As LDS members (and former members), we have to navigate through increasing twisty-turns of the straight and narrow path. No longer is the gospel plain and precious. The plain parts are now growing more confusing. Was there an Adam? Were there Lamanites? Could Joseph Smith really translate Egyptian (let alone "Reformed Egyptian")? The precious parts are growing dull and dark. Did Joseph Smith really marry other men's wives? Did he marry teen girls? How do the current apostles and seventy really afford three or more homes? Does the LDS Church really have so much money it needs to invest in malls, business parks, timberland and ranches?
The Mormon gospel used to read like a map to get to the Celestial kingdom, with graphics depicting pre-mortality, earth-life, spirit-world, judgment and kingdoms of glory or outer darkness.
Now that map is a maze full of mists, forbidden paths, specious investments, fountains of secrets and more.
Members are finding increasingly they have to go over, under, around, and through the words of the old "disavowed" prophets in order to fit the square doctrine peg in the round science slot. The policies and explanations on these problems are increasingly released as "Newsroom" items or "Topic" essays. The apostles and prophets don't expound on the not-so-plain things, and seem to be contented with hiding the precious ones.
When a questioning member raises the issue, often he or she is shouted down by more loyal members who dare not whisper an ill against their hushed prophet. The tensions between the stronger and the former Mormons escalates as the LDS church doesn't resolve any of these matters, leaving the two groups to argue over details that make angels-on-pinheads appear like sage material.
To this end, several of us put together this statement:
As current and former Mormons, many of us have been through emotional turmoil as we’ve struggled with our beliefs. Some of us even made the difficult decision to leave. Our most cherished relationships have been strained or lost. We’ve experienced pain and distress, sometimes having to keep silent out of fear—all because of a lack of understanding between active members and those who question their faith.
With this Open Letter to President Monson, we hope to open up dialogue, not only with Church leadership, but also between families. The letter asks the Church to commit to more transparency and to help us create an atmosphere with more peace and understanding between us and our loved ones—regardless of our beliefs.
You can take action with us. Add your voice by signing your name and sharing it with those you love.