Revisions as of November 18, 2017

If you are investigating Mormonism (the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" or "LDS Church"), you are probably studying it in private meetings in your home with missionaries from that church. Here are some of the key things that they are probably telling you:


Until recently, the missionaries were required to present Mormonism in six "discussions", which were a series of memorized sales talks. They are now encouraged simply to "follow the spirit" in their presentations. The basic message and approach, however, is still essentially the same. A thorough, thoughtful and balanced discussion of each of the six "official" lessons as the missionaries formerly presented them to investigators is at (archived), together with the techniques and strategies which the missionaries are instructed to use. (The actual texts of the discussions were also on this site at one time, but the Mormon church threatened the webmaster with a lawsuit, and he removed them; click on "next" at each window to read a summary and commentary.)

Here is a summary of important facts about the Mormon church, its doctrine, and its history that the missionaries will probably not tell you. We are not suggesting that they are intentionally deceiving you --most of the young Mormons serving missions for the church are not well educated in the history of the church or in modern critical studies of the church. They probably do not know all the facts themselves. They have been trained, however, to give investigators "milk before meat," that is, to postpone revealing anything at all that might make an investigator hesitant, even if it is true. But you should be aware of these facts before you commit yourself.

Each of the following facts has been substantiated by thorough historical scholarship. And this list is by no means exhaustive!    For links to articles substantiating each of these points, CLICK on the word NOTES    following the item.


If you should decide to become a member of the LDS church, you should be aware of what your life in the church will be like. Although you will find yourself warmly accepted by a lively community of healthy, active and generally supportive people, many of whom are very happy in Mormonism and could not imagine their lives without it, there is another side:

Consider very carefully before you commit yourself, and remember that any doubts you may have now will likely only increase.

Examine carefully both sides of the Mormon story. Listen to the stories of those who have been through an unhappy Mormon experience, not just those Mormons who may speak glowingly of life in the church.   NOTES

The Mormon missionaries are often charming and enthusiastic. They have an attractive story to tell. At first it sounds wonderful. But remember the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" Be careful not to fall into the trap of believing something simply because you want it to be true. Mormons may tell you that those who criticize the church are lying, misquoting and distorting. If you examine the sources used by the critics, however, you will discover that most of their source material is from official or semi-official Mormon writings. You, too, should examine those sources.

Is Mormonism a "cult"? Many experts on religious cults see in Mormonism the same fundamental characteristics as cults which have entrapped the unsuspecting, even though most people think of "cults" only as small, unknown groups. Use a "cult checklist" to evaluate Mormonism, or any group, before you commit yourself.    NOTES

To get more information about the other side of Mormonism, or to see the evidence supporting any of our statements about the church, feel free to contact us. Our only aim is to make sure that you hear both sides. We promise not to preach at you, but only to provide you with facts to balance the Mormon story. Click here for the names and e-mail addresses of people to contact. Click here to read personal stories of people who have left Mormonism.

For short video interviews with former Mormons (updated usually every week) see "I Am An Exmormon".

For statements by many well-educated people who have left the church, see "Ex-Mormon Scholars Testify".


  DISCLAIMER: Some of the links and references listed here, in addition to containing valuable material about Mormonism, also contain Christian proselytizing material. Their inclusion here is not intended as an endorsement of any religion or religious organization.


