We Are NOT Anti-Mormons!

Categories: In the News

Not Anti-MormonHey guys, I just wanted to take a minute and reiterate that we are NOT anti-Mormons, wolves in sheep’s clothing, or any of the other things that we get accused of daily. I’m amazed at how many people assume that just because we are honest about church history, and talk about the not-so-pleasant aspects of a mission, we must be anti-Mormons who are trying to prevent kids from serving missions. Let me be clear that our goal is NOT to keep anyone from serving a mission, unless that person is truly not cut out for missionary service, in which case they have nothing to be ashamed of and should not feel pressured to go. In all other cases, our goal is to prepare missionaries for what they will be dealing with in the field. Although ultimately it is the spirit that converts, that doesn’t mean that a future missionary shouldn’t strive to become as knowledgeable as possible about everything that pertains to the Gospel.

The first time I went through the temple, I had a good experience. I grew up in Utah, so I’d been told my whole life how extremely weird/crazy/shocking/unsettling it was. It was so built up for me, that by the time I actually went through, it didn’t seem like such a big deal, and I was actually able to feel the spirit and enjoy myself. My husband had the opposite experience. He grew up outside of Utah, with very few Mormons around. He’d been told by his parents and leaders his whole life that the temple was a wonderful, special, spiritual experience. Without having been the least bit prepared for the weirder, cult-like aspects of the endowment session, he freaked out and felt like everyone had lied to him, and that maybe it was a cult after all. How sad that his first temple experience was ruined by lack of preparation.

Here at futuremissionary.com, we don’t want any of you to feel like a deer in the headlights when you get to the MTC, or the mission field. We want you to be as prepared as possible – mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, academically – to serve a happy, successful mission.

There are plenty of websites out there to help you get ready for your mission. We started this site because we couldn’t find a single one that talked about the hard parts of serving a mission. When my nephew got his call a few months ago, he’d been taking a mission prep class, and had asked for mission advice from every RM that he came across. When he came to my husband and me, he said, “Be honest – what’s a mission really like?” As you can imagine, we gave him an earful. He genuinely seemed to be grateful for the honest truth. He’s a really smart kid, and spent the month before he left familiarizing himself with some of the more controversial topics.  Now, instead of looking like an idiot who doesn’t know his own church’s history, he’ll be able to calmly explain things when faced with tough questions.

We definitely understand why so many label us as anti-Mormon. My husband’s family is of the opinion that anything difficult in the church’s history, or that might paint it in a bad light, should never be spoken of. He was never taught about any of these things growing up, and when, after his mission, he brought them up to his parents, they chastised him for trying to stir up trouble, and told him that he shouldn’t be reading anti-Mormon material. He tried to explain that it wasn’t anti-Mormon material – it was all true stuff, verified by the Church. But they wouldn’t listen – they just told him that it wasn’t pertinent to his salvation, and that to talk about it only destroys testimonies. It’s because of them, and others like them, that we don’t use our real names. We don’t want to upset our family, and we don’t want to cause any issues in our ward either. We realize that a good portion of members feel the same as my in-laws. We knew we’d get a lot of flack for talking about the “meat” of the Gospel, and that we’d even get called anti-Mormons. It’s not fun – in fact it’s down-right infuriating, but we believe it’s worth it to get the truth out there. Yes, it can be tough to still have a testimony when you know about this stuff. But learning about and having to defend my religion has made my testimony much, much stronger. We hope to be able to help strengthen the testimonies of all who come to our site.

Let me close with a few quotes from our leaders:

“Well, we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues.” – Gordon B. Hinckley, Dec 25, ’05 interview with The Associated Press

“There are altogether too many people in the world who are willing to accept as true whatever is printed in a book or delivered from a pulpit. Their faith never goes below the surface soil of authority. I plead with everyone I meet that they may drive their faith down through that soil and get hold of the solid truth, that they may be able to withstand the winds and storm of indecision and of doubt, of opposition and persecution. Then, and only then, will we be able to defend our religion successfully.” – Apostle Hugh B. Brown

“Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t seek revelation or answers…because we think we know the answers already. Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit.

Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Author: Sister F

I served a lady mission in US, Spanish-speaking. While I loved my mission, and am glad I went, there's a WHOLE lotta stuff I wish I'd known before I went. I hope to bring an honest look at day-to-day missionary life to FutureMissionary.com.

