Book of Mormonisms

Did they really say THAT?

England Coventry Mission

I served my mission in Coventry England (1982-1984) it was combined with the Birmingham mission while I was in the field.  I loved my first mission president Quinn McKay he was a man that to this day I hold much respect for as a person, he was replaced by President Smith, I can not say the same for him I never really gained much respect for him as an individual. 

Since my mission while still LDS I attended a few reunions.  I have kept in touch with a few companions none of which are still active or involved in anyway with the Church.  Another I ran into while at the SLC airport and he was no longer LDS.  I know those missionaries that are still active in the church have mission reunions to reunite with those they served with.  I hope to find even more of my fellow missionaries that have left the LDS church.  I was visiting one of my companions this last year and we were looking at a picture and I know first hand that 3 out of the 4 in the picture were no longer active in the Church.  If you served in the Coventry/Birmingham mission and would like a place to come and share your story I would love to hear it.  In fact I would love to hear stories of any missionaries that have since left the church and would like some support and to know that that they are not alone in their choice.   I believe our numbers are larger than you may think. 

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62 Responses to “England Coventry Mission”

  1. I haven’t served a mission .I’ve never been a member .I have spent two years faithfully learning and participating in Mormonism as an Investigator .Even though my missionaries are too young to fully understand what they are doing , I do love them very much and its always a fine line for me between saying ‘No’ to baptism and pressure from them and ‘contending’ . Although I don’t contend I hope …that is there Interpretation for when I tell them something that is factually true about their own church.

    I get fed up with being blamed and told their is something wrong with me if I don’t get my Moroni promise. Their is nothing wrong with me , quite the opposite , their is everything right about my approach to mormonism.

    I’ve seen missionaries get more arrogant/confident as they have gone on. The constant barrage from Mission President of ‘work hard’ , ‘ be obedient’ and you will be blessed with Investigators and Baptisms doesn’t really work .

    There was a ward effort of a 40 day fast for converts .the missionaries asked me to pray also that they will achieve 6 baptisms for Dec 5th . I actually prayed that they would fail to achieve this , having seen the pressure and hype they put on people . They only got one baptism in the end .

    Does that mean God answered my prayer and not their’s and the whole ward’s ? It certainly would have been interpreted that way to them if they had have got six or more baptisms , but as they didn’t they will casually forget about it and probably blame themselves for lacking faith or being ‘unworthy’.

    I was tracting with them the day they met the one who got baptised.

    She is a lonely older lady of late fifties , black skinned .In fact they mentioned baptism to her the first time they ever met her .She got baptised 4 weeks later having never read the Book Of Mormon or know anthing about the church and its beliefs except to hear ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘The Gospel ‘from them …..

    What a con ….. I feel sorry for her . She has joined a church which believes she is a less valiant spirit and not worthy to enter their temple until 1978 .A church which believes she may be lucky enough if found worthy to be one of many wives to a God in Embryo Polygamist Priesthood holder ( or a servant if you believe LDS Apostle Mark E. Peterson ).A church which believes in not telling her their real beliefs until she is too deeply involved and commited and even then she’ll never really know fully unless she reads between the lines.

    It’s called ‘conditioning’.

    I can’t understand why the ward members can’t see what they are doing or why they are behaving a certain way ? They must really think ‘all is well’ in Zion !

  2. Pamela said

    I was quite upset after reading your comments about the church, you obviously have not understood anything you have been taught by the missionaires, unfortunately you cant see it but your heart is well and truly hardened to the spirit of truth.
    you are totally pompous in your views, you do not know better than anyone else and i resent your comments. why do you simply waste our time, if you have not seen the good that the church has done and how it changes lives for the better.
    Do not feel sorry for the lady who was baptised `so quickly`, she obiously felt something you did not!and we certainly do not feel she has a less valiant spirit just because of her skin colour! as for polygamy .. what are you talking about. If you know so much about it why is your information wrong?!!
    Those missionaires, are giving two years of their lives to teach what they believe is true, some of them go to other countries, they do not see their families and friends fo the whole of that time and before you say its a holiday, some of them go to the poorest countries in the world, refered to as welfare missions. How dare you talk of them as though they dont know what they are doing. Those boys and girls deserve respect for what they do and they know their lives will be the better for the experience!
    Dont waste their time, they really do have better things to do than spend it with someone who is constanlty being negative , trying to put them down and twist their beliefs!

