Leaving Mormonism isn't easy. It is one thing to formally leave by getting yourself removed from the membership lists of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (unless they excommunicate you before you get around to that), but it is an entirely different matter leaving mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Because Mormonism demands the whole man (or woman), and because it has programmed you into a particular mind-frame for so long (it is easier if you have not been a member for so long), breaking the inner ties is far more difficult than one might at first imagine. Deep feelings of guilt (manipulatively used by the Mormon to blackmail a person into thinking he or she has denied the Holy Ghost, particularly if they have been temple-going Mormons) often haunt those who leave the organisation. Fear that they have denied their salvation, or that they have been traitors, "apostates", and the like, often plague those leaving. Dealing with the psychology of Mormonism is as important as dealing with the false teachings and rejecting them.
Part of the problem in exiting the Mormon system is that it contains a mixture of truth and error. Leaving Mormonism is not to repudiate the truth aspects of the religion, and more than exiting other false systems. There is a temptation - particularly if you feel you have been tricked and abused by a false system - to want to throw our everything associated with it. Though this is a natural reaction, it does not serve the ex-Mormon at all. Many, because they feel tricked and used, end up rejecting Christ and religion altogether, as though Christ in some way approved of the Mormon system. The fact that God is abused by fallible men doesn't mean that God doesn't exist and that He doesn't love and care about people.
Many come to Mormonism fresh out of agnosticism or atheism and have never met the biblical Yah'shua (Jesus). They have met the "Jesus" or Mormonism, and perhaps even head of the "Jesus" of other false systems like Catholicism (who hasn't heard of the attrocities of the Crusades or the Inquisition, all carried out in the name of this false "Jesus"). But the fact of the matter is that there is a true Yah'shua (Jesus) and many false ones. Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself prophesied that many false christs (messiahs) and false prophets would come in His Name in order to deceive the elect. And it just happens that people like you and I may have been deceived for a while.
I was one of the lucky ones - lucky because I met the living Christ before I became a Mormon, so I had Him to fall on when my faith in Mormonism started crumbling. Most aren't so lucky - either they were introduced to a false "Jesus" from another pseudo-Christian religion or they had no knowledge of Him at all - so when they leave the Mormon Church they are in complete confusion. They may, for example, have been led out by atheist groups, or simply "fallen out" of Mormonism with no back-up of any kind. To have your world-view collapse without anything to replace it is a devastating experience, no matter what religion or system you may be exiting. As human beings we not only have a God-shaped vacuum that needs filling but a need for order, structure and meaning in our lives in order to thrive. The trouble is, when you exit a cult like Mormonism there are plenty of competing voices only too willing to give you their own substitutes.
Fortunately, we do have an "exiting model" in the Bible to help people like us leave false systems. The journey is not a particularly easy one but it does have a happy ending if you follow the instructions carefully. Like someone escaping from a prisoner-of-war camp in enemy territory, you not only have to get out of the camp but out of the country too, and be very, very careful until you have crossed the border into safety. For leaving a cult is to leave Satan's camp and Satan's territory - and just as many POWs get recaptured because of mistakes they made along the way, so many exiting-Mormons experience the same thing. And some, tragically, lose their lives.
The "exiting model" given in the Bible is the Israelite Exodus from Egypt. It took place in three stages:
In case you imagine you are in for a 40 year ordeal, be assured that this is not necessarily so. Israel could have entered Canaan earlier but chose to repeatedly ignore Yahweh-God's instructions and to try things their "own way". Exiting Mormonism, like leaving all the temptations and false systems in the world, is a perilous undertaking. We face a ruthless enemy who wishes us destroyed.
- 1. Escaping from the Egypt prison itself;
- 2. A LONG haul in the desert to get straightened out; and finally
- 3. Entry into the Promised Land.
