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Old 02-01-2012, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 1,415,203 times
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http://whymormonsleave.com/wp-conten...0Jan2012v4.pdf

These are the preliminary results of a survey I participated in months ago. John Dehlin, one of the main people who organized this study, is an active member who wants to build a bridge of understanding between active, believing Mormons and those Mormons/former Mormons who become disaffected or are no longer true believers. John has met with Mormon General Authorities in the past to help them understand why some Mormons are leaving the LDS Church and what LDS leaders can do to help.

The following quote comes from a recent Reuters news story,:
Quote:
[Elder Marlin] Jensen, the church's official historian, would not provide any figures on the rate of defections, but he told Reuters that attrition has accelerated in the last five or 10 years, reflecting greater secularization of society.
So, why are they leaving? The respondents in the study gave the following answers (from the first link above):
Quote:
* The top three reasons why survey respondents stated that they lost their faith are highly related: “I lost faith in Joseph Smith”, “I studied church history and lost my belief”, “I ceased to believe in the church's doctrine/theology”

* The three lowest ranked reasons include reasons that some members and leaders have pointed to as reasons some lose their faith: “I wanted to engage in behaviors viewed as sinful by the church (e.g. alcohol, extra-marital sex)”, “I was offended by someone in the church”, “Lack of meaningful friendships within the church”...

(Next Page)

*Among those for whom historical issues “negatively affected your belief”, the Book of Abraham and Polygamy were the two primary issues

* Most respondents cited multiple primary/strong factors in losing their belief (average number of “major factors” listed was 15.1). This may challenge conventional wisdom that some who lose their faith do so because of single-issue hang-ups.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:51 AM
 
Location: South Wales, Yes, I'm, back!
16,023 posts, read 8,075,741 times
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Thank you. The Book of Abraham is indeed a death - blow to Mormon credibility. We saw how a couple of posters simply denied it but that requires a large slice of denial.

Polygamy originally surprised me but I suppose the logic is that, if it was God - authorized, we should all be doing it. If it has been officially repudiated, then it had no validity when J Smith started it. Not as bad as the Papyrus, but still rather damning.

Of course, the real reason is probably shock at Smith even doing what strikes them as immoral (even if God said it was ok) though having a flexible morality, it doesn't bother me provided it isn't hurting anyone and women have equal opportunity to have a load of husbands.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 1,415,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Thank you. The Book of Abraham is indeed a death - blow to Mormon credibility. We saw how a couple of posters simply denied it but that requires a large slice of denial.

Polygamy originally surprised me but I suppose the logic is that, if it was God - authorized, we should all be doing it. If it has been officially repudiated, then it had no validity when J Smith started it. Not as bad as the Papyrus, but still rather damning.

Of course, the real reason is probably shock at Smith even doing what strikes them as immoral (even if God said it was ok) though having a flexible morality, it doesn't bother me provided it isn't hurting anyone and women have equal opportunity to have a load of husbands.
The item that the authors summarized in their findings as "Polygamy" was actually listed in the survey as "Polygamy/Polyandry". I think it the minds of many survey takers, including me, this item was a catch-all for many specific issues with the way Joseph and the others practiced polygamy/polyandry, as there was no other survey item that addressed those specifics elsewhere.

From the countless posts I have read on other forums that cater to disbelieving active Mormons and disaffected former Mormons, the following is a list of many of the oft repeated issues these folks have with Mormon polygamy/polygyny:

1) Joseph began practicing it long before the date of the supposed revelation authorizing its practice.
2) Joseph hid many of these marriages, not just from non-Mormons or the general Mormon populace, but from his own first wife and the husbands of some of the women he married.
3) The very young ages of some of Joseph's brides (e.g., 14 when he was in his mid- to late-30's).
4) According to the supposed revelation and the Book of Mormon, polygamy was supposed to enable the polygamist man to have many children, but Joseph had few if any children with his polygamous wives. Whether he had children at all with these wives is a point of controversy, but if he did, they were few in number. (There are also some accounts that Joseph may have had Dr. John C. Bennett perform abortions on some of his pregnant wives, but we may never know whether that was true or not as the only accounts we have came from people who no longer supported Joseph).
5) The supposed revelation speaks of marrying virgins, yet several of Joseph's wives were not virgins.
6) The supposed revelation says a man is supposed to get his first wife's consent, yet a number of Joseph's marriages were not even known to his first wife, so he obviously did not get her consent.
7) Some people can accept the doctrine and practice of plural wives just fine, but encounter a real stumbling block when they learn of polyandry (women having multiple husbands).
8) Some people don't have a problem with Joseph marrying young girls, but do take issue when they learn that he married two teenage orphan girls that were staying in his house and whom he later appointed himself guardian over.
9) Some people just find the whole notion of having sex with multiple partners scandilous.
10) Other people find the practice of plural wives demeaning to women, and reject it because of that.
11) Other people are bothered by the fact that Joseph took no care of his plural wives (except for the orphan girls he was guardian of). Some of his wives lived in "sacred loneliness". Others continued to be provided for by their fathers, brothers, or their other husbands who they lived with.
12) Other people had a problem with the coercive nature of some of the marriages. Parents were promised great blessings in the eternities if they would allow Joseph to marry their daughters. Some were told that an angel held a flaming sword above Joseph ready to take him out if he did not marry them. Others were isolated and cornered by older men who were leaders in the church and who tried to peer pressure them into marrying Joseph.
13) Some people have a problem with the fact that even today LDS men can be sealed to more than one wife throughout eternity, provided only one wife is alive at a time. Many women don't want to consider the possibility that they might have to share their husband throughout eternity.

Those are the main issues with polygamy/polyandry I can think of that I have heard former Mormons and unbelieving, active Mormons express.

But, I agree with you that the evidence against the Book of Abraham seals the deal for many postMormons. If there was any doubt in anyone's mind whether or not Joseph was a true prophet and whether polygamy might have been commanded by God, the Book of Abraham settles that issue conclusively if people thoroughly research it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
11,325 posts, read 10,130,960 times
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OF COURSE the sources turn out to be Bunk... unless god gave Smith what god wanted him to have and the scriptures weren't "translated" at all...which would kinda make god a liar. If Smith was only just a little bit smarter, he'd of set the Book of Mormon on a different planet so it couldn't be disproven as easily.

Anyway though, I've said it before, but trying to attack mormonism (or any religion for that matter) is futile, because the history of the LDS church and even Smith himself is more mythology than history today, and mythology does not need cold, hard truths to be valid and applicable to the believers.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Utah
79 posts, read 51,755 times
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My wife and I participated in the survey
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:32 AM
 
Location: South Africa
5,434 posts, read 3,698,050 times
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Quote:
The three lowest ranked reasons include reasons that some members and leaders have pointed to as reasons some lose their faith: “I wanted to engage in behaviors viewed as sinful by the church (e.g. alcohol, extra-marital sex)”, “I was offended by someone in the church”, “Lack of meaningful friendships within the church”...
This caught my eye yesterday and I often wonder why folk think we leave for orgies and sinful lives. Perhaps folk have this weird idea that atheists are mostly immoral and have this imaginary picture of us doing it with simply anyone willing. (man I really missed out on that )

This IMO is just another projection of their own "lusts" and need an authority to keep them in check.

Hint to theists: We left because we searched high and low and found no substantial evidence for god of its religion(s). In fact what we found was diametrically opposite to what we were taught.

I have never cheated on my wife in 29 years and had no intention of doing so when I deconverted. Many women flirted with me in church and if I had no morals even back then, I could have gotten lucky quite a few times in spite of church dogma.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 1,415,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Anyway though, I've said it before, but trying to attack mormonism (or any religion for that matter) is futile, because the history of the LDS church and even Smith himself is more mythology than history today, and mythology does not need cold, hard truths to be valid and applicable to the believers.
This thread isn't about attacking Mormonism. This is about survey results on what respondents said about why they no longer believe in Mormonism and the personal cost and social cost disbelievers pay especially with their family members and their believing friends.