    • Graham Lindsay said

      I am not of the LDS faith but my heart goes out to the young Elders, who dedicate so much time and energy into going to a foreign country and helping to maintain their religion. I met a couple of US Elders and they seemed so keen to share their religion with me. As much as I don’t accept the Book of Mormon, The Book of Abraham and the Book of Mozes as being a true reflection of the Abrahamic God’s Word, the LDS are a dignified and a cohesive force for good in the community and should be treated with the same respect that other alternative religions are given. Civility and friendship should be shown to the LDS so that they can practice their beliefs in peace without hostility. As a Christian, I have a different faith to the LDS but they are welcome to break bread with me and share their faith with me as I will share my faith with them.

      • coventryrm said

        Graham, my heart goes out to them as well, having spent 18 months of my life as an LDS missionary being taught how to use sell tactics to push my belief on others and to seek out vulnerable people for that purpose I know exactly what these young Elders go through. My site is mainly a mixture of my experiences as an exmormon along with the satire, both authors on here myself and skiutah served in the same mission in England.

        Respect is something that is earned and in my opinion the LDS church (not the people in it as they are victims) does not deserve one ounce of respect or reverence, oh and neither to many others like the “God Hates Fags” folks but since I was never a member of those particular flavors I stick with the things I am familiar with (Mormonism)

        Thanks for Posting

  3. queenbeenw said

    As I read your first post I couldn’t help but wonder why the beliefs or non-beliefs of someone other than yourself, other than a loved one or family member would upset you. I’m also baffled how you could tell someone they had a hard heart without even knowing them. It sounds as if the LDS church has changed your life, and other people’s lives you know, for the better. That is your experience. Other people have different experiences. Additionally, it is difficult to have an intelligent discussion with someone who attacks another’s character rather than addressing their own point of view. Never once in your post do you use any facts or evidence to back-up anything you say. You don’t even refer to quotations from coventryrm that you find arrogant. You also say that coventryrm doesn’t know what he is talking about when it comes to polygamy but you are not at all specific. What is your evidence? Can you refer to Mormon history and scripture to construct an intelligent argument? But mostly, if you believe, and this religion works for you, what does it matter that someone in the blogosphere does not believe as you do?

  4. skiutah said

    >We certainly do not feel she has a less >valiant spirit just because of her skin >colour!

    Historically, the church leaders have preached racism. What’s interesting is not only did they preach it, but the church leaders documented these sermons, and published them. Here are some examples:

    Brigham Young, JD 10:104, Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.

    Journal of Discourses, 26 vol, p.291
    You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin.

    More recent:

    Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, p.164 – 165, God is a just Father, that some of his children are born of an enlightened race and in a time when the Gospel is upon the earth, while others are born of a heathen parentage in a benighted, backward country; and still others are born to parents who have the mark of a black skin with which the seed of Cain were cursed and whose descendants were to be denied the rights of the priesthood of God.

  5. queenbeenw said

    There is also the talk by BKKKPacker in 1977 where he talks about obeying the rule of not marrying outside of your race.

  6. skiutah said

    Yep, there are dozens and dozens of articles like that from the inspired church leaders. One can conclude that either God is a racist or these guys are not inspired by God…

  7. skiutah said

    I didn’t find a talk from Mr. Packer, but I did find this one by Bruce R. McConkie where he says that God approves of segregation and restrictions on Africans:

    Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed., p.114
    However, in a broad general sense, caste systems have their root and origin in the gospel itself, and when they operate according to the divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the Lord. To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry.

  8. coventryrm said

    R. Lanier Britsch and Terrance D. Olson, eds., Counseling: A Guide to Helping Others, 2 vols., 2:, p.130

    “at Brigham Young University-Hawaii Campus in January 1977, Elder Boyd K. Packer emphasized the importance of not being an exception, when following the rule is clearly the better course. He said, “We’ve always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, and our Japanese members to merry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians. That counsel has been wise.” Elder Packer acknowledged that some intermarriages do work well, but he suggested that young people recognize that these marriages are exceptions and that no one should try to be the exception.”

    Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball, p.303
    We are unanimous, all of the Brethren, in feeling and recommending that Indians marry Indians, and Mexicans marry Mexicans; the Chinese marry Chinese and the Japanese marry Japanese; that the Caucasians marry the Caucasians, and the Arabs marry Arabs. (0/0/59)

  9. MY REPLY TO PAMELA IN CAPITALS

    Pamela Says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 4:11 pm
    I was quite upset after reading your comments about the church, you obviously have not understood anything you have been taught by the missionaires, unfortunately you cant see it but your heart is well and truly hardened to the spirit of truth.