The amount of time it takes an ex-Mormon who sincerely wants to follow the biblical Christ varies enormously but after considerable experience in this ministry I reackon it takes a minimum of 2-3 years. This will, in part, depend on how deeply you have been in Mormonism, how long, and the degree to which God supernaturally intervenes to rescue you. The Israelites who fled Egypt were shown some of the most dramatic and powerful miracles ever witnessed by man and yet they still rebelled. Many wanted to go back, others wanted to strike out on their own with their former pagan Egyptian beliefs - those leaving Mormonism will be faced with similar temptations along the way. Some will return because they miss the fellowship (one man who returned admitted to me that whilst he did not believe in Mormon doctrine and practice any more, he went back because he felt it was the best fraternity on earth), others because they find it hard to survive (especially if they live in the Mormon heartlands of Utah and neighbouring states, where getting jobs may depend on your LDS, membership), others because they don't want to go through the suffering of leaving (the truth always costs something - Jesus said that the truth [the "pearl of great price" ... not the Mormon scripture of the same name] would cost you everything if you loved it enough), others because they like Mormonism's false teachings (many Israelites loved Egyptian paganism and it wasn't long before they resoted to calf-worship), others because they liked the material "good life" of Mormonism (in the difficult days the Israelites lusted after the "flesh pots" of Egypt), others because they are simply worn out (maybe they face divorce from a Mormon spouse, or violent opposition from inlaws, children, work colleagues and friends), and so on. There are many reasons why those exiting Mormonism stumble.
At this point it is vitally important for the exiting Mormon to determine how he or she is leaving the Mormon Church - is it in his own strength, in the strength of another false god, or in the strength of the true God, Yahweh-Elohim, and His Son Yah'shua haMashiach (Jesus Christ)?
Leaving any false system that has a demonic element (and I do assure you that Mormonism, for all its many good sides ... and they are many ... does have a demonic element - it's called the Mormon PRIESTHOOD) means not only spiritual struggle but the need for spiritual assistance from those who know something about Mormonism. When you are in a false system you are invariably blinded to one degree or another. And even when you have discovered the errors and know it is time to get out, you are almost certainly still going to be blind in certain key areas of the true Christian faith which you will need in order to be completely delivered. Many who leave physically never leave spiritually because they are still in bondage. I knew a Jehovah's Witness like like that - she left the organisation but could not leave some of the false key JW doctrines which kept her bound. Our departure, when it comes - however painful - must be complete.
Finding trustworthy councellors is not easy and you may find you are alone with yourself and with the Lord. If the latter is your situation, don't rush anything. Talk to Yahweh a lot, resolve to set aside all Mormon teachings and start with the Bible as though it was the first time you had ever read it. To be sure, this takes some discipline. Keeping out intruding throughts and feelings cultivated, perhaps, by decades of involvement in Mormonism, is not a simple matter.
Most people, in my experience, seek advice, and try to find safety in a multitude of councellors. This can sometimes work though it can equally well confuse. Not all Christian churches are "christian", and some have cultic tendencies like Mormonism itself. When the Mormons fault many of the orthodox churches, they are not entirely in error. That is why I recommend a period free from a church allegiance. By all means seek fellowship in a Christian Church (having spiritual nourishment in basic things like prayer and worship is essential), but don't let any denomination bamboozle you into accepting their dogmas until you have had time to reasonably study it out for yourself. Though a wilderness journey isn't easy (who, after all, likes being alone?) it is far safer to have one than to simply act reactively against Mormonism by hopping into the first Christian Church that offers you friendship and love. Accept the friendship and love but don't feel pressurised into joining any group or church until you have had time to work things through. If the Christians you know are mature, they will know and respect your need for space and time; if they aren't, run away from them! Don't let anyone emotionally blackmail you or manipulate you. As a victim of Mormon pressure (direct or indirect), that is the last thing you need. All you need at this stage is to trust in Yah'shua (Jesus) as your Lord and Saviour, make a public confession of this committment to two or more people (if you have not already done so - that is important in case you should die ... you never know, and the cost of not doing so is too great), and to prayefully study your Bible. You don't need to make any other committments at this stage.
