormonism is based on a foundation of Christianity...but it is also built on the premise that it is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth whose very existence must stand or fall on the claims made by its founder Joseph Smith. IT IS THE LIES THAT HAVE CAUSED ME TO LOSE BELIEF IN THE CHURCH.

Let me list just a few:
01. The Mormon Lie

God the Father has a body of flesh and bone

01. The Truth

Joseph Smith taught that God the Father was a body of
Spirit, not physical, years after the supposed first vision.


02. The Mormon Lie

Joseph was an industrious hard working young man

02. The Truth

Joseph was defrauding people out of their money by claiming to be able to find treasure.


03. The Mormon Lie

Joseph had actual Golden Plates in his presence that he translated into the Book of Mormon

03. The Truth

Joseph buried his head in a hat on his lap with his peep stone enclosed to dictate the Book of Mormon text to his scribe...there were NO Gold Plates anywhere insight.


04. The Mormon Lie

Joseph lived the Word of Wisdom after it was revealed to him.

04. The Truth

Joseph never lived the Word of Wisdom and more than likely had an alcohol addiction.


05. The Mormon Lie

Joseph was a virtuous, loving and faithful husband to Emma the perfect example of husbandhood and participated reluctantly in polygamy only after having his life threatened by an angel from God

05. The Truth

Joseph lied to Emma; he was involved with polygamous marriages more than 10 years before ever informing Emma.


06. The Mormon Lie

There are volumes of archeological evidence to support the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

06. The Truth

There is NO archeological evidence to support the historicity of the Book of Mormon.


07. The Mormon Lie

Native American’s and Polynesians are descendants of an Israelite named Lehi.

07. The Truth

Native Americans descended from North-West Asia; Polynesians descended from South East Asia... not from an Israelite forefather and certainly not from each other.


08. The Mormon Lie

The “Nauvoo Expositor” was nothing but lies and a public nuisance.

08. The Truth

The “Nauvoo Expositor” was destroyed for telling the truth.


09. The Mormon Lie

Brigham Young only taught Adam-God as a simple theory not as a binding a doctrine.

09. The Truth

Brigham Young DID teach the Adam-God Theory as church doctrine


10. The Mormon Lie

Joseph was a prophet of God and was not involved with the Occult

10. The Truth

Joseph died with a Jupiter Talisman (an occult symbol) in his pocket while at Carthage


11. The Mormon Lie

The Book of Abraham is an inspired translation of the papyrus written by the hand of Abraham.

11. The Truth

The Book of Abraham is a fraud. The papyrus is a common Egyptian funeral text it has nothing to do with Abraham.


12. The Mormon Lie

The various “First Vision” accounts are harmonious and support each other.

12. The Truth

At least four different "First Vision" stories exist either written or narrated by Joseph Smith which are not completely harmonious.


13. The Mormon Lie

Joseph was a moral man.

13. The Truth

One of Joseph Smith's plural wives was a 14 year old girl named Helen Mark Kimball, daughter of Heber C. Kimball and Vilate Kimball.


14. The Mormon Lie

The Mountain Meadows Massacre was unfortunate incident perpetrated by Indians and men acting on their own.

14. The Truth

Mormons, acting either under local direction or Young's direction, murdered innocent men, woman and children at the Mountain Meadows in southern Utah.


15. The Mormon Lie

The Temple Endowment was a restoration of temple ordinances lost from Solomon’s Temple of old.

15. The Truth

Joseph Smith plagiarized Masonic Temple ceremonies into the LDS endowment within weeks of receiving them.


16. The Mormon Lie

The fact that we haven’t yet found evidence of these animals does not mean that they did not exist.

16. The Truth

There were no horses, sheep cattle, elephants etc in pre-Columbian America despite BoM claims.


17. The Mormon Lie

God gave Joseph’s father Lehi’s dream to prepare him for the Book of Mormon.

