Collected Comments

E-mail comments on my Mormon materials
I receive quite a few e-mail comments, both favorable and unfavorable, in response to my materials on Mormonism, where I invite comments (but request no testimonies, preaching or hate mail). I decided that many of those comments should be shared, so you will find a sampling here.

I try to respond personally to every comment, whether favorable or unfavorable. Where I think that my response might be of interest to others, I have reprinted it here.

Both the comments and my responses have usually been shortened or excerpted, to save space. Original spelling has not been changed.

I was L.D.S. for 49 years. I enjoyed your list of prophesies. Too bad more of our Mormon friends wouldn't read the page much less believe that any of it is true. Still, I'm sure there are many who have and still many more who have and wouldn't admit it to anyone. - 11/29/00

You're propaganda is sheer drivel. You sound like a very Christian person, condeming a group of people who live moral, personal lives. - 11/16/00

I am old enough to know that what you wrote on your Mormon Hate site was wrong, stupid, and uninformed I suggest that you choose to right a site about something you do know.. I pitty you that you feel you need to insult the Mormon culture because you feel threatened by it... I am 14 And I am Mormon.. We are Christion and we are the only true religion of god.. I'm 14 and I can say this with no dout in my mind.. Can you??? -10/23/00

Just a note on your webpage. I found it very enlightening! I was raised in the Mormon church, with family ties going back to the beginning. We even have family members buried at winter quarters (wasn't that an inspired journey). I grew up on the fringes of the church (pacific northwest) and since the church community was not very numerous and strong I had a lot of exposure to other faiths. The theology seemed a little strange to me and consequently I did not serve on a mission. I did not feel comfortable in the church and I feel like a stranger at other Protestant churches so I'll have to be satisfied with "limbo". I am fascinated by all the information on the Internet that raises questions about the Mormon faith. I feel rather stupid for not questioning the many inconsistencies. I guess I was not much different from other Mormons who would accept anything that was told to us by a church authority. I think the most glaring problem the church has is with the complete absence of any archeological evidence. I find it almost humorous how the apologists try to explain that one. Thanks for you courage to post your website. Sometimes it just takes that one person to reveal the "emperor's new clothes" are really nothing at all! -10/21/00

I thought I would let you know how admirable your dedication to the truth and attention to detail is. I enjoyed your website immensely. I first became curious about Mormonism when a friend of mine of several years (in highschool) began to shun and avoid me because I was black. He had even mentioned some of their views on africans as dictated by his father (a man who had previously enjoyed my company very much).

-anyhow, thanks for making the information available, in spite of what personal risks you may face (I sincerely hope there aren't any). You're doing the world a favor. -10/20/00

I come from a family of 7 children. One of my younger brothers married a mormon girl when he was very young. This was the beginning of great upheaval in my family. ... I have seen my brother's life destroyed by a woman who is so blinded by LIES!!! For an organization to so blatantly promote family values, and at the same time be the cause of such destruction is beyond me. I live in a very mormon town. I see how they stick to their own. The only time my mormon neighbor ever waved to me was when he was running for governor. He actually saw me as a number. It is really sad that their worlds are so small. I would just like to say that I appreciate you exposing the organization for what it is. Although I don not agree with aethistic beliefs.....I am thankful that your eyes have been opened so that you can share with others THE BIG LIES. The TRUTH IS OUT THERE -10/20/00

Subject: I AM FLOORED!!!
I have read almost every link that you have provided. And can not believe some of the things that I've learned from it! I also researched some of your accusations and am completley floored by the truth that I found in your "Testimony". I have never in my life felt so brain washed. I now realize exactly how critical my leaving the church was. I could never give a solid explanation for why I left except for "I don't feel it in my heart that the doctrine and the church is true." And it wasn't enough even for me. You have shed so much light on this for me and I can't give enough thanks to you. I used to be someone who would get extremely offended by such accusations, but you have truly opened my mind enough to weigh all of this out and find out for myself. I don't feel quite so guilty for leaving any more. Thank you. -10/18/00

As a former LDS, I couldn't agree more with your conclusion. Thank you so much for this very honest site. I have been looking for a way to back up my reasons for leaving the chuch for some time, and now I have to say ...... you took the words right out of my mouth. I didn't feel in my heart that LDS was the true church nor do I feel in my heart that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. And I certainly dont believe in Moroni. Well said, and thank you very much. -10/17/00

Hi, I joined the church in June. I felt that it was important for my young daughters to have a moral place to grow. Well, the more that I learn the weirder that I think that it is. I just don't know how to stop it. People come over all the time and I have made friends with a few of the elders and sisters. My husband isn't a member and would rather golf than go to chruch. I am starting to think that he might have the right idea.
Do you have any ideas on how to gracefully step back from this commitment that I have made.... gee, if I don't go to church on Sunday my phone rings off the hook. I am a wimp, I can't figure out how to end the madness, any ideas would be great! -10/14/00

I am 23, a student, and a former Mormon. I served a mission and was once extremely involved in the religion. My wife, who I am separated from, is a devout Mormon.

I have just read "How I Became an Atheist" and "The Man Who Bought a House" as well as "A Short Personal Introduction."

I only wish to thankyou for your website. I have seen your name come up on various Mormon-related message boards that I have been on from time to time. I intend to visit your website again and read more of your articles. I am refreshed to find that what you write is not emotionally "loud," or reliant on logical fallacies to any degree. -10/11/00

Mr. Packham,

My brother-in-law is in the military and was transferred to Utah two years ago. Recently I have noticed in my correspondence with my sister that she is getting a little soft on the idea of joining the Mormon church.

I sent her a link to your site, "Investigating Mormonism," and I think it hit home. She told me she spent the last three days online going through your site and it's notes. That tells me that she may have been more involved than I first thought.

Thank you very much for the vast information available on your site. You may have just saved my relationship with my only sister.

Best Regards,

What the heck's wrong with you??

I guess that you spend so much time trying to find what out what's wrong with other religions that you don't have time to work on your own crappy attitude. Yea, that's a real inviting slogan - "Don't join this religion because they are right but because here's a bunch of phoney evidence that say's they're crackpots." Well, in my book mister, YOU'RE THE CRACKPOT!! -10/7/00

There are sins that you can never receive forgiveness for! They are denying the holy ghost and totally turning from it and trying to stop the work of God from progressing! That is what Bringham Young meant in blood atonement. Why such hate! There are always mistakes of men in any church, but they are not the mistakes of God! For God knoweth all things and how can you turn from God and deny his hand in this work! It does not really matter for the truth of God will go forth bodly, nobly, and independently. Till it has visited every continent, swept every clime, and visited every country, and sounded in every ear. Till the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done! My brother please consider thine actions and make sure thy will is God's will. -10/7/00

Your website is an excellent source for thought provoking information. I found the secret temple practices to be of great interest. I think you are providing a great service. -10/6/00

While I am not remotely considering joining the LDS, I was inspired by a recent visit to the corporate campus to research the church further. I've long found it of interest, but my criticism has been largely ignorant. Of the critical sites I've found so far, yours is the best organised and most helpful. The references are particularly helpful given the automatic response to any criticism as being lies. -9/27/00

Dear Mr. Packham, I stumbled across your page, and read what you had to say to those investigating the LDS church. I'm not trying to test your knowledge, nor am I trying to disprove you or anything. I just had some disagreements with what you wrote. Yes I know there are several websights on the internet that try to disprove Mormonism, but yours is one of the first that came up. I served an LDS mission recently, and unlike your claim that missionaries have little historical knowledge, I knew what I was getting into. I'm glad I did. It was the best experience of my life, teaching truths to others that would bring joy and happiness to thier lives.