"Recovery From Mormonism" Archived articles and commentaries from this exmormon site. One of the most extensive websites on Mormonism, presenting the best arguments on both sides of controversial issues. Analysis of the series of essays published by the LDS church on its official website discussing faith-challenging problems. "Letter to a CES Director" by Jeremy Runnels: A fervent request to an official in the LDS Church Education System for response to the many problems in Mormonism (over 60 pages). No response ever came. "Letter To An Apostle" by Paul A. Douglas, a devout Mormon, to a member of the First Presidency, raising 36 questions about Mormon claims; the apostle's response is included. Articles and links; one of the oldest extensive Internet sites on Mormonism. Site maintained by "Dr. Shades" "Blogging the Exmormon World" - maintained by Michael Hoenie Mike Norton's excellent analysis of Mormon problems (archived). Many articles by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, especially from their newsletter The Salt Lake City Messenger. Also several complete books are online here, including their complete book The Changing World of Mormonism. Text of many early Mormon publications, including the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon and the original Book of Commandments. Curt Van Den Heuvel's site.
Mormon Stories Podcasts Over 500 interviews with Mormons and former Mormons. John Dehlin's site.
Mormon Expression PodcastsMore interviews. John Larsen's site. "Mormons In Transition," sponsored by the Insitute for Religious Research, with many articles; Christian orientation; an on-line newsgroup, (MIT-Talk) with evangelical basis The "Mormon Research Ministry," an evangelical Christian group headed by Bill McKeever; many good articles on Mormonism A collection of historical quotations from Mormon leaders themselves which cast doubt on Mormonism. "Rethinking Mormonism" - an excellent site by former Mormon "Deconstructor" Convenient side-by-side listing of internet articles on both sides of controversial Mormon issues - by Cora Judd (archived) "The church is true" "The church is not true" - Chris Tolworthy's site (formerly; originally a very pro-Mormon site; Tolworthy - now no longer Mormon - presents the arguments of both sides (archive).
Mormonism Disproved   Christopher Miller's website "[Mormonism's] Conflicts With Science"
Motmon Articles by Rich Kelsey on his Global Evangelism website

WIKIPEDIA CAUTION!   Be careful with articles on Mormon topics at the popular online reference site Wikipedia! Since all articles there are subject to editing by all comers, Mormon apologists regularly edit them to remove any information that criticizes the church.


Listed here are only a few "must read" books. There are hundreds of others. If your local library does not own them, your librarian can obtain them for you on interlibrary loan, usually for a very small fee. Most books listed are linked to on-line reviews or order information.

No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn M. Brodie, 2nd ed., Knopf, New York, 1993. The most authoritative biography of Joseph Smith. Brodie is a well recognized historian.

Joseph Smith: The Making of an American Prophet by Dan Vogel

Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record by H. Michael Marquardt and Wesley P. Walters, Smith Research, 1994; A detailed examination by historians of Mormonism's origins.

An Insider's View of Mormon Origins by Grant Palmer (retired instructor in the church's educational system); a frank disclosure of many aspects of early Mormon history.

Who Really Wrote The Book of Mormon?: The Spalding Enigma by Wayne L. Cowdrey, Howard A. Davis, and Arthur Vanick, Concordia, 2005; extensive research in support of the secret involvement of Sidney Rigdon in producing the Book of Mormon by using unpublished materials from Solomon Spalding, a deceased novelist. More information on the authors' website:

New Approaches To The Book of Mormon Brent Lee Metcalfe, ed., Signature Books, 1993 - collection of essays on problems in the Book of Mormon

American Apocrypha: Essays On The Book of Mormon Brent Lee Metcalfe and Dan Vogel, eds., Signature Books, 2002

Mormon America: The Power And the Promise. by Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling, Harper, San Francisco, 1999. A well-balanced and reliable overview of Mormonism's past and present.

Mormonism: Shadow or Reality by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, 5th edition, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1987, Salt Lake City. The Tanners have done extensive research on early Mormon history and made many rare publications available by publishing photocopies of them at a low price. This book is a good summary of the contradictions and problems of Mormonism. Available from Utah Lighthouse Ministry, where a catalog of their publications is available. Also published in a slightly smaller version as The Changing World of Mormonism, Moody Press, Chicago, 1981 (now online).

The Keystone of Mormonism" by Arza Evans, 2003 - excellent summary of many problems with Mormonism, by a former Mormon.

Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon (Second edition) by David Persuitte, McFarland & Co., 2000

Farewell to Eden: Coming to Terms With Mormonism and Science by Duwayne R. Anderson, Authorhouse, 2003 - a scientist and former Mormon examines Mormonism's scientific claims

Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church by Simon G. Southerton (DNA scientist, former Mormon bishop), Signature Books, 2004

The Pattern of the Double Bind in Mormonism by Marion Stricker; the psychological bondage of Mormonism and how to recognize and escape it.