17. The Truth

Joseph Smith, incorporated his father’s dream into the Book of Mormon and attributed it to Lehi


18. The Mormon Lie

Joseph prophesied of the coming of the Civil War years prior to it coming

18. The Truth

Joseph articulated current events that any informed person of the day could have lifted from local news papers


19. The Mormon Lie

Joseph’s scribe, William Clayton, got it wrong in claiming that Joseph had started the translation of the fraudulent Kinderhook plates.

19. The Truth

William Clayton was good enough as a scribe when he wrote down Smith’s “1820 First Vision” claim in 1838


You Said: I don't think that is a coincidence. There are a lot of bitter people out there that make money twisting things. If you read about these people, very often they are not so nice individuals. Not because of what they say about the LDS but because of how they live their own lives.

Argggg.... that is "Mormon Think Stopping" it’s a technique the church teaches you to use to keep you from discovering the truth regarding the churches less than honest portrayal of its historical foundations. Twisting things? The LDS Church has a patent on "Twisting"

You said: I'm not going to address all your points. It would take a long time.

No shit! It’s taken me 30 years to unravel the lies I was taught. Listen seem like a lovely person...Don't take my word for the material that is out Bushman’s Palmers book, read BH Roberts "Book Studies of the Book of Mormon" We were lied to! The church unfortunately is a fraud...Life is however can be wonderful outside of Mormonism...I know hard to believe from your perspective...but very very true...

The TRUTH CAN set you free!


Randy said...


Why were you excommunicated?


Cr@ig said...

Well Randy...since you asked...

"Its none of your damn business"

I've STOPPED Confessing to anyone...I"ve taken back my power.

If you're a active church member you've been programmed to beleive that the only reason anyone would leave the church is because of so called SIN as defined by the LDS Church.

When I was Excommunicated I was a fully active believing member of the Stake High Council. I held a Temple Recommend...and I had NOT broken my so-called temple covenants.

But if you are an active believing last statement just does not compute for you...

So fill free to speculate...

Now having said that...I did step on the line...and my SP felt insired from GOD Himself...that I needed to be taught a lesson...

So after I was kicked out, I studied the gospel in an attempt to be good enough and humble enough and lost belief in the church in the process...

Being Excommunicated was the hardest thing I've ever faced in my life...But in hindsight it was the most wonderful thing to happen to me in my life...after my wonderful wife and children of course...


Anonymous said...

As I read your story I must say that it is refreshing to find people who have felt the same exact way that I have. My story is a bit different than yours as far as excommunication to awaken me. For the people who think you are "bitter" because of this let me tell you my story... I, like you was born and raised in the church. I have also held several callings in my life but recently I myself had an awakening. For some reason I decided to review my personal belief and compare them with the church. I realize that I do not believe there are 3 kingdoms. I do not believe that we can become gods in the after life (why would I want to? I want to live with my father). I also realized that there were many things I did not agree with in the church. One of the most hard things for me to accept was the early church's view of black people. Brigham Young has been quoted as saying that "No black man will ever hold the priesthood until all people from heaven have had a chance" To me this has always sounded like white racial thinking. Also, polygamy has ALWAYS bothered me. So I decided to look for myself into early teachings of the church. As you know this can be very difficult because there are many people who write "junk" about any church due to bitterness but I was able to find true information about the church.

1st- JS was convicted of swindling. You can go through court records in NY and find the actual conviction. He was convicted of taking peoples money to find treasure by looking at glass rocks through a hat

2nd- Acording to modern church teachings, during JS first vision he was told not to join any church and that the father and the son appeared to hiim. Truth is, in his own journal he writes that only Jesus appeared to him and just forgave him of his sins. Over 15 years later this story was changed to him attending revivals in the area and he was confused. Truth is, his vision happened in 1820. There were no revivals in the area at this time. It was not until 1824 when a revival came to his area.

Then there were questions I had to start to ask myself. If the BofM is true, why has there NEVER been any historical findings of these people. An arrow, city wall, anything? There have been several BYU expeditions that have written documentations explaining their failure to find any historical evidence.
Do I believe that people with darker skin are darker because they "sinned" more in the pre mortal life. Once again, white racial thinking. I think that one of the prophets is quoted as saying that many of the indians and spanish people who have accepted the gospel have now become white because of their faith. (That has to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard)

In closing I must say, I have NEVER been bitter towards the church. I have a great love for the members of the church. But I cannot ignor what I have found out. I will never try to persuade somebody to leave a religion or join a religion. That is not for me to do. But for me, I came to the conclusion that it is not a true church and there are many lies that have been told to cover up.