Many of the things you say are twisted in a way that they seem wrong or based on every bit of evidence, though they are missing many facts that change the concept of the whole idea. This leads those investigating the church to have misconceptions. Whether that is your purpose or not, I don't care, I only wish for people to have the whole truth. I'm not trying to re-convert you, though you might consider it :), I just wish that you wouldn't detain the work of the Lord. -9/19/00

I responded: I would greatly appreciate your pointing out to me any places where I have "twisted" facts. Of course, many Mormons feel that presenting ANY critical facts is "twisting" the fundamental "fact" that the church is true.

That is precisely my purpose: that people have the whole truth.

I would be very curious to know whether, as a missionary, you told investigators that Joseph Smith gave at least three different and contradictory versions of the First Vision? Did you tell investigators that Joseph Smith's translation of the Book of Abraham has been shown by Egyptologists to be phony? Did you tell investigators that the endowment ceremony is based on Freemasonry, and that it involves learning the secret handclasps and passwords to get into heaven? Etc., etc.

[I then gave him my friendly challenge. No response.]

Dear Mr. Packham...
I would like to thank you for your web page. I am a convert to the church. I joined when I was 18, I am now 35. I was married in the temple, I have 3 wonderful sons and I lived with blinders on for over 17 years. I have recently divorced and am beginning to build a life of my own and to fulfill my own dreams that I, "put away" because I was told too. My ex-husband is a good man and I hope, for his sake, he will see that he is being led down a dead end street.
It is my hope that I am able to reach out to others, especially women, who are in this same no-win situation. If you feel that I might be of help to anyone or that my story might inspire someone to take back their life...please let me know.
Again, thank you for your remarkable experiences and for being so willing to share. -9/18/00

I just wanted you to know that I have prayed about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that is is the true gospel. I, like the missionaries you talk about, want to share that opportunity to have the true spirit of the Lord testify that the Book of Mormon is true. I hope you can one day really read the Book of Mormon with a real desire to know if it is true and adsk God if it is. Just you and God. The Book and the church are not on trial, they are true no matter what anyone says, it is us who are on trial to do what will bring us eternal happiness. -9/14/00

My responses to the following are interspersed, in italics (9/13/00):

I want to know why you spend so much time trying to underly what people believe in. It is so absurd for someone do to a thing of this nature. Didn't our ancestors come to this country for religious freedom, the right to express themselves freely without anyone trying to change them or inflict filth over them for doing what they are doing. I find your web page apaling, not just because I am a mormon, but for the fact that someone would go through all of this to undermine somebody.

I presume, then, that you are opposed to the missionary efforts of the LDS church? I am doing nothing basically different from what Mormon missionaries are doing (and have done since the founding of the church). The church has now over fifty thousand full-time missionaries working around the world. They go from door to door, like salesmen, trying to engage people in conversations about religion. Their message is fundamentally this: "Your present religion is false. We have the true religion. If you join our church you will go to the Celestial Kingdom. If you do not, you are rejecting God's message, which we are bringing to you." My message to the Mormons, and to those who are investigating Mormonism, is: "Mormonism is false." My message, however, is not accompanied by implied threats of eternal punishment or rejection for failure to heed it.

Joseph Smith was the first Mormon, and he was the first to attack other religions. In his autobiography (now a part of Mormon scripture, in the Pearl of Great Price) he asserts that God told him:

"I asked the Personages [God the Father and God the Son] who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)--and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt;..." (Joseph Smith - History 1:18-19)
Jesus Christ would never do anything of the such and you know it. I know that Jesus Christ is a person that knows no contention and that anything thereof is of the other source and not from Jesus Christ.

So it must not have been Jesus Christ who told Joseph Smith that all the churches of that day (most of which still exist today) are an "abomination"?
When you have felt deep in your heart that you know what is true, follow that source and don't criticize anybody else for what they are doing.

You seem to be violating your own advice... aren't you criticizing me for what I am doing?

What if what you "have felt deep in your heart" is contradicted by cold, hard facts?

I love God and Jesus Christ and know that they exist and deeply love that I know for myself and not by somebody else that has to tell me things and give me a bunch of links that have no hard evidence but create animosity in people. I find what you do very offensive and would like it if you would not try and fill people with this information.

First of all, I don't think that it's important to me that you find offensive what I am doing, any more than it matters to you that I find offensive what sixty thousand Mormon missionaries are doing.

But when you say I gave you "a bunch of links that have no hard evidence," you are implying that the information on my webpage is false. If so, I would like to know about it. [I then referred him to my friendly challenge. He has not responded.]

I just wanted to write you a quick note applauding your website. I was raised Mormon my entire life until I left the house at 18 years of age. I studied religion adamantly throughout my entire life, because of my Mormon up-bringing. The more I tried to embrace the Mormon religion the more I realized what a total farse it was. My teachers could never answer any of my questions adequately and was a sad site to see a 13 year old boy out debate grown men in religion. To make it short, I had a great time in Church once I realized the same thing you did; the Church is a man made religion, which in turn has become big business. Even funnier then that is I refused all of my obligations i.e.: seminary, deacon etc.... and I joined the Army instead of going on a Mission. The Church has a lot of redeeming qualities, but in the end is like a huge cult with lots of money and power, which gives me chills as well. I worked in Military Intelligence and other Intelligence organizations as well, and I know for a fact that a lot of all government agencies are comprised of Church members. They live!!!!=)

It took me a long time to find this site, and I am glad that you have made it. Good luck with all of your endeavors!!! -9/8/00


I am writing you this short (I hope) message to thank you for your web site. I especially enjoyed your essay entitled "Why I Left the Mormon Church." It gives me hope...

I am 32 years old, and I am a convert to the church. I joined when I was 25. I was dating a wonderful girl who was (is) LDS. All the things she told me about the church seemed so "nice" and innocent. I took the lessons, and was baptized. That girl and I were married four months later.

My wife and I now have a four-year old boy who is our pride and joy. We are trying-- like good LDS people-- to have more children, but have had no luck after a year and a half.

Several weeks ago, we were called to give a talk at church. I am a full tithe payer, and fulfill my calling as the ward financial clerk. (I am a horribly unfaithful home teacher, however.) So I was surprised when I sat down to research/write my talk and I felt no spirit of inspiration. That week, I put off writing the talk until the last minuet: Saturday night around 11 pm. Then it hit me: I don't believe in the church. I don't believe Joe Smith was a profit. In fact, I don't even believe in God.

Somehow, I have to find the courage to tell my wife. This is going to devastate her. I think one reason that your experience moved me so much is that I believe my wife will also leave me when she discovers how I truly feel. As of yet, I haven't found the courage-- I just know that eventually I will have to let her know. My heart is heavy... I love her dearly, and I love my son, too. I can't imagine life without them. But I can't imagine "faking it" until I die, either.