    OF COURSE YOU WOULD GET UPSET .MY COMMENTS HAPPEN TO BE TRUE THATS WHY.MANY MORMONS SEEM TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH REALITY AS PERTAINING TO THEM.I UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING THE MISSIONARIES TAUGHT , BUT THE PROPBLEM IS THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKNING ABOUT THEMSELVES.THEY ARE JUST ‘AMATEUR’ AND ‘NAIVE’ AND ‘VULNERABLE’ KIDS , WHO ARE EASILY MANIPULATED BY THE WHOLE MISSION EXPERIENCE.

    you are totally pompous in your views, you do not know better than anyone else and i resent your comments. why do you simply waste our time, if you have not seen the good that the church has done and how it changes lives for the better.

    THE CHURCH HAS ITS FAIR SHARE OF DESTROYING ALOT OF LIVES WITH ITS LIES,DECEPTION AND ARROGANCE.THE CHURCH DOES NO MORE GOOD THAN ISLAMIC AID , OR CHRISTIAN AID OR THE SALVATION ARMY OR ATHIESTS .IT ACTUALLY DOES HARM FOR SOME PEOPLE .

    Do not feel sorry for the lady who was baptised `so quickly`, she obiously felt something you did not!and we certainly do not feel she has a less valiant spirit just because of her skin colour! as for polygamy .. what are you talking about. If you know so much about it why is your information wrong?!!

    THE LADY WAS JUST VULNERABLE .SHE THINKS THE MISSIONARIES CARED ABOUT HER BUT THEY DIDN’T , THEY CARED FOR A STATISTIC FOR MISSION PRESIDENT.MY INFORMATION ON BLACKS COMES FROM THE MISSIONARIES AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE CHURCH.MY POLYGAMY INFORMATION COMES FROM THE JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES.

    Those missionaires, are giving two years of their lives to teach what they believe is true, some of them go to other countries, they do not see their families and friends fo the whole of that time and before you say its a holiday, some of them go to the poorest countries in the world, refered to as welfare missions. How dare you talk of them as though they dont know what they are doing.

    THEY ARE PRESSURED INTO IT FROM BEING A YOUTH AND MANY MESS ABOUT ON THEIR MISSIONS .I’VE SEEN IT MYSELF .THEY HAVE TO BE CONSTANTLY MONITORED AND TARGETS SET TO KEEP THEM IN CHECK. YES THEY ARE GREAT KIDS AS I HAVE FUN WITH THEM AND HELP THEM TRACT WHEN THEY GET BEHIND.I CERTAINLY DON’T CONSIDER THEM AS HAVING ANY AUTHORITY WHATSOEVER THOUGH.ITS A JOKE.

    Those boys and girls deserve respect for what they do and they know their lives will be the better for the experience!
    Dont waste their time, they really do have better things to do than spend it with someone who is constanlty being negative , trying to put them down and twist their beliefs!

    THEY ENJOY COMING TO SEE ME .I’M THE FIRST PERSON THEY HAVE MET WHO KNOWS THEIR HISTORY BETTER THEN THEM AND MORE TRUTHFULL ALSO.I LOOK AFTER THEM WELL .IF I DIDN’T THEY WOULDN’T COME TO SEE ME .I’M THE BEST TWO HOURS A WEEK THEY HAVE 🙂

    E J

  10. Amy S. Johnson said

    I would like my comments to go to the first person who started these posts: the one who served in the England Coventry Mission from 1982-1984. I am a convert who after being in the church for only about 2 years, was called to serve in the same mission, but from 1981 to 1982. I, too, had President Quinn McKay as my mission President and very much loved and respected him. I want you to know that we are holding a 25 year anniversary mission reunion here in Utah. We do have a website up and going but at this moment I am not sure of the exact address. I will look it up and get back to you, but you can also try to look for it too. We would love to have you come. It will be held over a 2 day period and we will have plenty to do in those 2 days. President McKay would love to see you and so would many others who you served with. I have gone on in my life to have 9 children, 5 girls and 4 boys, now ages 24 down to 9, plus one grandchild, and my husband (who served in the same mission) and I have now been married for 25 years. I am so grateful to have found the church. It has blessed my life and the lives of my children so much. The people in the church are not perfect, nor should they have to be, but I believe the church to be true. I hope to see you this July at the reunion!

  11. Amy S. Johnson said

    I’m back with more information on the reunion. Go to EnglandCoventryMission.com I hope you enjoy the website and that we’ll see you this summer!!

  12. SkiUtah said

    I also served a mission in Coventry, England during the 1981-1982 timeframe. The mission president during that time, Quinn McKay, is one of the finest humans on this planet.