Having a good friend who will support your journey unconditionally, whether he or she agrees with you or not, is a priceless bonus. I can't guarantee that God will give you one - some of us had to manage alone - but He will certainly give you all that you need ... they much he promises to you.
Just like getting out ofn the homosexual environment is essential for a homosexual to find healing, and just like getting out of the bar milieu is essential for the alcoholic to make a recovery, getting out of the Mormon environment is equally important. Under the guise of caring for you (and no doubt some genuinely do care), they will want to visit you as much as they can. Saying "No thank you" may be hard and may seem uncaring and unloving of you, but remember, you're the primary victim. When I was recently sick and not making a good recovery, I noticed how much under pressure my own doctor (physician) was and tried to help him as much as I could. But I just didn't have the physical resources to do this. A time will come for you to help your Mormon friend and loved ones come out of Mormonism, but this will almost certainly not be the time to do it, especially if you are weak and vulnerable. If you are strong and experiencing a rapid transition out of Mormonisn, then that may be another matter. I cannot judge any individual as to where he or she is "at". No two people are alike. Some are naturally stronger and more resilient than others. If you are weak and vulverable, do not succumb to guilt trips about your responsibility to help other Mormons - God know what you are, and are not, capable of. Don't try to be a superman (or superwoman). Show the same sort of mercy to yourself as you would wish to show others, or you might find yourself trapped again. Never fall for Moonie-type "love-bombing" (the showering of a person with affection to deflect the victim from the main problem) - true love will give you space and freedom, not try to force you down a particular avenue. True love is unconditional - it will accept you no matter what you are or what you believe. True love gives you the freedom to be.
Breaking the ties with Mormonism by taking your name of the membership register is very, very important. Many Mormons who know their church is false mistakenly believe they can do more good "inside" the church than outside. This is a terrible delusion. You can't, for either you will end up compromising or they will excommunicate you anayway for "not sustaining church leaders" (or, if they are meaner, they will trump up some charge of immorality ... it has happened). To be free you have to get out of Satan's territory and be a witness from the outside. The Bible gives no support for any idea remotely like staying within a corrupt organisation to corrupt it. People who opt for this often marshall a number of scriptures taken out of context like "wearing the clothes of the gentiles" in order to witness to them. But this is not the same as joining them (which amounts to the same thing when you stay behind) - wearing the "same clothes" means using their language to reach them, much as John the Apostle did when he wrote his Gospel for the gnostic heretics. To remain in the Mormon Church is to remain under FALSE COVENANTS be they baptismal, your confirmation (the false "Gift of the Holy Ghost"), temple covenants (though will almost certainly have lost your recommend by this stage), priesthood covenants (though you probably will have been suspended from those by now), your patriatchal blessing (a form of divination with a spirit attached to it), and so on. In order to be on the road to recovery from Mormonism you have to break ALL the covenants you entered into there because they originate from a false priesthood (the spirit of priestcraft) operated by demonic beings.
Staying on the "inside" is fatal - no different from the Israelites deciding to stay in Egypt and try and reform Pharaoh. You would not be the first to try this. I know a man who to this day is trying to "reform" Mormonism from within - he has wasted his life. You can't do it, because it isn't just a question of convincing people of their theological errors but involves unseen powers. Mormonism is not just wrong theology - it was originated by, and is controlled by, demonic powers.
Now incase you think that is an outrageous statement, let me make an important qualifying statement, because I am not saying that Mormonism is black magic or raw satanism. It isn't. Because the Bible is believed in (at least officially), many Mormons trust in it and are exposed to the true Christ in it too. The goodness of so many of the Mormon people is evidence of that. The problem with Mormonism isn't that it is "demonic" but that it is a MIXTURE of very good principles combined with a false priesthood. And it is that priesthood power which has blinded them and which keeps them in bondage.