So your story has given me some hope, and I am thankful that you saw fit to share it. It is nice to know that bad experiences can be survived.

Again, many sincere thanks, -9/5/00

The night before my baptism, one windy cold March day in 1962, I distinctively remember having a feeling of unease. Strange that a little girl eight years old could have such feelings. I honestly thought that I was morally deficient to even think such thoughts (i.e., that the Mormon church could be false). As you well know, I had no recourse. I would never have been allowed to say "I don't think I like this." I had no free agency. Nonetheless, thoughts that something could be wrong with the Mormon church persisted throughout my childhood and teen years and, without question, those thoughts were terribly disturbing to me. Why didn't I feel that burning in my bosom? Why did I have ugly thoughts about polygamy? In my mid-twenties, the church went on the back burner. About a year ago, I decided to study the Mormon church in depth - not that I had any illusions about gaining a testimony - I never had one - I realized that, as a child, my feelings about polygamy were correct - it was an abusive and ugly practice. Throughout the past few months I have discovered a wealth of information that I hitherto had no idea existed. You have no idea how much you have helped me to clarify my suspicions and thoughts and, as of three months ago, having my name removed from the records of the LDS church.

Mr. Packham, I can now admit freely that I am atheist (I like being an atheist) - just like you. I have enjoyed, immensely, reading your website. Everything you have written, I have read. (I've also suffered depression.) You mentioned that you did not hate Mormon people but, rather, the lies that have been told and are still being told by the church. I am in accordance with you on that all the way. I come from an old Mormon family (5th cousin to that scoundrel, Joe Smith) and I can't see hating my family. However, many members of my family no longer talk to me since I had my name removed from the records. Nonetheless, I had to be true to myself. -8/24/00

Thank you for your site. I just came across it a few minutes ago. My mormon wife, of 15 1/2 years, just filed for divorce on June 10th and we've already had our hearing (yesterday). I did nothing but love and support her throughout that time. I have NEVER been a mormon, I was raised Roman Catholic and stopped going to church over 20 years ago. We were married in a Methodist Church.

...The mormons have made my life Hell for many, many years. Now, they have destroyed my family (I have three children). Are there any sites that expose mormon shysters for breaking up the marriages of mormons married to Christians? If not, I am willing to develop one. -8/23/00

I appreciate your site, among others. I am 40, born in the church, went to Spain on my mission, married in the temple (divorced 7 years now) 3 kids.

The thought that the church could be false was NEVER, EVER a possibility, thus didn't need to ask about it, study it, worry about, think about, debate it, or really even defend it. It was true no matter what (boy talk about closed minded).

Years ago I would not have listened, or even cared about evidence against the BOM or anything cuz my faith was so strong. Divorce breaks down walls, (more like walls around you crumble), but it also allows you to be open to feelings and ideas you didn't think possible. I honestly think that if I were still "happily married in the temple and one of the perfect little families in our ward" that I would not be able to see what was in front of me because I didn't want to see it. Not only that, but the church is meeting your needs, it's perfect. Well, for six months now I have been reading all I can and realize the church is not of divine origin.

I think it's the "politically correct" church, the slick commercials on TV church, the family values church that is getting people to join, not the Joseph Smith/Brigham Young church. Otherwise, I don't know how so many smart, normal people like myself could be fooled for so long. It seems like this has got to be by far the most successful cult ever to last this long. Why hasn't it cracked by now? why haven't some real insiders really spoken up? there must be just enough of the spirit and personal revelation and good feelings and social acceptance and stuff like that to make it seem so true. I know that most are just innocently decieved and live the church with good intentions, still It's important to know if it's true or not before you give up your entire life to it.

The catalyst for me as a single mom was the absolute frantic impossible pace of it all. the check list of things to do, ought to do, should do, better be doing, better not be doing, ought not to do, grew day by day, and the meetings, and activities. It was daily! I was so exhausted I needed a sabatical. That and the fact that It had been several weeks since I heard anything about the Savior in Sacrament mtg., just talks about reverence, and visiting teachers and home teachers, and callings. For all the meetings over the last 8 years was I a better christian? NO? just a tired, resentful person. it's all about being a "good member of the church" more than anything else.

Okay, sorry to rant and rave. This really is to rave about your courage to put yourself out there. Me, myself, I'm not ready to rain on anyone's parade or shake anyone's faith (just yet),but rather I just want to get out alive myself. -8/10/00

I finally got on the web to see what there was for ex-Mormons. I was looking for some support with my own writing. I was astonished to see such a generous amount of info, much of it because of your efforts.

I am proud of you, Mr. Packham. And I am proud of myself that I sorted myself from the trappings of the Mormon Church 18 years ago.

Thank you for your humanitarian service both to me, a stranger, and to all those "rats in the maze" behind me. -8/10/00

Hello Sir,
    I just started looking up the Mormon religion, because a dear friend is involved. She is feeling very confused and misguided,and I need to find out a way to reach her. That religion is tearing her up. Could you tell me a non-threatening way to confront her and get her to think for herself? -8/9/00

Well Richard, I have no doubt in my mind that you know what your talking about. You seem to be very intelligent and distinct to detail and that impresses me. All of your facts seem to convice others and would convice me if I didn't live in a mormon strong family and neighborhood. If i quit, then it would destroy my family and friends. I would rather go though with the church then to see them stressed and scared for me. -8/9/00

A friend of mine had come across your webpage on Mormonism. I read it very carefully, taking in every single word you had written. I read who you had grown up LDS, Married in the temple, I assumed you served a Mission and did everything expected of you. Yet you say you went in-active years ago. I respect that, and will not critize your decsion which was a personal choice. However, why would you want to create a website that was aganist somthing that mean so much to millions of people. You were LDS for so many years, i must have brought you happiness or else you would have left much earlier. Just because you have had bad experiances, such as you family breaking apart when you left, doesnt mean that it happens to everyone who leave. You sound like a very intelligent man, and i know you must have done a great deal of work before you made your sight. However i still feel that you have no right to critize somthing such as mormonism. I must sound brain-washed to you. And i can imagine that you think i have been sucked into some black hole, but i had to get this off my chest. You website hurt me so much. To think that someone who fell away you dedicate so much time into hating brings me to tears. -8/8/00

What makes you so afraid that you feel it necessary to attack my religion? You are entitled to your beliefs, as am I and I can personally vouch for the world-wide LDS desire to worship and practice our faith unmolested. Why have you not created other web-pages that attack other religions? Why mine? I don't understand the need to prove another church wrong? If you have a firm enough belief in your own religion, then why do you have to put down other churches? To make you feel better? Do you consider yourself a Christian? If so, do you honestly think that Jesus Christ, who suffered for the sins of ALL people, would hate a particular group of people that no matter what you say, continue to do a significant amount of good in the world? Please, we wish no harm to anyone and for 170 years we have only wanted to worship in peace. You continue to prove that no good person will go unpunished. -8/7/00

Response: I referred this person to my FAQ "Why Do You Attack The Mormons?", which points out that I am doing nothing different from what the Mormon missionaries are doing.