Mormonism Pro and Con: A Friendly Discussion by Ed Bliss, now retitled What Mormons Don't Know About Mormonism

For Any Latter-day Saint: One Investigator's Unanswered Questions by Sharon I. Banister, Star Bible Publications, Fort Worth, 1988.   Over 600 problematical questions about Mormon history and doctrine, very clearly presented, with many photographic reproductions of the relevant Mormon books and diaries. (See my review here.) (As of May 2007 this book is out of print; click here for availability of used copies)

The Mormon Delusion, by Jim Whitefield; 5 volumes

An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case Against Mormonism, by Kay Burningham (ex-Mormon attorney)


THE "FIRST VISION" The official version, and why it is a fiction The church insists that belief in the validity of the "First Vision" is the basis of Mormonism All of the early (and contradictory) accounts, from Mormon sources Vision and (a review of the book Inventing Mormonism)

The question of whether there was a revival in 1820 matching Smith's story has been hotly debated by Mormon and non-Mormon scholars. See the exchange between Richard L. Bushman (Mormon) and Wesley P. Walters (non-Mormon) in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, (Spring 1969) 4:1:58ff. A summary of the opposing points of view (by a Mormon scholar) is Marvin Hill, "The First Vision: A Critique and Reconciliation," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, (Summer 1982) 15:31-46. (Michael Marquardt's site)
The following three links are about Marquardt's book Inventing Mormonism, a scholarly investigation into Mormonism's early years:

For Smith's connection with the Methodists, see Inventing Mormonism, pp 54-55, citing Turner, History of Phelp's and Gorham's Purchase, p. 214, which relates that Smith was an informal "exhorter" at Methodist camp meetings before 1822; Pomeroy Tucker, The Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism (NY 1867), p 18: Smith joined the "probationary class" of the Methodist church; there was no Methodist church in Palmyra until July 1821 (Inventing Mormonism, p 60 n 41); Church

JOSEPH SMITH AND "MONEYDIGGING" The report of Smith's 1826 arrest and court appearance for being a "glass-looker" and Magic

BOOK OF MORMON "WITNESSES" The book by David Whitmer, An Address To All Believers in Christ, testifying that God revealed to him that Joseph Smith is a fallen prophet.
(Also at (Martin Harris interview in Tiffany's magazine) Affidavits of Lucy Harris and Abigail Harris about Martin Harris (Martin Harris' visit to Professor Anthon with a copy of characters from the gold plates) More on the witnesses, including pro-Mormon arguments

METHOD OF TRANSLATION OF THE BOOK OF MORMON (David Whitmer's Address To All Believers in Christ; see p. 12, 30) hole The significance of the 116 pages of lost manuscript for testing the authenticity of the book More on the 116 lost pages
Martin Harris, Millennial Star 6 Feb 1882, cited in Robert N. Hullinger, Joseph Smith's response to Skepticism, p 9-14, Salt Lake City 1992, said that the plates were not needed, also quoted by John Clark, Gleanings By the Way, 1842, p 228, cited in Hullinger p 11, n 23. More on the method of translation, with specific responses to Mormon arguments
For an official Mormon admission about Smith's use of the "seer stone" in his hat, see "Speaking Today: A Treasured Testament," by Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, July 1993 Volume 23 Number 7 page 61

BOOK OF MORMON ARCHAEOLOGY Good summary of problems, with specific responses to Mormon arguments "Alleged Book of Mormon Lands Survey" - Daniel M. Wright's survey sent to more than 85 professional (non-Mormon) archaeologists that do work in meso-America, requesting their views of Mormon claims. Results were never published, but, if you email him, he will explain the results he received. Recent study by DNA expert Tom Murphy, for which he was threatened with excommunication from the Mormon church, showing that the American Indians are not Semitic
Losing a Lost Tribe by Simon Southerton, former Mormon bishop and professional DNA expert; excellent book explaining the science and how it disproves the Book of Mormon
"Answers to Apologetic Claims about DNA and the Book of Mormon" by Simon Southerton More on DNA studies, including a video about DNA's relationship to the Book of Mormon's claims
Who Are The Lamanites?, a four-part article by Kevin Mathie examining the pro and con arguments "How Do You Lose a Steel Mill" by Frank R. Zindler

Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue #74, February 1990, available from
Utah Lighthouse Ministry "Feasts in the Book of Mormon"

BOOK OF MORMON CHANGES; OTHER CHANGES Changes made in revelations after their first publication, to reflect Smith's changes in doctrine.
The original texts of the Book of Mormon 1830 edition and the 1833 Book of Commandments (predecessor to the Doctrine and Covenants can be found at

PRESENT MORMON DOCTRINE CONTRARY TO BOOK OF MORMON A concise listing, with references On the Virgin Birth, how Jesus was conceived. The changing concept of God. Changing doctrines of Mormonism.