    I left the church in 1985, mainly because I didn’t think it was true…

  13. coventryrm said

    My reason for leaving the Church has nothing to do with any problems I have with any of the Members or in thinking they are not perfect, I was making an honest observation above in regards to Pres McKay compared to Pres Smith. I, like skiUtah, just came to the conclusion that the Church was not true and my life has been that much better and fulfilling since accepting this truth.

  14. SkiUtah said

    I was attending BYU when I concluded that the church wasn’t true. I’ve been a non-member for almost 25 years now.

    I don’t feel like I could attend a missionary reunion, at least not the one in Salt Lake. Maybe we could have a pariah-Coventry reunion? 🙂

  15. islaskye said

    Our paths may have crossed at some point, because I was an active member at the time you served your mission. I think we may have come under the England Birmingham Mission, although the name kept changing. Did you ever serve in Boston or Nottingham?

    I also liked President McKay very much.

  16. coventryrm said

    Yes that was the coventry mission, I ended my mission in Boston if you lived there and went to Church we know each other I think it was a pretty small crowd, not as small as spalding though.

  17. debra rimmer said

    hi

    stumbled across your blog whilst browsing. i too served under pres mckay great man pres smith was a fine man too but i felt i related better to pres mckay. i served in birkenhead northampton crewe and nuneaton. i am british i wonder if we knew each other then?

    debra

  18. coventryrm said

    Yes we did, I can see you are using your real name we served together in Northampton I think SkiUtah and I were comps at the time.

  19. A said

    I stumbled across this blog, just like the other commentator above, and I’m glad I did.

    Elder Johnson’s sentiments reflect some of my personal experiences. I don’t resent the church members, in fact I think they (including the missionaries) are wonderful people. But there is a huge disconnect between their perspectives and my own and a huge determination on their part not to take my perspective seriously. I often imagine they see me as a lump of clay that they will mold into the shape that they want.

    As an investigator, I’m learning more about the church that makes me realize how different its teachings are from what I believe. However, even as I progress in this direction and even though I have expressed a desire to investigate for several months before broaching the subject of baptism, I continue to receive regular lectures on the need to get baptised.

    I started out being amused at the way different people were approaching me to ‘convince’ me to get baptized. Now I’m just plain irritated. These folks sure know what techniques to use to wear a person down. I’m sure many people have agreed to get baptised even when they had doubts about the church just because they wanted the pressure to end.

    Organized religion is annoying. I’m thinking about tossing the whole Christian thing into the bin and being a free agent.

    Amen.

  20. A said

    Oops! Meant to say Elder Joseph.

  21. Donna (zwiller) Buckley said

    This is to the first person. I am curious as to who you are. I was also in the Coventry mission at that time. My last companion was Debra Rimmer. I am in agreement about your statements about the Presidents. I am still in the church but I think that because I live in the mission field iwhere, I am usualy the only Mormon, has given me a different experience. Anyway, I would be nice to hear who you are and if I know you.
    Donna Buckley (sis Zwiller)

  22. Muldoon said

    I also served in the Birmingham Mission. My mission was a life-changing event for me and gave me a strong foundation that has blessed my life. I love the gospel now more than ever. I’ve had a variety of experiences in various parts of the world since my mission and have seen how the gospel can bring peace and joy regardless of other circumstances, including people. People come and go from the Church, but the gospel truths, and it’s power to bless lives remains the same.

  23. coventryrm said

    Sis Zwiller, as you can see Sis Rimmer your last comp also found this site. I remember your name but am having a hard time with a mental picture. Ski_Utah was my comp in Northampton and Sis Rimmer was in our district as well at that time.

  24. coventryrm said

    Muldoon

    It is assumed that those that comment on here defending the LDS faith have a personal testimony and that you hope that by sharing it the spirit will bear witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel. What is a testimony and what does it really mean; it only means that you have interpreted certain personal events in your life to give yourself validity to your belief or faith. It still in no way makes any of it an absolute “truth” but only a truth to “You” there are people that do not believe that a man ever walked on the moon or that holocaust actually happened. They believe this to their core but yet we have the empirical evidence that tells us what they believe in fact is NOT true. That is how I view the LDS church and the so called “Gospel” simply NOT TRUE!

    “People come and go from the Church, but the gospel truths, and its power to bless lives remains the same.”

    I think a more accurate statement would be “myths, legends and folklore will always be a part of human culture some will change and adjust others will be discarded or slowly fade as our knowledge increases, However there will always be those that refuse to accept any evidence or fact that would run counter to their beliefs or traditions” I will end with a quote from the Book of Mormon,

    Alma 30:14

    “Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.”

