Born and Raised in the LDS Church, the Book of Abraham Controversy Helped Open Her Eyes to the Deception of Mormonism
I was born and raised in the church ("born-in-the-covenant") in a small town in Utah. My family has been members from 5-7 generations on all sides. My grandfather was a bodyguard to Joseph Smith at one time. He was also in the Mormon Battalion.
I held positions in the church from the time I was 16. I have been a secretary in organizations, spiritual living and social relations teacher in Relief Society, Beehive teacher and President in the YW, taught primary, taught genealogy and worked in the stake genealogy library as a calling, been a PR rep. and other callings. At 26 I was married, 34 went to the temple and took out my endowments, and at 35 had a child. At 42 I held a temple recommend and was an active member of the church in good standing.
I had a friend and her husband who left the church. I was concerned and told them I loved them no matter what their choice. They asked if I wanted to know why. I said sure and went over and listened to them. My friend presented a lot of historical information from the Journal of Discourses. Most of it was not new to me but it was to her.
The next day her husband told me about the same thing as I felt. He told me he left for another reason and would share it some time if I was interested. I said sure.
Later, knowing the kind of information I enjoyed reading, he told me he had a book about old scripture and would I like to read it. I said definitely. He said it showed the Book of Abraham was not true. I said that was okay, I would enjoy reading it.
After a couple of weeks he gave me the book to read: By His Own Hand Upon Papyri by Charles Larson. I started reading it that day, Monday. Thursday, I called the publisher and talked with him. As I talked to him and started hearing what I was really saying, I realized I was in denial. Saturday I went to the temple to pray about my feelings about the church. That afternoon I went over to my friends' house and asked them questions: Do you talk about the temple? Have you taken your temple garments off?, If the church is not true, then what is?, etc. My mind was swimming.
Sunday I went to church and sat with my son on my lap and the tears running down my face. It felt empty for me – the church, my feeling about it, everything about it. Monday a friend of this woman called and talked to me. We talked for 3 hours. She was an ex-mormon and Christian. I got up, took off my temple cloths and went shopping for regular underwear.
Later on I tried to go back to just see what it would feel like to be there and know it was not true. I could hear the Primary singing: "Follow the Prophet". I walked out and have never looked back.
The cost of leaving the church has been high. I am happier and free. However, I have also been disowned by my family. I lost my job over leaving. I spent 9 months in therapy and using anti-depressants because I ended up with post-traumatic shock syndrome with major depression. I lost my friends, my beliefs, my understanding of who I was and what I believed. I had to start over and re-evaluate ALL my beliefs and determine who I really was.
I am not sorry for one minute for leaving. If I had it to do over, I would do it again! I have come away knowing the church is not true. That by scholastic standards the Mormon church is a destructive cult, and I am better off without it!