I am perhaps a unique example of one who tried to reform the Mormon Church by creating an independent one. I sought to detach the Mormon priesthood with its legalistic claims from Mormonism and follow the Biblical teaching of a Priesthood of All Believers. It didn't work. And the reason it didn't work is because the Mormon scriptures (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price ... but most especially the latter two) are entirely based on the concept of a legalistic priesthood. Take away the LDS priesthood, and Mormonism collapses en masse. It started with priesthood and it ends with it - indeed, I have always maintained that Mormonism is its priesthood. It has taken all the virtues Christianity and forced it into a priesthood wrapper. Take the wrapper off, and all the Mormon distinctives fall away. Mormonism is held together by priesthood authority, not by truth. And it is the truth which makes you free, not priestcraft.
In short, you have got to get away from the Mormon priesthood! That's the demonic glue that holds the Mormon Church together. So long as you are in the Mormon Church as an official member, you are under priesthood dominion whether you agree with it or not. Covenants are not just words that human's say - if they are false covenants (i.e. unbiblical), they give Satan legal grounds to make trouble for you, and that will include confusing your mind and feelings. That is why actually renouncing all Mormon covenants is essential to be free from its bondage - it's not just a question of taking your name of the register. Satan knows this which is why he will try to keep you on the "inside".
I knew a lady who was a Jehovah's Witness who left the organisation but never renounced her JW baptism. She suffered from some sort of bone cancer which left her a cripple. A very discerning Christian asked her to renounce her JW baptism, saying this was the cause of her illness. When she renounced it in the Name of Jesus Christ, trusting in the Saviour's blood, she was instantly healed - praise the Lord!
An ex-Mormon acquaintance of mine told me how she had, upon becoming a Christian, learned about deliverance ministry and how she applied it to her contacts with missionaries. Many a time she bound up the spirit of priestcraft when she had these young visitors and witnesses how the missionaries were unable to open their mouths and speak. At other times they would simply become confused. Yes, there are spirits behind Mormonism, but they are not the "Holy Ghost", but another power.
I have a Mormon friend who left the Mormon Church. After he had taken his name of the records of the LDS Church he literally vomitted for several days. (The same thing sometimes happens with Satanists leaving Satanism). He was plagued by guilt for some days (about breaking his temple covenants, etc.) until he was finally delivered by Christ. There is am occult spirit in Mormonism which is attached to the Priesthood and the Temple. Those who have neither been ordained or passed through temple covenants usually find it easier to leave.
Now the Mormons will, and do, have standard "answers" to all these things, and on the surface they sound convincing and can be persuasive if you don't keep your mind focussed on all the untruths you have discovered. Satan has an answer for everything. The art of apologetics is very refined and I have heard people from nearly all religions and cults argue persusasively for their faith. The important things is not to allow the defendants of different faiths to set your agenda - you must always take congniscence of what you have discovered and answer to your own conscience. Whilst God does not expect us to know everything or to have an answer for all things, he does expect us to be true to to the undisputed facts. This is what kept me going whilst I was still spiritually confused - the undeniable facts of Mormon history, the contradictory teachings, and so on. The Mormon tack will be to get you to forget these and to listen to them and to your feelings. Don't trust either! Trust the raw data! If Joseph Smith gave false prophecy, don't forget it! If the D&C was mutilated, don't forget it! If Mormon Godhead doctrine has changed back and forth over the years, don't forget it! If Joseph Smith's first vision accounts are full of contradictions, don't forget it! Write down all the things about Mormonism which you know are false and contradictory, and constantly remind yourself of them! You may be wrong in some of your conclusions about Mormonism, in which retract and apologise - give the enemy credit for being right when he is - that is the only honourable Christian thing to do. We are not out to demonise all Mormonism but to acknowledge the good in it too.
Of course that implies that we must be honest about our own faith too. And that means making a clear distinction between Christian churches (and their errors) and the teachings of the Bible. Christendom is full of errors, a fact Mormons exploit to the full. But that's just a red herring. The issue is about truth, not the errors of men, no matter what labels they may wear.