I don't hate you and I hope this isn't too preachy. At least the missionaries told me to pray about their message and God would reveal it to me. I don't think you have offered any such challenge. God has answered my prayers, just like they said he would and he continues to reassure me through the Holy Ghost that I am on the right track by maintaining my membership in the LDS church. My life has changed for the better and I am happier than I ever have been. For someone who is so convinced the church is wrong you have spent a lot of time and effort to try to convince us. If it's wrong then go on with your life. Your aren't the only one who thinks that, so why can't you leave the Church alone? I heard a quote from , I think it was Joseph Smith "people can leave the church but they can't leave it alone". Pretty prophetic huh? Hey I left the Catholic Church; I believe it is wrong but you don't see me hosting an anti-catholic web site do ya? Why are there sooooooooo many anti mormon web sites and yet the LDS Church is still the fastest growing religion? I think there are more anti-mormon literature out there than anti anything else.

Oh well I wont waste any more of your time. After all, I have faith to build and you have testimonies to destroy, we are such busy people. -8/7/00

My response (in part): What one gets after a session of brainwashing is what those doing the brainwashing want you to get: feeling good about what they are telling you.

My friend, if you are "happier than you have ever been," then keep on the path you have chosen. For those who need a crutch to walk on their path through life, it would be a crime to take the crutch away. You need it - by all means keep it. Don't go messing around with facts that might make you wonder whether you have been duped.

[I also corrected his error concerning the growth of the LDS church: it is not "the fastest growing religion," by any standard of measurement]

Just wanted to say thank you for your writing. It appears to be well-researched and factual. I got sucked into the Mormon "church" when I was a teenager. Of course when I wrote to them later asking that my name be removed from their membership list, they put me on trial like a criminal and excommunicated me! Fortunately, I don't believe God holds their opinions of me as law.

The really sad thing is how much of my life they were willing to use up. I did very poorly at college for several reasons--one of which was the Mormon's constant demands on my time. I never finished my degree at the Ivy League institution I attended. (I did get my bachelor's later, though, as I re-created my life.)

Mormonism ruined any normal social life I might have had. I now have essentially no friends from that period in my life. (Naturally, all the Mormons are gone, and they discourage members from having non-Mormon friends.)It is like a black hole in my personal history. I believe that Mormonism is actually a cult that damages people's lives. Maybe there are people who are made better by it, but I haven't met them.

Anyhow, if your site can keep even one person from wasting any time with this group, you've done a good thing. God bless you & your work. -8/7/00

Wow, I must say your personal story of leaving the Church, is very fascinating. I my self am a convert, and please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to convert you by writting you. But I was wondering if you would know where to get some of the material you studied which brought you to the conclusion you chose. And please no anti-mormon stuff because it is always bias and demeaning, and also no pro mormon material either, because it is also bias. Do you know of if there is any material out there which can enlighten me to the FULL history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with no bias and just plain facts. - 8/5/00

I read your autobiography and found it very informative. I have just moved to Salt Lake City and am, for the first time in my life, being exposed to Mormonism. At first it seemed very appealing, but after just a few days of research my view has changed. It seems to me as though the church contradicts itself continuously. ... It appeared to me that you were more knowledgeable and intelligent than most of the writers on this subject. I have a few questions on mormonism that the missionaries at the temple either did not want to discuss or did not have the answer for. If you could help me out I would appreciate it.My questions are as fallows.
  1. How can Joseph Smith have been a prophet when so many of his prophecies never came to pass?
  2. How can Brigham Young have been a prophet when the church now states that many of his teachings were not of god? For example; blood atonement, Adam being God, and polygamy.
  3. The church presidents claim to be prophets also, even though Mark Hofmann sold them documents that he forged and blackmailed them with. Aren't their profits supposed to be all knowing and should be able to spot a liar?
  4. Do you have any knowledge of the book View of the Hebrews. It supposedly could be where Joseph Smith got his idea for the book of Mormon. I have not found any information about this book on the web.
  5. Can you tell me what you know about the temple ceremony called the Endowment? It seems to be one of their most guarded secrets.
  6. What are the belief differences between the LDS church and the Reorganized Church?

Comment: I referred him to the links on these topics here.

I presently serve as Bishop of my ward in [....] . I have been a member of the Church for 15 years, which is all my adult life. Since joining the church I have served a full time mission, seved as Branch President, Stake High Councilman and now as Bishop. During all the years of my membership I have continually strived to do what is right and to follow the brethren in all matters pertaining to the gospel and the standards to which we ascribe. I have read the Book of Mormon at least once a year since joining and have read the other standard works through several times each. I love the Church and I love some of the teachings, particularly the plan of salvation.

Why do I write to you? Over the last 2 months I have read a huge amount of material, all on the internet, that points to the possibility that the church is MAN MADE. I have had a terrible time trying to com\e to terms with this possibility. Some of the areas of doubt include:
Adam-God Theory
Blood Atonement
Manifesto of 1890
Opening of the Priesthood
Whitewashing of Early Church History

I am, I beleive capable of tolerating anybody's belief structure, but I have never been able to tolerate deception, and this is what I find so repulsive in the leaders of the church over the last 170 years. I find myself now at a cross road in my life and the life of my wife and family.

If you have the time and if this is not an imposition on you, I should be most grateful to hear from you, a little more about the areas I have mentioned above. -8/2/00

Comment: This man resigned from his position as bishop two months later, and he and his family left the church.

I really enjoy your website and the way that you tell it like it is. I'm in the process right now of leaving Mormonism. There have been so many internet sites that have helped me, and yours has been one of them. -7/29/00

As a mormon in transition I wish to thank you for your legal advice.

It has been quite a trial to find peace. Your words of encouragement have given me faith that I can find true happiness by turning my back on a 27 year myth.

Thanks again for your advice, I will be using it shortly in finding myself among the free. -7/9/00

I have recently undertaken the name removal process. It has not been easy, but I think they are finally going to give me my way. They thought that since I was female and from a small Idaho community they could intimidate me, but they got a surprise. I told them I had the guts to take them all on, and I do!

Thank you for your value of truth above religion! I believe that the difference between people like you and I and the Mormons and most other religions is that they have to deny realtiy and truth to be able to believe their religions. I, like you, have felt the wonderful, freeing feeling of the realization that I am in control of my destiny. There is no supernatural power expecting me to worship and sacrifice my very being for him. If there is 'something' else out there, I am willing to embrace it when I see it, but I am no longer willing to 'believe' just because someone else says it's the right thing to do. The thing that amazes me is the 'godlike' power we have as mere human beings to shape and mold our own existances that seems to escape those who believe 'God' and 'Satan' are in charge. They have given away all their personal power and control over their lives.

I feel Mormonism should be exposed for what it is. I wish there were more that could be done to educate people. I do believe that over time it will collapse under its own weight like other man-made institutions have done since the beginning of recorded history. It's a funny, almost 'spiritual' thing about truth; it eventually prevails because it's the only thing that stands the test of time. I do know that websites and published stories like yours are helping to educate and change the lives of thinking individuals. What you have done is extremely important. Maybe the interenet will help educate Mormons, or at the very least, they will be forced to moderate their beliefs to a more tolerable state for the rest of society.