THE 1825 BOOK View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith (text of View) (text of View) Could Joseph Smith have written the Book of Mormon? Parallels between View and the Book of Mormon. B. H. Roberts' conclusions.

Failure of the Kirtland Bank: Bank
Gathering of Zion:
Polygamy - see notes at: #POLYGAMY
Deseret Alphabet:

The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, New York, 1988. The role of the Mormon church leadership in this scandal is carefully documented here.
A Gathering of Saints: A True Story of Money, Murder and Deceit by Robert Lindsey, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1988. Another book on the Hofmann scandal.
Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders by Linda Sillitoe and Allen Roberts, 2nd edition, Signature Books, Salt Lake City., Mark
"Masterminds: The Anthon Forgeries"   Excellent video on the Hofmann forgeries.

THE MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONY (THE "ENDOWMENT") "Mormon Temples and Temple Rituals" - a detailed overview of this most secret part of Mormonism.
The next five links contain the actual text of the ceremony in the various forms it has had since the early days of the church.
1931 Version:
1984 Version:
1990 Version:
2005 changes:
(See also for a discussion of the significance of the 2005 changes) Ceremony Several articles on temples A description of the sacred undergarment which Mormons are required to wear after receiving the endowment. More on "garments" The questions that are asked in the "worthiness interview" to determine whether a member is worthy to receive admission to the temple.

MASONIC INFLUENCE ON MORMONISM Paul Graham's comprehensive site, with many links from all points of view Smith's Magic Talisman Joseph Smith's magical talisman

THE "ADAM = GOD" DOCTRINE The changes in the Mormon doctrine about God. (Text of Brigham Young's 1852 sermon) More statements by Brigham Young
A good discussion, with photocopy of Bruce R. McConkie's private admission that Brigham Young did teach the doctrine, is in Tanner, LDS Apostle Confesses Brigham Young Taught Adam-God Doctrine, available from Utah Lighthouse Ministry.   Similar material is in Banister's book For Any Latter- Day Saint The text of McConkie's letter admitting that Brigham Young did teach that Adam was God
See also: Adam is God??? by Chris A. Vlachos, pamphlet available from Utah Lighthouse Ministry

POLYGAMY ("CELESTIAL MARRIAGE") A review of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell and Valene Tippett Avery, University of Illinois Press, 1994; a biography of Joseph Smith's first wife, relating the development of Smith's ideas on polygamy and her opposition to it.
In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Todd Compton, Signature Books Biographies of all of Joseph Smith's wives An early and generally unknown revelation about polygamy
Mormon Polygamy: A History by Richard S. Van Wagoner, Signature Books, Salt Lake City. An excellent history of its theory and practice, reviewed at
The Works of Abraham: Mormon Polygamy Sources on Its Origin, Thought, and Practice by B. Carmon Hardy, 2007 "Did Joseph Smith have sex with his [polygamous] wives?" Comprehensive essay on polygamy Home page of Tapestry of Polygamy, a group of formerly polygamous women who are exposing its evils as practiced by some Mormon groups today. - responses to Mormon arguments and claims "U. S. Census numbers and Mormon Polygamy"   Refutation of the claim that polygamy was practiced because of a shortage of men in early Utah Video documentary on Mormon polygamy

THE "CURSE OF CAIN": THE CHANGING DOCTRINE ON SKIN COLOR Brigham Young's Doctrines on the Black race Summary of pro and con views History of racism in Mormonism from the "Religious Tolerance" organization   Background information on the 1978 "revelation"

THE DOCTRINE OF "BLOOD ATONEMENT" AND THE DANITES ("AVENGING ANGELS") Atonement Mormons often deny that the doctrine was taught, but they still believe it.
"Blood Atonement" a short video on the origin and present practice

The role of violence in Mormonism is the subject of Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer, Doubleday, 2003; this book was on the best-seller lists for a number of weeks.
The authoritative work on the Mountain Meadows Massacre has been Juanita Brooks, The Mountain Meadows Massacre, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
Brooks is now supplemented by new evidence in Will Bagley, The Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2002.
See also Sally Denton's book American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, Knopf 2003.
J. F. Gibbs's complete book Mountain Meadows Massacre is online at
Film treatments of the Mountain Meadows Massacre:
"Burying the Past" (documentary):
"September Dawn" (fictionalized, but based on fact):