You will find Mormons only too willing to attack the Bible they profess to believe when that smokescreen has been dispersed and that's where the real work starts. Their typical argument is: "Well, if the Book of Mormon has errors in it, so does the Bible!" Quite a part from the fact that this line undermines their own scriptures (which doesn't really matter to them because ultimately they want you to trust the contradictory oracles of their priesthood prophets), it doesn't deal with the core issue of authority. To really deal with Mormonism you have to deal with this, as I have attempted to do in one debate on the Priesthood and the New Testament. Mormonism stands or falls on this one principle. And frankly, it's the only principle worth discussing with them.
Because the last line of Mormon defence is to attack the Bible, that is what you must be prepared for. And they are not the only people who attack it either. A typical Mormon attack is to be found in my article, Attack the Bible!. I include this detailed article to prepare you for what will inevitably come - but not just for Bible-believing ex-Mormons but for those who are tempted to reject that along with the Mormon Scriptures. This is where your greatest apologetic work will have to be done. You will face many difficult questions about the Bible so now is a good time to prepare! This will be a life-long exercise for its enemies are always picking at it. However, the nice things about the Bible is that is always proves to be right!
Once you have got out of the Mormon Church and away from its influence, you have accomplished the first stage. Now if you have a spouse who is still a Mormon, children, or close family members, admittedly it is a lot harder. I have a good friend who is in such a position but the Lord has strengthened her and helped her through. Her husband is still a Mormon.
Be aware, though, that very often the wife a man who leaves the Mormon Church may come under strong pressure from the priesthood to divorce him because acccording to the Mormon system a woman cannot inherit the celestial kingdom without a faithful temple-going priesthood holder (the 'priestcraft' side of Mormonism again), and to remarry a faithful Mormon priesthood man. This does not always happen but I know plenty of cases where it has. Attitudes vary from state to stake. So in many ways it can be toughest on the men who may loose job, wife and possessions. I know one man who left the Mormon Church and soon afterwards his wife divorced him and took his four children.
So leaving the Mormon Church may involve you moving home, changing jobs, and moving state or country, especially if you live behind the so-called "Zion Curtain", the Mormon heartland.
Traumatic though the experience of Phase I may be, the real challenge takes place in Phase 2: the wilderness wandering. In many ways this is the most difficult part of all.
When the children of Israel left for the Sinai peninsular and the Wilderness of Sín, they were only really ever safe when they stuck close together. Stragglers were frequently attacked by raising Amalekites. Having got out of the Mormon Church and set one's sites on the Christian life, it is most important to stay close to Christ and His Word. There will inevitably be periods of doubt: "Did I do the right thing? What have I left behind? What if the Mormon Churchy is true and I made a terrible mistake? What about my friends and loved ones? Where is the bliss and happiness that is promised in the Bible?"
Such intrusive thoughts are quite normal and they have to be faced and dealt with. Some people will find them easier to confront than others. No two people will react entirely alike in detail. What is astonishing is how similar the general processes are. Loneliness is one of the most common experiences. Remember that Christ was lonely too. A sense of rejection, or worthlessness, and other negative feelings may intrude. Accept them as simply the soul trying to align itself to a new way of life. Remember how Elijah felt when he was on the run from Jezebel. There may be times when you went your pillow at night. Remember how Christ wept for Jerusalem. But above all remember that Christ never promised that this life would be easy, only that it would be worth it. And remember also that tens of thousands of others have been on this same road as you are on. I am one of them. And though the road may appear long, know that it does have an end.
Keeping clearly focussed on the end goal is a matter of life and death. Many there are who have wandered off onto side roads hoping for shortcuts only to be waylaid by atheism or false religion. The wilderness is inhabited by wild desert tribes, all hostile. This is like the road that John the Baptist had to make through the desert for the Christ and along which we too must pass. Along the way the Lord will place oases - enjoy them but don't mistake them for the end goal. They're only pit stops - places of refreshment for the weary soul along the way.