It is not futile to discuss the reasons why former believing Mormons no longer believe. I was a believer for whom cold, hard truths were valid and applicable, and when I encountered cold, hard truths that could not be successfully spun or reinterpreted in a faith-maintaining way, I quit believing. And that story is the same story as thousands of former Mormons. What separates me now from my once believing self is not that I suddenly started caring about cold, hard facts; I always cared about cold, hard facts. The difference is, when I was a believer, I was never confronted with cold, hard facts that could not be incorporated into my Mormon worldview. There was always some alternative explanation for the evidence that left open the possibility Mormonism was still true, and I had what I believed to be lots of reasons to believe Mormon doctrine was the best explanation for all of my experiences. So, since no facts I encountered could conclusively rule out Mormonism, I continued to believe. It was only when I thoroughly investigated the Book of Abraham, that I encountered facts that left no possibility that the Book of Abraham could be what Joseph claimed it to be. It wasn't just that no apologist explanation worked in the face of all the evidence (and I read every apologist explanation), it was that the evidence left no space for any possible, faith-maintaining, explanation to come forth in the future. Rarely, do you ever find something this conclusive when dealing with religious topics.

We can't conclusively say there is no god, nor angels, nor life after death, etc, etc. But, we can conclusively prove that the Book of Abraham cannot possibly be what Joseph claimed it was. And that is a remarkable find in religion; and it is powerful. And I think that is why so many respondents to the survey listed the Book of Abraham as the primary historical factor that negatively affected their belief in Mormonism.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 1,415,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireoftheCovenant View Post
My wife and I participated in the survey
Cool, would you mind sharing some of the responses you gave to the survey?
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Utah
79 posts, read 51,755 times
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Of course! I don't have time right now so it will have to wait. I know one of my main reasons was polyandry *shudders*
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 1,415,203 times
Reputation: 992
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekerSA View Post
This caught my eye yesterday and I often wonder why folk think we leave for orgies and sinful lives. Perhaps folk have this weird idea that atheists are mostly immoral and have this imaginary picture of us doing it with simply anyone willing. (man I really missed out on that )

This IMO is just another projection of their own "lusts" and need an authority to keep them in check.

Hint to theists: We left because we searched high and low and found no substantial evidence for god of its religion(s). In fact what we found was diametrically opposite to what we were taught.

I have never cheated on my wife in 29 years and had no intention of doing so when I deconverted. Many women flirted with me in church and if I had no morals even back then, I could have gotten lucky quite a few times in spite of church dogma.
Yeah, in Mormonism, I was kind of in a Catch-22. If upon no longer believing, I immediately quit my church responsibility as a member of the Bishopric, quit partaking of the sacrament (aka communion), etc, I would be under suspicion by many, if not most, of my congregation of committing some serious sin (perhaps a sexual sin). And I really did not want to be judged and negatively viewed by my friends and religious community. But, if I were to try to explain myself, and tell the true reason for why I suddenly quit my church responsibility, etc, if I went into any details about the evidence I found convincing as to why the Church could not be true, I'd be getting dangerously close to an excommunicatable offense by undermining belief in the Church among the congregation.

So, if I followed my conscience by quitting my church responsibilities upon my complete disbelief, my choices were to keep my mouth shut and be suspected by my peers of serious immoral sins, or defend my reasons for quitting my church responsibilities to any who ask and risk excommunication for sharing things that undermining the faith of the members. If I were excommunicated, word of my excommunication would get out and I'd be judged negatively by my peers for that.

If I quit not only my church responsibilities, but quit attending church as well (which is what I did), one still gets suspected of some serious sin, but at least one doesn't have to sit each week in the presence of those who would judge you and/or bug you to become more active and involved. Some disbelievers continue to attend church for their spouse, yet refuse to fully participate, and thus are looked down on by some believers for being less than fully engaged and faithfully devoted to the mission of the Church.

Let me be clear that not all believing members will judge, look down on, or suspect of serious sin those who suddenly go from fully engaged and active member to disengaged/less active member. But, I maintain that many will and that it is part of the Church culture.
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