THE BOOK OF COMMANDMENTS The complete text of the Book of Commandments, showing the revisions made to them in the Doctrine and Covenants

"Priesthood Restored or Retrofit?" by Lane Thuet

THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM The complete book By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus by Charles M. Larson of Abraham The text of Smith's so-called Egyptian Alphabet & Grammar Comprehensive site, with message board, about the Book of Abraham
An hour-long video about the Book of Abraham: "The Lost Book of Abraham" at

The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (RLDS, now renamed
"Community of Christ") has long used the version by Smith. Revision of the Bible

THE KINDERHOOK PLATES Plates Good summary of both pro and con views

JOSEPH SMITH'S PROPHECIES A listing of many of Smith's unfulfilled prophecies Joseph Smith's famous prophecy of the Civil War Another article on the Civil War prophecy Mountain Prophecy Joseph Smith's prophecy about the Mormon move to the Rocky Mountains Lack of prophecy in the modern church

For some of Brigham Young's failed prophecies, see:

JOSEPH SMITH'S DEATH The text of the Nauvoo Expositor, the opposition paper which Smith destroyed, thus leading to his imprisonment and death. It contains all the true accusations which Smith wanted suppressed of Expositor The destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor

For a detailed discussion of Smith's political ambitions, his title "king" and his secret government, see the book by D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: [Volume 1] The Origins of Power, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1994. (Quinn was excommunicated from the Mormon church for his historical researches, but remains a believer)

MORMON FALSIFICATION OF MORMON HISTORY D. Michael Quinn's Talk "On Being A Mormon Historian" in which he urges the church authorities to be more open in telling the entire history of the church, without coloring it. Rather than follow his advice, the church excommunicated him. An evaluation of the propaganda film Legacy, produced by the church. An evaluation of the church's claim that it was persecuted. The uncovering of the lies told by a high-ranking Mormon official A speech by Boyd K. Packer, a high-ranking church official, on how the church justifies its distortion of its history. The recent purge of Mormon historians who told too much A discussion of speech by Dallin Oaks, a high-ranking church official, on the need for withholding the whole truth. The late "prophet" Gordon B. Hinckley lies about church doctrine in two interviews for the news media. More examples of Mormon lying.

A good example of the church's distortion of history is its long cover-up of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. See Juanita Brooks, The Mountain Meadows Massacre, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

"Testimony and Spiritual Witness" - discussion about the reliability of spiritual witness - prayer is not for obtaining information - how Satan can deceive

  -   God was once a man like us:
  -   God has a tangible body of flesh and bone: D&C 130:22
  -   God lives on a planet near the star Kolob: Book of Abraham 3:3-16
  -   God has at least one wife, our "Mother in Heaven": Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, p 348-355: "All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother..." (More citations in The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 7)
  -   Jesus was married: This idea is consistent with the Mormon doctrine that marriage is required for godhood; see citations from early church leaders at Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 9. The church denies that this is a doctrine of the church here.
  -   We can become like God and rule over our own universe.
  -   There are many gods, ruling over their own worlds: Citations in The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 7
  -   Jesus and Satan ("Lucifer") are brothers: D&C 76:25, Moses 4:1-4
  -   Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father by having sex with Mary: Citations in The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 7
  -   We should not try to feel a personal relationship with Jesus: "Our Relationship With The Lord" by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie
  -   "The Lord" ("Jehovah") in the Old Testament is the same being named Jesus in the New Testament, but not the same as "God the Father": D&C 110:2-4; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, article "Jehovah"; 1 Nephi 19:10
  -   In the the highest degree of the celestial kingdom some men will have more than one wife: D&C 132:63
  -   "Pre-existence": See Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, ch 4, esp pp 60-61
  -   Dark skin is a curse from God: 1 Nephi 12:23, 2 Nephi 5:21, Alma 3:6, Jacob 3:8, 3 Nephi 2:15, Morm 5:15.
  -   The Garden of Eden was in Missouri: D&C 116:1; see also D&C 107:53.
  -   Animal resurrection:
  -   Rainbow:
  -   Satan rules water: D&C 61
  -   Sun's light is from Kolob: Book of Abraham Facsimile # 2, Explanation of Fig 5
  -   Gentile blood is replaced: History of the Church 3:380, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 150
  -   Seeing face of God: D&C 97:16; see also 93:1 and 88:68
  -   False angel hair color: Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 214; handshake: D&C 129:1-9

The text of the Word of Wisdom is in the Doctrine and Covenants
Section 89 Problems and inconsistencies with this revelation. Word of Wisdom

On the wealth of the church, see: Anson Shupe, Wealth and Power in American Zion, Lewiston NY 1992, or John Heinerman and Anson Shupe, The Mormon Corporate Empire, Beacon, 1988.