    What years were you in the Birm mission was it at the time when they combined Coventry and Birmingham?

  25. A

    Are you still about ?

    Just noticed your comment about pressure to get baptised ….

    This is what they want .

    1 It gives them licence then to home visit you as you will have made covenants to God on your baptism …

    2 The missionaries get to look worthy for mission president .there is massive pressure and coercion on them for baptisms.

    3 baptism is a level of commitment in a way .They have more chance of keeping hold of you if you do baptise.

    4 The Bishop will have Authority over you as a baptised member.

    5 It adds to the church’s bogus membership figures annually.

    The members are great BUT I often ask myself why are they seemingly so great and good to me ? I think some of it is manipulation of the cult and they act the part as well …. they just can’t see they are all being manipulated themselves…..

    They all say how happy and joyous is the Gospel but deep inside many are miserable.In other words they are not allowed to say how they really feel and so are subconciously lying.

    Criticism of the church and real honesty and enquiry is frowned upon..

  26. coventryrm said

    EJ

    Have you seen this website

    http://www.bonneville.com/?sid=582&nid=32

    “Our unique strength is the ability to touch the hearts and minds of our audiences, evoking first feeling, then thought and, finally, action. We call this uniquely powerful brand of creative “HeartSell”® – strategic emotional advertising that stimulates response. ”

    The feelings of the Spirit have copyrights called “HeartSell”®

  27. SkiUtah said

    9 million inactive Mormons can’t be wrong…

  28. Coventry RM

    Yes 🙂 I noticed that early in my investigation I was being invited to firesides by Mish Pres which featured the church’s humanitarian aid stuff on a couple of occasions ..

    I was very suspicious that they were trying to emotionally manipulate me . I looked round and it seemed to work for one black skin Kid who had just joined .. he clenched his fist in the air and rejoiced the church is true man !

    I thought wait until he finds out what the church really thought on blacks !

    Though I admire any humanitarian Aid and this is the only fund ( and fast offerings too ) that I was prepared to pay into .Tithe always bugged me since I asked for the accounts early on to make sure what I would be funding …. …….A shopping mall it seems !?!?

    …and as you know … no Accounts available for anyone.

  29. coventryrm said

    Donna

    I am curious what you meant when you said
    ” I am still in the church but I think that because I live in the mission field iwhere, I am usualy the only Mormon, has given me a different experience.”

    Would you be willing to clarify a little?

  30. Amy S. Johnson said

    I’m back! I was wondering if skiutah and coventryrm would be willing to tell me who they are. Did you two know either myself or Elder Johnson from UT? We are still planning the ECM reunion and would still love to have you come. The reunion is NOT only for active members of the church. It is very casual and it is all about being back together, regardless of your feelings towards the church right now. Donna, would you be willing to go to our website englandcoventrymission.com and give us your latest info? We are in the process of calling everyone who served under President McKay. Also, Debra Rimmer: I think you were just coming in as I was going out. Do you remember a Sister Schulz? A word to all of you who have such strong feelings against the church: there is no reason for the animousity. I am the only member in my family after 29 years of being a member. Most of my very best friends in the world are still my non-LDS friends, and now that I have grown children, I am experiencing their desires (1 or 2 of them so far) to not believe in the way that they have been taught. But, if you are truly comfortable with your decision to leave the church, then there is no need for this website at all. You can still love your LDS family and friends, keep your good feelings about your mission if you had good feelings and most of all, be willing to accept ALL people in your life, LDS or not. Life is too short and there are too many VERY serious problems in the world to be spending any time at all harboring bad feelings for an organization that you no longer care for. I hope to hear from you soon.

  31. coventryrm said

    Amy

    Coventryrm = Elder Stark, I was coming into the mission field at about the same time as Sis Rimmer maybe a month earlier I knew of you but don’t think I ever met you. SkiUtah is more familiar with you and your Husband.

    In regards to the invite I actually find it very intriguing that you would extend such an invite when it is so obviously clear that it would be unwanted or unappreciated. I do not consider myself inactive or an apostate I don’t need saving, I simply consider myself no longer Mormon.

    My decision to no longer be Mormon was a long and well thought out process that started with a sincere desire to strengthen my testimony and to become more knowledgeable about my religion and its history and teachings. So my “feelings towards the church right now” are well grounded and based on information available through Church History as written and published by the church itself and I can say I am much more sure of what I believe to be true now than I ever did in all my years as a faithful Mormon.

