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    Logo
    Understanding the True
    Origins of Mormonism

    The Incredible Story of a Race of Celestial Beings
    that once Came to the Earth...

    by Clare Gregory


    Preface

    This book is unique compared with others that deal with Mormonism. It is not a scholarly deposition of historical facts and controversies. Instead it is a highly personal story of my life and viewpoints regarding the LDS faith and how my perspective gradually changed. I was born in the Church. At age seventeen, I came across my first Anti-Mormon literature and accepted all of the LDS viewpoints against it, defending the LDS Church with the sincerity of a child. Those issues I did question I accepted on faith with complete confidence Mormonism was the only true religion on earth. My parents had trained me well. My mother was Stake Relief Society president and my father on the Stake High Council. I served a mission with great pride and tried as hard as I could to push any doubts that I had from my mind, so I could love the Lord and serve in the LDS Church with all my heart and soul. I invested my final twenty-three years into faithful Church service mixed with an intense study of LDS scriptures and doctrine. I served as counselor to five Elderís Quorum Presidencies and for three years as Executive Secretary in a Bishopric. It is amazing how a religion can capture the loyalty and devotion of oneís heart to such a magnificent degree and for such a long time, only to discover at the age of forty that what was once believed to be true, can not be.

    Many have felt as I have felt, doubting what they were feeling about their testimony, but then obediently perform another service project, go to the temple, or do their home teaching with a smile, and their testimonies magically return! The Church really is true!

    I know thatís what I did and felt for many, many years.

    Until reason and logic demanded from me answers that stared me in the face. I could not deny any longer that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can not be true, for its theological foundation is not logical.

    To some I admit that is a very bold statement. Faithful members of the Church who are devoted to their callings and their God would find that such a statement contradicts their own logic and good sense. To them, Mormonism is the most logical religion on earth and to believe otherwise is irrational and twisted logic: religious babble and nonsense!

    Latter-Day Saints

    Primarily, this book invites the LDS community to look at the illogical theology that the Church is built upon in order to invoke questions and stimulate the mind to search for the truth. I invite any member to poke holes in the logic presented. I welcome both positive and negative feedback, for I believe honest expression of our differing viewpoints can only bring us both closer to understanding the truth and exposing error. I care not to belittle anyone nor find fault in human weakness. Iím interested only in the truth and nothing but the truth. I certainly am not God, and I appreciate anyoneís feedback in finding faulty assumptions or incorrect facts that I may be basing my conclusions on. Finally, we would expect to debate facts and assumptions, but the conclusions Iíve reached are based on sound reasoning and can not be easily ignored.

    Investigators of the LDS Church

    This book is written also for those investigating the Church, wondering if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and whether the LDS Church really is what it claims to be. I ask the truth seeker: do you want to join a religion that teaches strong Christian and family values but also has an irrational theological foundation? If you get no further than this paragraph, my recommendation is that the you read the Book of Mormon and the Bible together, but donít pray and ask God whether either one is true. That infers God is a liar. God tells the truth, and we donít need to ask Him to confirm by His Holy Spirit if He is truthful. He will send his Spirit by His grace as we believe in Him and ask for it. ďThe wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.Ē (John 3:8) If we wish to ask God if it His will to join the LDS Church, then this would be appropriate to ask. God may desire a person to be in the LDS Church even if its claims are only partially true. To another, Godís will may be to stay away. Only God knows the answer depending on the individual needs of that person. Mormonism fits the needs of many people. My wife is such a person, and I respect that at this time in her life she needs the Church. But for others, the LDS Church could be severely damaging, and to such, God will keep them away. Therefore, pray to discern the Lordís will in the matter, not about the truthfulness of the Book or Mormon or whether Joseph Smith was a prophet. This book later explains in detail how a person can get an affirmative answer to such questions about Mormonism, and yet, still it may be against the will of the Lord to be baptized a Mormon.

    Jesus taught:

      ďAfter this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who are in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive others. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.Ē (Matt 6:9-13.)