OBEDIENCE: "FOLLOW THE BRETHREN" Excerpts from Under The Prophet In Utah by Senator Frank J. Cannon, showing how the church leaders exert power over members. Many statements by church leaders emphasizing loyalty to the church A speech by Ezra Taft Benson, a recent prophet and president, instructing members to obey the prophet without questioning and without checking his advice against scripture. A critical article on the church's mind control. More on the mass excommunications of intellectuals and historians who questioned church authority. Bruce R. McConkie on the heresy of evolution.

HOMOSEXUALS, MASTURBATION The website of Affirmation, an organization for Mormons with homosexual leanings. Much information about the church's stance on sex. A talk by Mormon apostle Mark E. Petersen, on how to prevent masturbation. A critical article by Jeffery R. Jensen, M.D., on the harm done by the church with its stance on homosexuality. Another article by Dr. Jensen, criticizing the church's department of social services A speech by Boyd K. Packer on the evils of masturbation in young men, and how to prevent it. Video interviews with young Mormon homosexuals about their treatment "In God's Name" by Terry Hiscox - a survey of Christian and Mormon treatment of homosexuals

Books by two exmormon women describing their difficulties with the church's treatment of women:
Deborah Laake,
Secret Ceremonies, Dell, 1993
Sonia Johnson, From Housewife to Heretic, Doubleday, 1981. Johnson was excommunicated for her activism in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment. A woman's viewpoint. How the church misrepresents its stance on the role of women.
"Mormon Women, Prozac, and Therapy" by Kent Ponder Ph.D. explores the causes for so many Mormon women being on anti-depressant medications. "The Psychological Effects of Mormonism" by Blair Watson

PERSONAL STORIES BY FORMER MORMONS has the personal stories of over six hundred people who left the church and their many different reasons for doing so.
For briefer comments from former Mormons, see
See also these longer accounts:
Mary Ann Benson (granddaughter-in-law of Ezra Taft Benson, president of the church):
Steve Benson (grandson of Benson, Mary Ann's husband): and also
Transcript notes of the Bensons' interview with two Mormon apostles
Ken Clark (former teacher in the Church Educational System):

For longer (booklength) accounts, see:
Suddenly Strangers: Surrendering Gods and Heroes by the Morin brothers.( - click on "Excerpts")
James R. Spencer,Beyond Mormonism: An Elder's Story; Spencer converted to Mormonism and left it to become a Christian minister
Martha Beck (daughter of Mormon apologist Hugh Nibley), Leaving the Saints, Crown, 2005
John Williams, Heaven Up Here,, 2011, a very frank autobiographical account of the author's missionary experiences in Bolivia.

The following links are to checklists and other guidelines, to help you to evaluate whether any group (not just Mormonism) is a "cult."
FAQ: "Is Mormonism a cult?" - Mormonism examined, using a 'cult' checklist The home page of Steve Hassan, an authority on cults and brainwashing.
"[Hassan's] BITE Model Applied Toward Mormonism" Jan Groenveld's Cult Awareness Centre FACTnet, resources on psychological coercion and mind control Isaac Bonewits' cult checklist, with 18 items and worksheet.
A 12-minute video on cults in general: "The Psychological Effects of Mormonism" by Blair Watson

For help in making your decision and in examining your motives and reasoning, see the "Investigators' Questionnaire"

Comments?   Questions?  (Please, no preaching, testimonies, or hate mail!)   To send a comment or ask a question, click here. Please let me know if you find that any links are out-dated, or if you can suggest additional links.   Thanks!

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©  1998, 2002, 2005, 2007 Richard Packham    Permission granted to reproduce for non-commercial purposes, provided text is not changed and this copyright notice is included


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