NoMoSubmission said...

I've never been LDS, or any other kind of Mormon, but I've been a fundamentalist Christian, and I'm recovering from that. I still hear that damning voice in my head telling me I am unlovable and sinful and unworthy of God's love, plus I was a second-class citizen because I am a woman. If you take away the temple mumbo-jumbo, much of what I lived with as a fundamentalist Christian helps me relate to you. My ex-husband used to beat me, but no where in the Bible was spousal abuse given as a legitimate reason to leave my "Christian" marriage. I endured for the sake of Christ. I can't imagine now how I ever believed Jesus would want me to be some man's punching bag. It was very frightening to turn away from such a tight, constricting religion to explore more loving ways to relate to God, but I am much better off now living in a world of possibilities than I ever was when I lived in a restrictive black-and-white world. I know why women stay in those religions. It is fear. First of all, the fear of spiritual punishmment: Nobody should ever choose a religion based on "fire insurance." Secondly, a powerful social fear: Nobody should ever choose to stay in a religion based on the fear of being shunned or isolated, or even excommunicated. And as far as "excommunication" goes, I don't believe anyone has the right, nor the power, to impose ANYthing between a believer and his or her God.

Spirituality is very different from Religion. All religions are human constructs.

Hang in there, Craig.

Dusin said...

Thank you Craig, Thank you!
Please post more of your story!

meagan said...

That was a very informative blog, thank you! You laid it out perfectly for me and I like your perception. I felt your pain and rejoiced in your new life!

Kittywaymo said...

You accuse the church of being immoral and dishonest and say " I haven't broken my temple covenants" but you know this is not the truth. You engaged in serious porn addiction and self abuse I am quoting you, of course on other sites. You describe in detail your " beautiful wife sleeping as each and every night you lived your double life. I am a New Yorker, Jewish and direct. I do have great compassion for you Craig. However, you did indeed break a temple covenants church wasn't trying to punish you in a mean way it was trying to help you to face this and help you to become obedient son of God and to seek Jesus Christ. I have a brother who was excommunicated For similar offenses. and he was just rebaptized yesterday. Difference between the two of you is my brother was very much like you in many ways, got down his knees and his wife's forgiveness, Was man enough to face his sins and repent fully and now he is reaping amazing blessings in every aspect of his life! Craig , don't "kick up against the pricks" look at yourself and do some soul-searching and realize that the church wasn't trying to hurt you trying to help you. God bless you I pray for your soul and he will have fun true someday. The tanners are certainly poorest examples of writers. It's sad that that's who you left the church over. Please look up Jeffrey R Holland's videos and speeches. He really is an apostle of God! He is much more education than you and I much more intelligent than most people why would he believe in a fable and devote his life to such? I met him and shook his hand and there was an actual light emanating from him. I have an IQ of 145 I have no explanation for this of the supernatural. Spiritual things must be discerned spiritually. Please read Alma chapter 37 the whole thing. towards the end:"for it is easy for us to give heed to the words of Christ which will point us in the past two eternal bliss as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass""For so it is with us the way is prepared and if we will look we may live forever." May God have mercy on you and may you get that on the right path .. I mean this sincerely.

Cr@ig said...