It must have been difficult for you for many years during your recovery process, and I admire you greatly for having the courage to do what you did. If you're like me, however, there simply was no other choice but to leave. I couldn't live a lie my whole life. In the end, there is more to be said for being true to yourself than being true to any religion.

The one issue that escapes me entirely is that religious people believe in a super-human being with power and control over the univserse, in fact, the power to create a universe. Why would that fantastic being have the need to have insignificant little humans worship him? No one has ever been able to answer that question to my satisfaction.

Good luck, and thank you for what you've done. -7/8/00

Thanks for the good work, its people like you who make this world a place where truth and light have a chance to thrive. -7/7/00
I've just spent the last hour or so reading articles on your website. I really enjoyed them, especially the one about doubters and skeptics being the bearers of intellectual achievement. I would like to correspond with you some more. -7/6/00

dear sir,
i have read your parable and must say i am saddened. i am saddened at the ease in which satan could lead one astray whom who was at one time in the straight gate and on the path to exaltation.
as a convert to the lds church i can in some ways see things from your vantage point. however, as with all stories which i have read of those who have left the church, both convert and life long member, there always seems to exist a transparancy that for some reason the lord has blessed me to recognize. that transparancy without fail reveals a shortcoming on the part of the apostate. a key which served to unlock the door of doubt and the hall-way of inactivity.
true, we are all imperfect, however the apostate allows those inperfections to carefully lead him or her out of the church. in the case of this parable, the apostate allowed himself to be shaken by the comments and influences of others. doubt beggan to set in untill like a swallow, it nested, layed eggs and became a pest.
this particular apostate failed to study, pray and when necessary fast. this apostates roots were shallow and never deepened through the nourishment of study and prayer. the initial conversion was based on the stirrings of truth in the heart, but efforts to nourish the seed of which alma spoke ceased as the influences of others became overwhelming.
yes my friend, this parable like many other stories of apostasy, echoes the parable of the sewed and the fate of the seeds which had fallen in their respective places. this can be read in matthew if you care to look in the mirror one day.
the gospel really is true.
it has changed my life.
brother joseph was the lords prophet. gordon b. hinkley is a prophet today.
the book of mormon is the word of god.
faith can only grow when it is nourished.
in the name of jesus christ, amen -7/6/00

A few days later, this correspondent sent the following:
i have completed my survey of your site and have come to a conclusion pardon the pun.
i sir have judged you to be one whom has lost his way and has strayed a great distance off the path that leads to etrnal life and has found it easier to float down stream than to turn an face the current.
it is not my intention to, nor do i feel i should waste my time trying to convince you of your error or make appologies for the church and its doctrines. however, if you ever feel to ask, i can reffer you to some materials that i think you would find intriguing if not startling..

I asked him to send his "startling" materials, but he never did.

I just finished reading your testimony on the exmormon website. I was a fifth generation RLDS. I became a born again Christian at the age of 21. I am 36 now. I was very comforted by your story. I am going through a rough time- I am very unhappy because I have never gotten married. I have become very disillusioned by evangelical Christianity, and for the last year have attended a Mormon ward on and off. I have been struggling over whether or not to become a Mormon. It is very hard. You see, I was/am a "Molly Mormon" only in my case it's "Rosie RLDS" It is the same mind set though. Our religions are not that different in some ways. I realize now that I exchanged one authoritarian religion for another. After reading your testimony and that of others, I know it would be very wrong for me to join the Mormon church. Even though Joseph Smith and the church is also a part of my heritage, I feel that I would just be really unhappy. Thank you for being willing to share your story.

Your short autobiography has been inspiring and wonderful to read. I am going through the exact experience but my wife unlike your first wife is open minded and willing to hear about the truth behind Mormonism. I am moving closer toward a guilt free existence and have never been a conformist which is probably why I questioned in my own conscience many of the churches teachings. I have served a mission and am a fourth generation Mormon ... I am so glad that I've found spiritual and physical comfort out of the church and the more I visit with family and friends who are active the more my heart goes out to them. I wish they only knew what I know. ... Thankyou for your courage, and unrelenting search of the truth. -6/25/00

I checked out your site while I was linking from anti-Mormon sites. Yours is jsut like all the others. You have all your facts messed up to support your conclusion and you ignore a lot of stuff. Oh well, you'll probably just delete this message and laugh at me. but I am right, and if you're smart you'll talk a closer look at your stuff. i think its funny that you people try so hard to drag down the church. We are doing so much good, why do you have to focus on the negative? I won't preach to you but I just think you should be careful with your info because it is misleading. This church is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me and has saved my life. Please pray about it and I hope you will have a change of heart. I don't hate you but I feel sad that you will not enjoy the blessings of the gospel. -6/20/00

The internet has helped open up my eyes to the trap that I was in. I think we all know what i am talking about. The church. The warm fuzzy feeling of the spirit has never leaved me, and i felt it when i found out the church WASNT true. Oh the irony. Most mormons pick and choose facts to deny. mostly the ones made up, and then brainwash themselves and others that all other facts must be false if these ones are. There are so many loopholes on faith and god that I wanted to kill myself, yet I couldn't because it was against my beliefs. They saved me, and killed my life at the same time. Now i am happy, not in denial of a supreme being, but I think that if the BOM is fake, then the bible could be easily as fake. Plus the Koran is just like the bible. I just wanted to tell you that I think Christianity will fall as all other religons eventually. ... Thanx a bunch. I love you for giving me the truth, and helping to pull out of the trap by taking the time to make your webpage. And if you post this, i bet ten bucks mormons will think you made it up. I know I didn't believe people could be led away from the church by a little webpage but now i do. I hope you stay happy. I am worried about death though, but if there is no god or anything, then eternity will pass in a second if your brain can't compose time. I don't worry about it right now. What do you think? (That was the main reason why i didn't want to leave, I was scared of death and wanted to refuse it because I am so happy with my life right now.) I feel so much love for everyone who is trapped in that church, like I was. i am happy for those that are happy in the church though. As long as your happy in life i think it is cool. Right me back please. Thank you for taking your time to read this. -6/19/00
Comment: This was from a 16-year-old young man. We exchanged a few e-mails, as I tried to answer some of his questions. I then received this e-mail from his father:
I will be quick and to the point. Please do not E-Mail my home again. My son is a minor and I have no idea what your intentions are. If I get another E-Mail from you, I will contact the authorities for harrassment.
I am an English guy and recently on a trip to the USA fell in love with a woman who was Mormon. The pressure to find out about the LDS and eventually convert was immense. I have used your site to help me glean as much info as possible. I've found most Mormons I've met to be as you said, good, kind, loving people, but.... the doctrine is unbelievable from beginning to end and I tried very hard to believe. Of course, the relationship died and that saddens me, but, I feel though we have never met, that I should thank you for the huge contribution you have made to the honesty and integrity regarding the leaders of the church. I'm sure if Mormons took the time to read especially your personal essay, that they might too ask questions of their church. Thanks, and good luck. -6/19/00

More people have joined the Mormon church from reading the falsehoods on this website than others I have visited. The Lord work's in mysterious ways. Thanks for helping them find the truth. -6/19/00