    As far as the remainder of your comment regarding animosity and there not being a need for it and your perspective as it concerns love and acceptance is truly jaw dropping. The irony of someone telling another that their feelings and thoughts are insignificant and then lecturing them on acceptance of others, truly amazing and downright arrogant.

    Your comments regarding the non LDS around you accepting and loving you is a reflection on how the Non LDS accept and view you. My guess is they just smile and leave you to your delusion, ignore the silly comments you make regarding religion and worldviews, similar to how I have just learned to keep my mouth shut when my LDS siblings sit around and talk about those weird scientologists. It does not surprise me in any way that as the minority LDS you feel accepted. As the Minority Non LDS I can tell you from my experience and you just need to take some time and read the comments at

    http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agora/index.php?site=exmobb&bn=exmobb_recovery

    and you will find the opposite tends to be the norm rather than exception as to how the LDS treat and react to those that have left the LDS faith as most have experienced rejection judgment and loss of family as result of following a different path.

    One last statement regarding “Animosity”

    “so what exactly is the appropriate response to discovering that people you trusted have lied and purposefully withheld relevant information, to being rejected by spouses, children and friends because you no longer believe, to the realization that you have devoted time, talent and money to a fraud……? If animosity is not the appropriate reaction, what is?

    Mormons should wonder why those who express the greatest animosity towards mormonism are those who have come to know it best: former members and non-members who live in Utah.”

  32. Amy S. Johnson said

    Elder Stark – I sincerely apologize for saying anything that hurt your feelings. I know that this is something that you will never be able to understand or relate to: I am a convert and there will always be a part of me who remembers what is was like to be raised with no religion whatsoever and who remembers what it was like to have an entire town try to convert me for 2 years. I want to be a better person for having joined the church, not worse. The better thing that I can do in my life is to choose people in my life because of their character, not their religion. Being a mother of 9, I am learning a lot about agency too. As for our reunion, we have no interest in saving anyone. We are getting together to have a good time and we have no desire to leave anyone out. That is why I invited you. I hope you will forgive me for hurting your feelings. I didn’t mean to. Thanks for listening to my feelings also.

  33. coventryrm said

    Amy

    No need to apologize, my feelings were not hurt in anyway by your comments.

    I always invite open and respectful discussion and expression of viewpoints. The main point of my response was to point out things within your comments that I believe are telling and precisely why as an LDS you seem to unable to view those that leave the Church in any other way than what you have been taught over the past 29 years. Convert or not at this point you view the world through your LDS eyes.

    My response was more in hopes that it might spark some self introspection in you and that you might truly look at what you are saying and see the irony in it as you talk of acceptance and tell me “if you are truly comfortable with your decision to leave the church, then there is no need for this website at all.” Or “you who have such strong feelings against the church: there is no reason for the animousity.”

    You belong to a proselytizing church you and I both served missions to try and convert people to what we believed to be right and true. How is what I am doing on my blog any different than that? Following what I believe to be true. The comments and conversations that follow my posts are the opinions of the Authors, the information and facts I present here come straight from LDS publications. I present the information it is up to the individual to decide what to make of that information.

  34. JLFuller said

    I suppose this thread is still active. Expectation can be a destructive thing if not put in perspective. Elder Joseph said he was disappointd because he din’t get the confirmationinthe manner he expected. The key here is as he expected. I amnot saure what he was expecting but if he continued to attend Church he had faith and that is sufficinet o build on. If he is like me, one day he will just wake up and know. My advice to him and others whop feel this way is to chill out. If you have enough faith to attend church you have enough faith to live the principles of the Gospel. Go ahead. People learn by doing. That isn’t an LDS thing, it is a human being thing. Ask any secular teacher how people lewarn and they will tell the same thing. We learn by doing. We learn by reading. We learn by observing others. Some people have a religious experience when the read the B of M. They get a confirmation right away. I didn’t. But I know it is true. I don’t know when it happened but I have a deep down belief it is. So just relax, and follow the prophets directions. It will come.

  35. coventryrm said

    JLFuller

    I am going to do my best to work through the reasoning you have used to defend your faith the advice you are handing out and the “Christian” warnings you have issued.

    First your comments are a pretty good example of what I think the article in question on the other thread

    https://coventryrm.wordpress.com/2008/06/23/study-shows-mormons-and-jws-least-tolerant/

    was talking about in regards to intolerance

    “For any Christian, bearing false witness is a very serious matter. So when someone knowingly continues to disseminate something they have been told is not accurate, they are guilty of this offense. Do not bear false witness against us.”