The spiritual diet along the desert road isn't very appetising either. At times the Lord may feel far away even though you have still have strong memories of earlier deliverances. Remember that there are still mental blocks caused by your Mormon indoctrination and evil spirits constantly harrassing. Each of these has to be delt with in turn along the way.
The most important pit-stop along the way will be a kind of Mt.Sinai for you. Up until now you have been opetating on naked faith and grace. But as you come to know your Rescuer you will discover that He makes certain requirements of you as part of your discipleship. Freedom comes at a price, and whilst the price may for some to be daunting, in truth it is but a light burden given not to slow you down but to speed you along the way. Obeying Yahweh's commandments is an important contidition of continuing fellowship with Him, but you must watch out: commandment-keeping isn't the same as in Mormonism.
Commandment-keeping in Mormonism is a requirement so that you can be saved/exalted. Commandment-keeping in Christianity is a result of being saved and is the evidence that you are trusting Christ. That is why the Israelite journey started with GRACE - nothing was required of the people except to trust in Moses. Similarly your exodus from the Mormon Church was fuelled and powered simply by naked trust in Christ and His Word so that you too can know what it is to be saved by grace.
It is at this point that you may, if you know the teachings of various Christian churches, be assailed by many contradictory teachings. Here you must be very careful. Your deliverance from Mormondom was the "Alpha Christianity" part - now you're on the middle run - Beta, Gamma, etc., until you reach the Omega or end part at the waters of the Holy Land.
Christ summarised all of Yahweh's commandment's into two: (1) Love the Lord Yahweh with everything you've got (that's the Alpha part) and (2) Love your neighbour as yourself (that's the Omega part). But there's a whole lot inbetween too (the rest of the alphabet).
To deal with what's "inbetween" you have to go to the Ten Commandments. As a Mormon you were almost certainly taught these (though as a condition of salvation/exaltation rather than a fruit of it) though probably not entirely accurately. For one you were taught that 'Elohim' is your Heavenly Father. 'It' isn't - YAHWEH is. (NB. "Jehovah" is not a correct name). You were probably taught that Yahweh ("Jehovah") and Christ were one and the same. That error has to be corrected immediately. Yahweh is our Heavenly Father ('Elohim' is only a generic terme which can refer to any deity and even human judges - it's not a proper name). Getting to know the Godhead is therefore very important and I recommend you take a look at our series of articles on the Trinity. This is admittedly one of those "deep" areas of theology about which not all Christians are agreed. But at least come to know the Names of Yahweh (Heavenly Father) and Yah'shua (Jesus).
The second error propagated by the Mormon church, and which actually disproves the inspiration of the Doctrine & Covenents and the priesthood leadership of that Church, is the commandment to observe the Sabbath on Sunday. In this area most of the Christian churches are wrong too so be sure to study this issue carefully. There isn't much point aligning yourself with the other commandments if you haven't got the 10 commandments right first!
Building your discipleship upon the Ten Commandments will give you a rocky foundation on which to go further. Thereafter you can begin searching out the other commandments of the Lord, such as observing the proper holy days or festivals. Be sure to start with the basics first - there is much to learn. As you gradually aligtn yourself with the divine pattern, so you will discover a great inner peace and be blessed by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
You will, in this part of your journey, be challenged in many areas of your life which you took for granted that the Mormon Church got right. You will be greatly surprised just how wrong the Mormons are in many things!