I responded with a request for the information or statistics on which he based his assertion that my website has caused so many people to join the church. After several long, vituperative and preachy e-mails to me - in which he avoided answering my request for the source of his information - I suggested that his assertion was false. He replied:
I will not reveal my sources.. I think its interesting that you don't know a thing about me and you call me a liar. You must have a real complex about truth.
I am a fairly recent convert to the LDS church. I was never aware of the uncensored teachings of Brigham Young. I was taught from the sanitized priesthood manual. Like many, I suppose, I was ignorant of many things that have to do with the Latter Day Saints doctrine. Thank you so much for enlightening me as well as others with the web publication of these materials. Without which we would all linger in ignorance and darkness. -6/16/00

You have become an enemy to the church and an enemy to God. You have apostasized to the lowest form of apostate and will be judged accordingly unless you repent and make amends for the damage you are causing. The Lord will have no mercy upon you. How do you feel knowing you are following the adversaries attempt to destroy the truth and bring souls down with him? I know how you feel, deep inside you know the truth, but have become so bitter towards it due to your own sins and misdoings that you have become an agent of him who is the destroyer of souls. I'd like to hear what you have to say for yourself. -6/15/00

Having read your opinions on faith (or the lack thereof). I am finding that you and I are in the same state of mind. I am a mere youth of twenty years, but I have had beliefs near mirrored to your own for several years now. I have been living in a small town in Utah for ten years and was a member of the mormon church for the first three, and an outcast for the last seven. I am not griping about the mormons, on the contrary, I am glad they have theIr religion to keep them happy. I do, however, find it distastful that since I expressed my personal views I have been socially muffled. Not to mention that fact that they all seem to believe that I am in the wrong and try their hardest to teach me the error of my ways. I don't recall reading anything in you writings pertaining to the ostracization of those not of the dominant faith. Down here, the people who accept me as a friend are either of similiar beliefs or flexible mormons. I also note you didn't remark on the sexist views of christianity. A few of my closest friends left organized religion because they didn't like being pushed down the ladder of rank merely because they have a vagina.

My primary reason for writing you is to tell you that I found your page very facinating as well as informative. -6/1/00

I'm not writing to tell you any of your links or out-dated or to add any new ones, I'm writing to you to tell you that most of your site is false. I am Mormon myself, and I know a lot about this church. Obviously, a lot more than you do. I don't appreciate the things you put in there that are completely false about the church that discourage people from joining the church. That is just rude. I don't mind if you dislike the church, even though I would encourage you to believe it. But it's not right of you to display false information for people that don't know better, to read. It gives people a false impression of the church-and you have no right to do that. I don't mean to be rude, but I think I have a right to express my feelings. Thanks. -5/28/00

Comment: This correspondent turned out to be a teen-age Mormon girl. I sent her my friendly challenge, and I got several more testimonial e-mails from her. But no facts.

I want to thank you for your compilation of the prophesies of Joseph Smith. I have never found a list as complete or documented as this and I am grateful for the work you have made available. May God bless your work and your research. -5/30/00

I am leaving mormonism and now consider myself agnostic. I was a convert to mormonism and realize I was vulnerable at the time of joining.I loved your athiest webpage. Now that the mormon fog is starting to lift from my brain I am finding myself really thinking again.I am a married stay at home mum of five kids.Thank You for supporting ex-mormons. -5/26/00

Yours was a really interesting letter on the internet. ... I have long been interested in the church. Being a former journalist and lawyer, I have, like you, studied the church and found so many factual inconsistencies. It is very interesting history for people who are interested in such things. I also have been very interested in Brigham Roberts' Study of the Book of Mormon. Chief defender of the faith -- and one who clearly came to believe the 19th century origin of the book.

Well -- thanks for your letter. At least there is now one other person who studied the evidence and came to the same conclusion I did -- based on the evidence, rather than based upon either a burning thological feeling that the church is either "true" or "anti-Christian." Best wishes. -5/22/00

Excellent site. I was raised LDS but left the Church at 14 after my seminary teacher kicked me out for asking the wrong questions about blacks and the priesthood, among other things. I am now a successful attorney in Boston, but still enjoy perusing the LDS related sites. Your site is one the clearest and most persuasive. Too many critics of the Church rely excessively on adjectives, and cloud the issues by professing their belief in another, equally (or more) suspect paradigm such as fundamentalist Christianity. I am going to send the link to an attorney with whom I work who has had some of the missionary lessons and thinks the Mormons are "nice" and "interesting." Hopefully, this will inoculate her successfully against further indoctrination. Keep up the good work. -5/21/00

Subject: Thanks just dosnt seem to be enough

thank you for your work.i have been reasearching mormonism for the last several months.and finally got on the computer(which iam still uncomfortable with) your efforts have saved me months of cross referencing. have you ever heard of his prophecyabout inhabitants on the moon? if so where is it documented? thank you again, for your work. -5/17/00

I referred him to my review of the book People In Space, where these ideas are discussed.

Many thanks for your interesting and informative site. You seemed to achieve a good combination of criticism and respect which is commendable. I was able to look around the Preston Temple UK a few years ago before consecration and had a million questions that no one seemed prepared to answer. I now know where to come.

Incidentally I am a Christian, a member of the Church of England and a Sunday School Teacher. -5/10/00

Subject: Yours seems to be a silly website.....

Why would you spend this amount of time to tear down another religion...I don't understand that logic and I don't think I ever will. Seems like your time would be better spent improving your own life, spending time with family, reading for pleasure or something other than a seemingly incessant research into a religion you think is bunk. I think a lot of things are bunk, but my priorities in life are straight enough that I don't create websites about them! I think the KKK is a silly organization...but I don't obsess over it and never leave it alone.

If the Mormon Church is as messed up as you will fall on it's doesn't need your help! -4/24/00

I responded:

I want to thank you very much for taking your valuable time (surely you have more important things to do) to tell me what I should do with my life. I realize, after you pointed it out to me, that I have all my priorities in life wrong. Perhaps you could help me to get back to something meaningful, like e-mailing website owners and telling them how they could better spend their time? Do you have a list, or something, that I could maybe help you in your high-priority work of finding silliness in what other people do?

Hi Richard,
Just a quick note. I am a born-Mormon searching for truth. I am quite overwhelmed by the information on your website and others like it. I was blinded but now "I see!"

I hope and pray that the Internet is the downfall of the church. So many people are not knowing true God. It is quite a tragedy. Please keep up the good work. -4/25/00

I would like to thank you for an honest account of your dealings with the LDS church and your current views on Atheism. I have been best friends with an LDS for 14 years, and over the last week have begun to take the missionary discussions. However, when I finally got to work this weekend and got on the internet, I found so much (seemingly objective) material that outlined so many problems with the LDS church that I can't possibly see joining it. This, of course, has my friend baffled as he (call it being brainwashed to the point of no longer realizing you're brainwashed) cannot understand how I cannot believe his word that the church is true. I have found that any kind of objective analysis, logical reasoning, and intellectual/spiritual contemplation is completely frowned upon. The truth is simply and wholly revealed through the Book of questions. It's like the answer drives the question rather than the question leads to the answer. Anyway, it's sites like yours (especially being an ex-fifth/sixth? generation member) that are helping me on my journey. -4/16/00
I just read your material more closely, and read through YOUR LIFE AS A MORMON.