    Just because we have been told that in some peoples opinion that the factual information presented on this blog should not be interpreted in the way we have chosen to is a far cry from bearing a false witness, LDS (JLFULLER) is unable to tolerate or accept that our worldview and experiences are different than his so therefore must be false.

    Most racist do not consider them selves racist or if they do they feel it appropriate and justified,( ie The LDS Church ban on Blacks and the Priesthood.) My LDS siblings seeking out and cultivate relationships with my two grown LDS children while at the same time have nothing to do with my two younger NON LDS children, recently my 12 year old observed that her two LDS Aunts never even talk to her. Seems to smack on intolerance.

    That leaves us with your lines of logic and reason. I have read through your comments and this is what you seem to be saying.

    It doesn’t matter what the Church Leaders did or taught in the past, it doesn’t matter that Men claiming to be Prophets and Apostles made statements in the context of being revelations from God that have proved to be false. We only care about what the current Leaders of the Church have to say but if what they say today turns out to be proven wrong tomorrow the current Leaders can say change what they are saying so it no longer runs contrary to what is proven fact. (ie Evolution)

    The way that we know these Men are prophets is that they say they are. We cannot test the validity of their claims against any actual evidence of fact as they can change any teaching or doctrine at any time (ie DNA and Native Americans) or can just override any evidentiary claim with “It is a matter of faith”

    Your advice on gaining a faith based testimony I find interesting that you used the example that you did and is one thing I can completely agree with. If you do everything the LDS Church tells you to do and faithfully believe it to be true and anytime you have doubts or feel your faith is wavering just work harder to do what the Leaders of the Church advise you to do it is you not the Church. So basically what you are saying that anything you decide to put your faith into 100% will eventually manifest itself to you as actual knowledge regardless of its truthfulness it will become your truth. This process would have the same result on anything true or false.

    In a nutshell the true religion is the one that you decide to be true period regardless of any actual existence of empirical evidence to the contrary. It becomes true because you say it is true, I want it to be so, therefore it is so.

    Definition of Faith that in my opinion best exemplifies LDS faith.
    “Faith is what you have when the presence or absence of empirical evidence doesn’t matter”

    I also tend to like the more colorful and humorous one from Mark Twain.

    “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”

  36. JL Fuller
    you said

    “Elder Joseph said he was disappointd because he din’t get the confirmationinthe manner he expected. The key here is as he expected. I amnot saure what he was expecting ”

    I was expecting confirmation of the Holy Ghost as promised by my missionaries for following word of wisdom and for reading the Book Of Mormon , who conveniently then said ‘well it can happen another way , not everyone gets the answer at first ‘ ?

    Trouble is they were busy and desperately trying to baptise me before I ever opened the Book of Mormon.

    Its ridiculous what I witnessed from the missionaries and their sales tactics.

    you said

    ” If you have enough faith to attend church you have enough faith to live the principles of the Gospel. Go ahead. People learn by doing. ”

    I would love to still go to church , I enjoyed it very much , I attended more regular than the some of the temple recommend mormons, BUT I couldn’t carry on once I realised the lessons were deceptive .I could see through all the faith promoting stuff. I had already started reading on the Internet and found out those things which cause many to leave .

    Elder Joseph was created at my frustration of not being able to ask the right questions in church without being frowned upon or ending up in bishops office … and I found my answers .

    you said

    ” So just relax, and follow the prophets directions”

    No thanks , My stake patriarch told me that if I follow the prophet and he is wrong I will still be blessed …… I replied that if I follow the prophet and he is wrong then I am the even bigger fool . No Thanks .

  37. Alan Middlesworth said

    Wow! It’s too bad that theres so many Mormon haters. If you don’t want to be LDS that’s fine, but why do all these haters have to be whining all the time and say how awful Mormons are? It’s too bad that people leave the church because someone stepped on their toes or some other weak excuse. If you want out , get out! Go start your own church or join whatever church you want, but why all the bitterness? People spend so much time hating, that doesn’t seem Christlike to me. I served in the England Coventry Mission in 83 & 84. I learned so many great things about life and have a lot of great memories. My son is getting ready to go on a mission and my daughter is gaining a testimony of her own. The church has helped them out in their lives a ton already helping them make good decisions like it has done for 3 generations in my family. So don’t worry about me and my family, we’ll just keep on being happy about life why you go around cursing the church.

  38. SkiUtah said

    Not hate. Actually I feel really sorry for Mormons.

    Why do LDS members think that people leave the Mormon church for these reasons:
    – hurt feelings
    – couldn’t keep a commandment
    – and other weak excuses

    I simply chose not be LDS anymore. Why is that difficult for Mormons to understand?