    In this inspired pattern given by Jesus, nowhere does He instruct his followers to ask God to ask whether something is true or false. What is taught, however, is that we ask God to not lead us into temptation, but to deliver us from evil. We ask the Lordís will be done. Mormonism is an example of why Jesus taught this pattern of prayer. Satan tells half-truths. If we are praying to know something is true, and we get an answer that it is, we may be led into error and darkness because that truth may be buried into a great big lie. So the only way to expose a half-truth is to see the error, NOT in seeing the truth. For this reason, we are instructed to pray as Jesus has commanded us. In short, if it is the will of God to join the LDS Church, then by all means do that. But donít base it on whether or not something you learn is the truth. The principles of will and truth are mutually exclusive.

    Godís command is to believe in Him, not test or prove Heís right. We are commanded to do his will. So allow reason, common sense, and the Holy Spirit itself guide you in your process of finding God. If you desire to ask God for wisdom, please do so. But expect God to answer your prayer through personal experience, people, information, and circumstances that come your way, and by the still small voice of the Spirit. But that wisdom is independent to the will of God which will guide you in WHERE and HOW you use what he gives you. If you force the issue with Mormonism, and you expect a ďgood feelingĒ as an answer to the truth, you simply invite false revelation and mixed-up feelings to guide you. Use your head when examining Mormonism for what it truly is, both what is currently being taught as well as its historical foundation through Joseph Smith. If you like the history, doctrine, philosophy, and people, and you want to believe it, you donít need to have a ďtestimonyĒ through prayer to join the LDS Church. If you believe it, and you feel it is Godís will for you to join, then get baptized. If not, just leave it alone. And if Godís will for your life is to stay away from the LDS Church, donít assume that the missionary sitting across from you is not following Godís will for him or her. Leave that kind of judgement to God. Every human being is different, and only God can reveal what path we should each choose to ultimately find Him.

    Christians

    For Christians who fight feverishly against Mormonism or who are just curious, this book has a different twist you may or may not like. It claims the LDS Religion not a complete hoax but is half-true, and therefore, many of the assumptions that have been made against Joseph Smithís character by Anti-Mormons are challenged. This book does not attack nor discredit the character of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, nor any of the leaders in Mormonism. Rather, it proceeds on the assumption that Joseph Smith was an honest human being that was deceived by false angels and false light in which he truly believed and sacrificed for, and he was finally killed for the cause he believed in. It also asserts that Joseph Smith had a mission from the Lord to build upon the reformation, and that in 1820 Jesus alone did appear to him, but that he turned from his calling by dabbling into occult powers and treasure hunting that later set him up for false manifestations. He assumed the bogus angels were genuine based on his initial experience with Jesus Christ, who forgave Joseph Smith of his sins according to his initial 1832 first-vision story, which principle of forgiveness and purpose for going to the sacred grove would not be contended by any Christian. Eighteen years later in his ministry, however, Joseph justified distorting the first vision story to more effectively promote the LDS priesthood that he sincerely believed was from God. The result is the official 1838 first vision story, which is a combination of truth mixed with much error

    I acknowledge up front my assumptions about the first vision can neither be proven nor disproved. The truth of what really happened is only in Joseph Smithís head. Thatís what is so difficult with the LDS religion. The reasons and motivations behind his behavior are locked away from sight. However, after spending twenty-three years examining LDS theology and history, the explanations I present in this book I believe best fit all of the external evidence that exists on both sides of the LDS debate. I believe this book moves us very close to the truth of what really happened. The objective evidence points to a sincere and semi-honest man full of imperfections, who unfortunately fell in love with false but tantalizing powers he did not completely understand himself. If someone else writes a more rational theory that explains the historical and theological contradictions on both sides of the LDS debate, Iíd like to see it. Iím not interested in taking sides or finding fault. Iím interested in the truth. The closer we get to the truth, the happier I am.

    This book asserts that much harm has been done to the LDS members who read current Anti-Mormon literature, leaving no bridge for them to cross to the Biblical Jesus after being completely devastated by the lies and hypocrisy that are exposed by well-meaning Christians and nonbelievers. Some Latter-day Saints have their belief in Jesus Christ completely stripped from them, being left to wander for years searching for a religious belief system that can replace what they once believed to be true. For a sincere Latter-day Saint who believes with his whole heart and soul in the doctrine of Joseph Smith, there are few places, if any, that even remotely fit the unique theological mindset that Mormonism produces. Some exmormons turn to humanism to survive; others turn atheism. They are happier being honest with themselves than believing a lie. But they may be left with residual of anger and frustration for the waste of time, effort, and money they put into a false religion. The feelings may haunt them for decades. They may fail to find the true peace and healing power of Jesus Christ. They unknowingly condemn themselves by their disbelief in Him. So I ask Christians to carefully consider the theological bridges provided in this book to help Latter-day Saints in transitioning to the Biblical Jesus.