What a flashback! In retrospect, it's amazing that I put up with all that gobbledygook as long as I did. Once you're out of it and then read the description you've put together, it creates quite an impact.

I congratulate you on a very calm, Ted Koppel-like balance and accuracy and fair-mindedness and thoroughness.

The main reason I left was that I couldn't imagine leading my five strong daughters deeply into it at today's level of information. Most of them thank me for liberating them from it.

And, certainly, it's much more difficult to sustain than before, given the current easy availability of debunking information, especially on the internet.

Again, congratulations on an extremely accurate and balanced presentation. - 4/11/00

Dear Friend:

This is my first excursion into the world of "no more Mormonism for me". I have been going through some of the material. That's a "no-no" in LDS but I have told them I am not a "mindless, spineless jelly fish" (which they don't approve of).

I am a widow, aged 83, and carry a great deal of resentment towards the "saints" who have spiritually tortured me. For instance "You are not worthy to go to the Temple...and a few days later a missionary arrived to tell me that if I didn't go through the Temple I would go to Hell for sure. Figure that one out! Or, after a lengthy bout of ill-health, I told the Visiting Teacher,"Now I'm starting to feel better, I'd like to get back to Church"...Her reply: "If you do come back, you can expect to be shunned until the Saints decide to accept you!" I went back and found she meant what she said.

I feel sorry for people who have never been taught the "facts of life" when it comes to scoundrels in religious garb. People are left so much alone, and when they need help these scoundrels are loving, so helpful, and you fall victim.

Wishing you success.
Sincerely Ever Onward, ... -4/10/00

Nice try. The only thing you missed is that we really do not want to rule America, but rather the world. Go figure. Happy days ahead and it will continue on and on. - 4/10/00
[The following is from my Mormon daughter-in-law:]
I can't begin to tell you how this saddens me. If you had any love for any of your family, (parents and children), you wouldn't mock the things that are precious to them. You've hit an all time low. I'm ashamed to bare the Packham name. -4/9/00

I thank you for your well rounded Web site! I have been studying Mormonism for a about year. It didn't take me long at all to see through the lies - which is all Mormonism is. To me it's not even a maze. I have however, seen first hand how blinded (spiritually oblivious) the adherents are, (all that I've met).

My older son left on a mission 2 years ago - I have written him ~ 86 letters based on my findings! Even though, as he told me the (Bible) verses he referenced were "jumping off the pages at him" he remains a Mormon. I plan on letting him do his own research - using your page primarily.

I was also happy to see the German version and had it sent to a girl who needs reassurance in Germany. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot save my son. ... I have put him in God's hands. - 4/8/00

I read with interest your LDS temple experience. I am Glad that another stalwart has finally broken free from the madness. Being only 32 yrs old and a lifetime member Since the early 90's anyway. It is like warm sunshine to hear the older generation come to their senses, and see through the fog. Seems like so few can break the hypnotic spell of fear and punishment. Anyway, fine synopsis of what many experience, yet lack the ability to verbalize. I wish you the best of luck, and plenty of health in your golden years. -4/4/00
I must say that your articles are very clear and grounded on a standpoint without even the slightest hint of ego or the desire to shove all that "I know all" crap down the throat of the reader.

Opinions might be varied (the world is a big place after all), but an account and insight that honest and neutral is hard to find. Just wanna leave a note of appreciation. - 4/4/00

I want to let you know how much I enjoyed your article about leaving the Mormon Church. I have searched & searched, and investigated the Mormon Church in 1988 after my mother died (what a time to be vulnerable)! You name a church--I've probably been to it.

I find this whole Mormon thing so interesting. I call it brainwashing. "my testimony" came after about 1/2 a yr. The Mormon Church is not true! I still take in church sites and am more and more convinced all the time that I am right. I teach school with 2 Mormons (husband & wife). It is impossible to reason with a Mormon about their church teaching. They really don't like me now, although I remember them saying at one time, "We Love You", blah, blah, blah!

I gave up going to church, saying, "The Mormons did me in!". ... Anyway, from going to so many churches over the years, I now believe that about the only thing Joesph Smith said that's true was (referring to the churches), "none of them are true--join none of them". - 3/30/00

I have been sitting in front of my computer, and have come across your webpage regarding anti-mormonism. As an active member of the church it shocks me to read some of the literature within. I am not shocked so much at the words themselves written, but more so at the complete negativity dislayed by yourself and others giving their two cents. All iam intested to know is where you found the information that you have, and if you think what you have done with it is a good thing. - 3/23/00
I found this site while checking to see what I could find on Mormonism. I always knew that the Mormon cosmology was unusual, to say the least. I worked for a guy who was Mormon and became interested in what the religion's origins and beliefs really are. Despite having gone on a mission, this guy really couldn't explain the tenets of his own religion and seemed to have trouble dealing with people; never doing good deeds for their own merit, but always wanting something in return. What little research I have done has shown Mormonism to be absolute nonsence. Your website strengthens that view.

The religion's unique beliefs have no basis in Christianity. I've read Bushman, Richard L.: Joseph Smith and the Beginings of Mormonism, Univ. of Illinois Press, 1984. I've added No Man Knows My History to my reading list, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm intrigued by the religion's weird beliefs, rituals and its obsession with making money. Keep up the good work. - 3/18/00

Thank you for such insightful information. I am continuing to read the other stories on the website, and find them very helpful. I have always had my suspicions, but I never really thought about it until now...Thanks again.    - 3/10/00
Dear Sir,    I just wanted to thank you for helping me with my decision to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After reading your list about what to expect when you become a "MORMON" I decided that mormonism encircles everything that makes life worth living. .... By the way, I have read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon and I could not put the thing down! It was very exciting to read about the wars and the men caring so much about their fellow men that they would risk death and ridicule to spread the message that these people were killing themselves, not to mention their spirituallity and happiness, by their unhealthy, self-demoting actions. ...

p.s. I would be very intrested in hearing why you find this moral-loving, charity promoting group of individuals so repulsive. Did they hurt you or your family in any way? - 3/8/00

I feel sorry for you. You obviously are a very bitter individual who seems to find security in searching for things to disrupt others progression. I hope you can resolve your problems and fully read and study things before publishing them. Have you actually read the Book of Mormon? if so, what was your intent? good, or bad? - 3/7/00
I responded:    I am wracking my mind trying to figure out what I may have written there that you could interpret to mean that I am a "very bitter individual." Could you please enlighten me? Because I assure you that I am not bitter. I confess that I hate lies, and I hate liars. Isn't that a good thing?

Nor do I need to "resolve [my] problems." Can you point to anything in my writings that you can show to me clearly is false? I have carefully researched everything I wrote. If I am in error, I beg you to correct me. But with facts, please, not with testimony-bearing.