  39. coventryrm said

    Elder Middlesworth

    Apparently you didn’t read through my blog before you commented I am not sure what piece or comment touched off a nerve for you.

    First I want to thank you for your shining example of how LDS like yourself, make assumptions about others, and then tell them how they should feel or think or what they should do with their life experience.

    Where is the bitterness and hate in this blog? You believe sharing the Gospel with others is an act of love, I believe sharing truth with people is an act of love as well, so because we disagree I am a hater and you are not?

    I do not hate Mormons, the majority of my family whom I love very much is Mormon, and I have a Son on a mission and Daughter that was just recently married in the Temple. What I hate and have bitterness towards is the divisive nature of the Church and the hatefulness and intolerance its teachings and culture have and how it destroys families and manipulates and controls individual growth and development by its cultish and dysfunctional nature.

    If you want to hear first hand people that have had other experiences of Mormonism than that of yourself I would suggest going and reading the personal stories and journeys posted at http://www.exmormon.org.

  40. ELAINE DRYBROUGH said

    I think my son was persuaded to kill himself by an internet predator in Minnesota. I live here and have little knowledge of the USA geography or legal system. Should I speak with one of you because you are American?

  41. ELAINE DRYBROUGH said

    How do I get to meet one of you people? I bumped into two in the library, and two with bicycles waylayed my husband on the canal towpath. If my main impression of people from USA is that an Angel of Death has been killing our young people over the internet, I might want to ask if there is anything you can do about it.

  42. Tom Clay said

    I served in the Coventry Mission the exact same time as you! I mentally left the church 20 years ago. Who are you? I’m interested in hearing more about your story. Send me an email.

    • Jeff Dodge said

      Tom – Don’t know if you remember me but I’d love to get back in touch with you. My wife and i have relocated to the Cedar Hills area and hope to contact more fellow Coventry RMs. I’d love to get back in touch with whomever is authoring this site (Elder Stark?) as well just to rekindle friendship. Just to be clear – My testimony has continued to grow over the years but that does not have to come between old friends.

      Look forward to hearing from you.

  43. coventryrm said

    Tom

    Great to hear from you. Maybe we can start our own reunion of sorts via blogland.

  44. coventryrm said

    Jeff Dodge …. didn’t we come out at the same time? You ended up being my ZL at some point? Yes you are right about the AKA Elder Stark

  45. Debrauk said

    well very late reply here…. like over a year ago!! but its the former Debra rimmer here and I too have found the real truth about the lds church and my husband and I have just left.

  46. Richard Oei said

    Aloha, Sis. Zwiller,

    Pleasantly surprised, to read your comments about your mission. I am Elder (Richard) Oei, we were in the same district in the MTC. If I remember right your companion was Sis. (Angie) Martinez. You two made the MTC experience a memorable one. Good to hear you are active and well. Just to say Hi!

  47. Tim Rasmussen said

    I am very interested in what you said here and stumbled across this post. After retuning home I started a group called ‘Mormon missionaries gone bad,’ a few friends who returned from the far reaches of the globe, with more questions than answers. One thing I’ll say is that President McKay once told me that ‘Boys come on Missions to become men.’ And that was why I was there, that made sense to me, especially after we combined and President Smith took over and taught me, again, that men in positions of power in the church often do not deserve the power they have. It was a great experience one that did make me a man but not a saint.

  48. Darin Landes said

    Who is the author of this post?

  49. Hi I served in the ECM under President Robert Garff. He was amazing mission president and I loved him and his wife and children dearly. I loved mission and enjoyed every moment of it, tragically my mum past away towards the end of my mission and I by choice did not go home because the funeral took place the same day. My family were Hindu and that was a tradition to bury the dead ASAP. My testimony is strong and had been strong ever since, I was a convert at the age of 19 years old and came on mission at 23 years old. I am South African and of Indian decent. I come from 5 th generation Indians from India. I never been to I India yet . I’m single and never married, I guess that will be in the Lords time. My testimony of the church is like the iron rod. With all the ups and downs of life’s trails I am glad to say that Jesus Christ my Lord has been there and will always be there for me. Joining this true church on earth had been the best thing that ever happened to me, I look forward to my exaltation. I hope you could find that strength and power of the Priesthood to bless and brighten your life. For those who left the church our Father in Heaven misses His sons and daughters dearly. One thing I learnt to be stronger is never to put your trust in the arms of the flesh. I know I need to repent everyday of my life in order to get closer to our Father in Heaven. Even if I think the person in front of me is driving like an idiot ( this is an example of our everyday mistake) I wish you peace and love.
    Seetha

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