Thanks Kittywaymo for your comments…I do appreciate your reading my blog…I have some comments and some clarifications I would like to add.
01. I have never (to the best of my recollection) ever accused the church of being immoral. Dishonest yes…and they continue to be dishonest.
02. I do state that I never broke my temple covenants…and I stand by that assertion. I covenanted that I would have no sexual intercourse except with my wife to whom I am legally and lawfully wedded. I never broke this covenant.
03. Yes as you state I was excommunicate for masturbating to internet porn. My SP believed that I needed cleansing.
04. Since you know so much about me…then you’ll also know that it was during my repentance process that I first discovered the whitewashed, less than honest, truth regarding Mormon foundational claims. The church framed its foundational narrative to make it faith promoting rather than truthful…which actually destroys faith. Discovering that the church was dishonest devastated me.
05. You are in a mind cult…one that prizes obedience over truth. I encourage you to open your mind to the possibility that the church is not what it claims to be….all of the signs are there if you are brave enough to truly desire honest, open enquiry over allegiance to Mormonism. I wish you the very best and hope that you too can escape the mind trap that you are currently in.
06. And since we're all being honest and open you want to tell the truth that you are posting from Yes your IP # links back to church headquarters...wanta fess up and be honest or are you only wanting me to be honest?

Cr@ig said...

Oh and a few more things

01. The church has every right to excommunicate, expel, kick out anyone it sees fit…I hold no grudge and respect their right to excommunicate me.

02. I understand that from their (your) perspective that the church was merely doing what they believed was in my own best interest. I shared that perspective as well at the time and accepted their punishment with grace and dignity…despite it being the most difficult experience of my entire life. But once I came to understand the church for what it really is, a man-made institution, I got mad that I had ever submitted to their phony authority.

Seriously, they fuck with people’s lives and meet out punishments as if they are a god. I turned to these men for help, they excommunicated me, which was their right, then abandoned me as if I was a rotting sack of shit..and I couldn’t be more thankful that that is exactly what they did.

Had they shown me any love or support, I more than likely would still been an active Mormon today and never been in a place to actually dare to examine LDS truth claims. Being excommunicated from the Mormon Church was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life…well other than marrying my wife and having my children.

03. The difference between you and me Kittywaymo is that I actually love truth and prize it more than Mormonism. If the church were what it claimed to be it would be worth any sacrifice…but since it is a man-made organization…it is not worth anything but to be torn down and thrown on the ash-heap of history along with other human-made schemes and frauds.

Let me ask you a few questions…if the church were not what it claimed to be…would you want to know? And if it were not what it claimed to be…how would you be able to know that?

There is empirical, provable facts that can prove beyond doubt that Mormonism is a bonafide fraud…you just have to be willing to open your own mind to that reality…so I ask you one last question…do you love truth more than you love Mormonism? If so…reply here and lets talk.
All the best,

Best of Kittywaymo said...

Hi Craig! I'd be happy to discuss the Church or any other topic related to seeking truth. Just contact me under Brucehuntermd ( put that under the search engine on Facebook:) on FB and I'll give you my info on messenger. The FB page is my husband and I's page it says " I love God" on top:)
3. questions to ponder...
1. Has your life improved since leaving the LDS Church ( spiritually, personally and economically)?
2. If you somehow had proof, you made the wrong decision, were not in the right frame of mind at the time that you made your decision(spiritually) etc would you come back to Church etc?
3. Statistically, most former Mormons eventually become atheist. Thoughts, pain, and relationships between humans and animals and humans cannot be scientifically measured, does that mean all three do not exist? Because according to science in the scientific method they do not exist in a testable, measurable way.

Cr@ig said...

1. Has your life improved since leaving the LDS Church ( spiritually, personally and economically)?

A: Yes, Yes and Yes

2. If you somehow had proof, you made the wrong decision, were not in the right frame of mind at the time that you made your decision(spiritually) etc would you come back to Church etc?

A: If that kind of information were available the GA's I've visited with would have certainly provided it. But of course if that kind of information were truly available I would certainly consider it. I know that it is unimaginable for you to comprehend...but the church you love is based on a fictional book written by a man, the church he founded is man made as well...there is no priesthood power or authority its all a construct of your mind.

3. Statistically, most former Mormons eventually become atheist. Thoughts, pain, and relationships between humans and animals and humans cannot be scientifically measured, does that mean all three do not exist? Because according to science in the scientific method they do not exist in a testable, measurable way.

A: So what's your point? Is that your argument for the existence of a god? Which god exactly? Your's?

But let me ask you a question...If Mormonism was a false man made religion would you want to know? How would you know? What makes your religion true while all other religions false? Why?

Again I look forward to your reply