Perhaps the greatest lesson that needs to be learned in the wilderness journey is to rely on the Spirit of God instead of the arm-of-flesh. Mormons are dependent on a pyramidal command structure radiating down from the First Presidency through the Quorum of the Twelve and thence through the Stakes, Wards and Missions. The highly organised Church Education Systems prepares manuals for the Institutes, Seminaries, Relief Society, Priesthood, and other organisations. Everything is controlled. As regular as clockwork the Bible courses (sandwiched inbetweeen studies of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Church History) appear about once every four years focusing on highly selected areas. Never are Bible books studied thoroughly and rarely are they allowed to speak for themselves. Mormon knowledge of Pauline theology is negligible. Indeed, your average Mormon's knowledge of the Bible is almost non-existent except for the usual proof texts used for "establishing" key Mormon doctrines. I once questioned a couple of Mormon missionaries on their knowledge of the Pauline epistles and they admitted with shame that they never had. I challenged them to go away and study them before returning to discuss the Gospel with me. They never returned.
My greatest surprise upon studying the Bible without the study manuals was that it contained a completely different Plan of Salvation to the one taught me by the Mormons. A few years ago a Mormon visited me from the United States and was flabberghasted when a fellow NCCG minister showed him Paul's teachings on grace in the Epistle to the Ephesians. It was as though a heavy weight hat been removed from his shoulders and he was free for the first time. Inspite of still suffering from jet lag was up until 4.30 a.m. just reading the New Testament through new eyes. His excitement knew no bounds.
This same man also experienced the demonic oppression that comes from Mormonism first hand when I gave him a New Testament blessings - one that invoked no priesthood authority but only the Name of Christ. He was literally writing in his chair and voices in his head kept telling him not to listen. He was aware of an oppressive spirit in him.
Understanding that the Melchizedek Priesthood (per pro the Epistle to the Hebrews) is simply the presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life, received through faith and retained through obedience, and not something "given" to you through the laying on of hands is a whole new concept for ex-Mormons. In Mormonism priesthood is "conferred" followed by "ordaining" to and "setting apart". In the New Testament Church, you will search in vain for the "conferral" of any "priesthood" - instead, you will find ministers being ordained to offices like "pastor", "elder" or "deacon". You will search in vain for a New Testament "High Priest" except for Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself, such references to "high priests" as there are always being to those of the Levitical Priesthood. You will search in vain for a New Testament "Aaronic Priesthood" (which we are told in Hebrews was abolished, even as an "appendage") and you will certainly find no institutional prophets. You will not find Peter as a "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" and "Head" of the "Church" - instead, you will find Paul rebuking and correcting the supposed "President of the Church" for heresy and James the brother of Yah'shua (Jesus) presiding over Peter, the apostles, and the whole Church at the Council of Jerusalem. Indeed, the deeper you probe into the functioning of the New Testament Church the more unlike the Mormon Church you will discover it to be. And if you look hard enough, you'll even find female ministers - deaconesses, eldresses and female apostles, not to mention local prophetesses and prophets in most congregations. And you'll discover that the saints met on Saturday and not Sunday for their worship services! You'll find a United Order of ALl Things in Common as in early Mormonism but long since abandoned by modern Mormonism. And believe me, you'll find much else besides!
Then as you get into history you'll discover that the Garden of Eden was in Mesopotamia and not Missouri as Joseph Smith taught, that the New Jerusalem is not an American metropolis in Independence, Missouri, but a heavenly city, ready built, which will descend upon the location where the present Jerusalem is. You will discover that there isn't a shred of direct archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. You will find that Mormon name for God, "Ahman" (as in Adam-ondi-Ahaman ... in fact, Adam-On-Diamon, On being an Egyptian deity and Diamon being an occult variation of the word for 'demon'), is in fact the name of an Egyptian pagan demon well-known amongst occultists - I have had occasion to cast this demon out of ex-Mormons. You will discover that far from making his angel visits up, that Joseph Smith was actually visited by a fallen angel who first called himself 'Nephi' and later 'Moroni', who, far from being angels of God are actually NEPHILIM, the offspring of the fallen angels of Genesis 6, whose vanity and hatred of the true God, Yahweh-Elohim, caused them to inspire Mormon leaders to place golden images of them on top of every Mormon temple building.