Yes, I have read the Book of Mormon. At one time I had a strong testimony of its truth. I had an advanced class at BYU on Book of Mormon from Dr. Sidney B. Sperry. Have you read "New Approaches To the Book of Mormon," edited by Metcalfe? Or "Studies of the Book of Mormon" by B. H. Roberts (a member of the General Authorities, and Church Historian)? Or the biography of Stuart Ferguson, the founder of the church-sponsored archaeological foundation and author of several books on the BoM (the biography is by Stan Larson, and is called "The Search For The Gold Plates")?

Hi. I have just finished looking at your page and I must say that I was really, really impressed. I have seldom seen such a well researched site. ... One of my friends is thinking of joining an LDS church and what I know of them, I don't like much, so I did a search on Mormonism and found your site. As it is one of the few sites that seems to be very balanced (i.e., not proselytising nor spewing out anti-Mormon hatred), I think it provides a great service. My compliments. - 3/6/00
[From a mother whose son was investigating Mormonism, and who found my website]

I just want to say thank you from the very bottom of heart for your taking the time to write me, to encourage me, and to offer suggestions to me. I read your email and took it all to heart. I do not know what I would have done if things were different, thank heavens I don't have to think about "what if's." But I cannot stress enough just how important your quick response and comforting words meant to me and I hope and pray that you will also be there for the next person who is in need of your help, your comforting words, and extremely helpful advice. Thanks so very very much for being there for me. - 2/29/00

For months I was asleep to what my son was going thru as a new convert and baptised mormon. I awoke with your help and that of others that have made the truth about the mormons available on the web. I downloaded a couple hundred pages into a 3 ring binder and asked my son to sit and speak with me. he agreed and within a couple hours said..."I am out of that church". Today he has made plans to move out of the home that he has been staying in and is in the process of getting on the path to Jesus. Last Sunday he came to church with me at the Presbeterian Church where the rest of the family goes. I can't say enough about the good you are doing. Thank you is so inadequate and yet i must say it. Thank You! - 2/26/00
Dear sir,

   I just joined the true church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I just read your web page and found that many of your references and statements (Disregarding your theories) were very misleading. Many of your references were from other misleading sources. I don't understand why you didn't use sources from the church much. (Apart from your begining paragraghs.) I was confused as to the use of these other sources. I thought that the author of confusion was the Devil. I know that the the book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I also know that Jesus lives and that he is the founder of our church. Understand that continuing to work against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is working against the true an only church of Jesus Christ and of God. - 2/24/00

Response: I sent this Mormon my usual challenge; I have not had a reply

Just wanted to comment that I love your site about Mormonism. I have several friends who are Mormons. They are great people. I avoid the subject of religion, but I like being informed about the LDS Church -- good and bad. I am amazed, though, at the open-mindedness of my Mormon friends and how they don't push anything on me. I feel ready to defend if they do.

The missionaries did come to the door. I had been studying your site and I'm sure that they were surprised when I raised my questions and objections. Their response: Read the book of Mormon and pray to God and ask if it was true. Well, what can I say. I'm reading, but so far, all I get is "someone made this up." - 2/21/00

[From a BYU student]

Dear Mr. Packham,

   Reagarding your article that establishes Joseph Smith as a "false prophet" you have a lot of well thought out points. I read your article and I find it facinating that you have access to so many of the church archives and journals etc. Concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith, I must say whether you believe Joseph was a prophet or not will not affect His standing with God, merely your own. The appeal of Logos is effective to some perhaps but to those of a stronger faith, it has no appeal. You seem to be an intelligent well versed individual, and perhaps you see logic as a basis of belief, that is exactly what the advesary would like you to believe. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. This much I know, no matter what you do in this life in secular terms will amount to nothing in the judgement, it is entirely where you heart set is. I hope and pray you will use the gifts God has given you to further his work and build the faith of others, not hinder their eternal progress. The Book of Mormon is a True book. May you one day search it out and may God have mercy on your soul. - 2/19/00

My response: It seems that you misunderstand the issue. The issue is not whether I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but whether, in fact, he was one. If he was not, in fact, a prophet, that certainly will affect his standing with God, I would think. And if you incorrectly believe that he was a prophet, that will also affect your standing, wouldn't it? You are committing here the fallacy called "begging the question."

And the facts I summarized in my article seem to shows that Smith was not, in fact, a prophet.

The appeal of Logos is effective to some perhaps but to those of a stronger faith, it has no appeal. You seem to be an intelligent well versed individual, and perhaps you see logic as a basis of belief,...
Dear friend, if we abandon logic, if we abandon our ability to reason, we must then also abandon all the knowledge that the human race has acquired by that means. All our science, all our knowledge of history, all our law, the fundament of our society -- all are based on logic and man's ability to reason. And you say it is wrong?

I find it really sad and ironic that you, a student at an institution with academic pretensions, can be espousing such an anti-intellectual position.

...that is exactly what the advesary would like you to believe.

No, my dear young friend, the genuine seeker of truth and the one who really has truth WANTS us to subject his claims to examination. It is only the purveyor of lies that tries to get us to abandon our logic and our skepticism, because his lies will not stand up under such rigorous examination.

(I sent this Mormon my standard challenge; I have not had a reply)

Thanks for your web site. I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 8 years ago. I was a very hard-working member for several years. I had a personal experience with the leadership that took away my trust in their claims that the church was guided by revelation. In fact every supposed revelation given the leadership about me was against the laws of the church. ... I know I have prayed some mighty prayers, and everything I seem to learn is pulling me further from the church. I had learned some history on my own that did not make sense to me. Then my wife found the Recovering from Mormonism web site. I have not wanted to read anti- Mormon material by non-Mormons, or people who have never been members, if you know what I mean. I have checked as many sources given in your web site as I can and have found no mistakes. The missionaries were here Sunday. I do not want to drive them from their church. I have tried to ask the Bishop (we have a new Bishop), but he does not know history. Personally I cannot accept the idea that a prophet can teach false doctrine and be in the highest kingdom of God. I don't think he can even be a prophet. ... I am finding out how hard it is to leave a cult. I almost can't believe what I'm going through. If you knew how little time I spend on a computer, you would have a much higher understanding of what it means to get an e-mail from me. This is the first I've ever sent, and I've had a computer in my house for almost 2 years. I'm sure you receive many scornful words from members. But I had to let you know it has helped me more than I have words to express, and I've not had time to look at all of it yet. I have to make a definite move soon because this is about to drive me crazy. Thanks again for the time you have given to helping people. - 2/15/00
You were a local guy that I saw on a webpage and I thought I'd drop you an e-mail and by a stroke of luck you replied. Now that's a true answer to a prayer from an 18 yr old in despair. Thank you very much for taking the time to write out that mail. I helped me out a lot as did a lot of your webpage. ... I feel as a convert I was deceived by the missionaries. A fraudulent act to cover up their transgressions in the past. ... I can't thank you enough for your help and the time you've committed to helping people get out of there. Thank you again. - 1/26/00
Update:    I corresponded more with this young man. By May 2000 this young man had left the church and had succeeded in bringing several friends out as well.

Dear Mr. Packham: Greetings from Boston. I'm an attorney who stumbled across your site while reading up on the LDS church. It seems mind boggling to me that so many individuals and of course so much wealth can be deluded with respect to such an obvious scam. ... 1/24/00
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©  2000 Richard Packham


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