    Former Latter-day Saints who Donít Believe in Jesus Christ

    For those who have been Latter-day Saints and have been emotionally crushed by the eye-opening facts that do exist against the Church, you may have lost your faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit may have touched you to some degree in the LDS faith, but concluding all was false and blaming Joseph Smith, viewing him as a complete swindler and liar, you may have thrown out the spiritual baby with the dirty bath water. This book will hopefully restore some tiny belief in God and Jesus. It will provide a different viewpoint of the origin of Mormonism that you may have never considered. If you can accept the presumptions of this book, it will enabled you to still accept the facts that you have found that proves the LDS Church is false, but also give you some restoration of belief in Jesus Christ, leading you to His healing powers.

    Inactive Latter-Day Saints

    If you still believe the LDS Church is true but feel guilty and donít attend on Sunday because of the word of wisdom, tithing, a negative mission experience, sexual orientation problems (this book explains clearly why some Latter-day Saints naturally have emotional problems with sex), child abuse in the name of priesthood, insecurities and fears for being different, overwhelming feelings that your abilities can never meet the Churchís crazy expectations, or some other thing or behavior that makes you feel unworthy of receiving Godís love and power; then I have good news. This book will help you to mentally drop all the false and extreme ďexpectationsĒ of Mormonism that are locked into your inner mind. You need not feel guilty anymore. You can be free to live a better and happier life.

    Atheists and Agnostics

    Stories of visitations of angels and supernatural manifestations are becoming common place in this generation, and many people are rightly skeptical of all such claims. Unbelievable stories abound and dangerous religious fanatics prey on believing minds. We need only point to David Koresh or Jim Jones to place a warning sign in front of all human beings: ďDonít believe everything you hear. People lie.Ē

    However, for the atheist and agnostic who have a healthy skepticism about God, this book will cause one to consider the evidence of the occult powers that Joseph Smith dabbled into. The written testimony of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon is probably the strongest evidence on earth that something supernatural truly does exists beyond the realm of human reasoning and the physical senses. The unusual, supernatural manifestation of an angelic visitation was not just a one-person experience, but three. It is well documented. Each Book of Mormon contains a written testimony. The story was never denied by any of the witnesses even to their deaths. Indeed, David Whitmer took a special interest toward the end of his life to write a pamphlet confirming his life-long witness, so that no one would misunderstand his claims of seeing the plates and the angel. Martin Harris did the same. If it were a deliberate fraud and hoax, NO ONE in their right mind would publish a bogus story AGAIN before they died. If lying, they would simply have disappeared into oblivion after their excommunication from the Church and avoided the subject entirely. But this did not happen. The witnesses went out of their way to make it clear they were not lying. The evidence is not refutable. It can not be ignored.

    The weak Anti-Mormon arguments against the testimonies of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon are inconclusive. They conjure up dubious hearsay and second-hand stories here and there but then blatantly ignore the written evidence in front of each Book of Mormon! If the hearsay were true, then the witnesses would have attempted to change the testimony inside each Book of Mormon. They did not. The testimony states:

      1) Three human beings saw an angel of supernatural glory and heard a voice from heaven.
      2) Eight human beings felt with their hands in broad daylight tangible plates that appeared to be gold. It was not a ďvisionary experienceĒ. It was real.

    Two of the three witnesses of the angel were re-baptized after being excommunicated, and the third didnít rejoin because an audible voice from heaven told him to separate himself from the Saints, and he obeyed the command. There is not one shred of valid evidence to suggest that these men lied about their experience. All three witnesses took the same story to the grave! With his last breath of air, Martin Harris was still maintaining the story was true. Therefore, based on the irrefutable evidence before us, the final question is not whether the events happened or not. They did. But rather, what caused the supernatural manifestations? Was it God? Or something else? This book hopefully makes that question easier to answer.


    This page was first created on 23 January 1999
    Last Updated on 16 April 1999
    Created and Maintained by The New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh
    Not all the views expressed in this book are necessarily those of NCAY