23 Responses to "We Are NOT Anti-Mormons!"

  1. You not sneaky Posted on August 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Being honest is not anti-Mormon. But you are not preparing missionaries for good missions, which you purport to be doing. Your links aren’t to peer-reviewed sources but mostly to internet redneck bait that has destroyed testimonies. I don’t see any pointers to sources on the church from reputable like Oxford University Press. There are proper channels to learn vital information about church history, and you are not pointing people in the right direction.

    Furthermore, there is little content here on the practical matters concerned with serving a mission. We’re not stupid.

  2. Terry Holland Posted on August 15, 2013 at 1:04 am

    You’ve defended your choice not to censor the church’s history. That’s fine; I don’t have a problem with presenting the facts. What I resent is your deceptive claims about your motives. I’ve explained a dozen or so times why I think this is the case. If your site was titled “Uncomfortable Truths about the LDS Church” or “Things you Didn’t Learn in Sunday School” then it would make more sense.

    I ask you again to reveal your names. If this was an honest site, you would do it, the way the Mormonthink.com creator has done.

    • Zelph
      Zelph Posted on November 9, 2014 at 12:41 am

      You say you have a problem with what you call their deception? Do you also have a problem with the Church’s deception? The way they have hid and covered up their history? The way they have lied about historical facts and called it anti-mormon? The list goes on and on.

  3. Parker Posted on August 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    As a faithful return missionary, I just wanted to reassure you guys that this website is constructive and beneficial to missionaries entering the field. I can’t believe some of the ignorance shown by active members in the comments. People like you are taking great steps to repair a major issue that exists in the modern church. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

  4. Kevin Kelsey Posted on August 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you for addressing some of the tougher parts of Church history. It makes sense to me that missionaries should have a complete picture of the Gospel so that they can answer the tough questions associated with increasingly knowledgable investigators.

  5. Terry Holland Posted on August 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Under what circumstances would a site ostensibly created to prepare missionaries, even at its most off-topic moments, choose to highlight a quote from a newspaper article without context saying that anti-depressant use is higher in Utah than in other states? What would compel me, if I were trying to prepare missionaries by instruction or even warning, to include statistics on prescription drug use in a region where there were a lot of Mormons? Would that help missionaries (more than any other irrelevant fact)? Is the content on this site more consistent with “subtle but disarming facts that might lead a person away from the church” or “the most important things to know if you’re planning on a mission”? Is there even really a question?

    • a Mormon
      a Mormon Posted on April 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Terry,

      With all due respect to another member, you sir, are an embarrassment to the LDS faith.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous Posted on October 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      The truth is always helpful.

  6. Terry Holland Posted on September 22, 2013 at 1:26 am

    No one has answered my above comment. The honest reader can see why, of course.

    • Jason Farr
      Jason Farr Posted on November 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      People never answered because you obviously aren’t open to other opinions. However, to answer your original question: the antidepressant statistic IS important for future missionaries. Personally, I was blindsided by that stat during my mission, and spent too much energy trying to deny it. An effective missionary would know about it, have a decent answer about it (one that reconciles the “Mormons are the happiest people” meme and the “Utah has the highest anti-depressant usage” meme), instead of going in and trumpeting out “well, I just KNOW that isn’t true, to hell with your useless ‘facts’ and faith destroying ‘statistics'”

  7. Neil Posted on October 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Guys you link your answers to Mormon Think. He is a RM but now an atheist. You only pick FAQs designed to make LDS beliefs look silly. For example almost all current Mormons believe sunlight comes only from the Sun and not from Kolob.

    Be upfront about your own beliefs and the reasons for them. The internet is a market of ideas. But stop being DISHONEST by pretending to be a site designed to help missionaries increase their testimony of the LDS church. Why can’t you be honest about your own disbelief in the LDS church’s claims?

    • a Mormon
      a Mormon Posted on April 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      I agree. If they are truly fair, they need friendlier resources.

  8. Aaron Posted on November 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I have to say that I can see both sides of this argument After returning honorably from my mission and learning about the facts of church history (through church approved sources at first I might add), I sure felt like a dork having born witness to many people that Joseph hadn’t translated the book of Mormon with a seer stone and hat, and that he had of course not smoked and drank after the word of wisdom was revealed to him. He of course didn’t fire a gun at his martyrdom and I swore to all who inquired that Joseph had never married a teenage girl or ladies already married to other men. This list goes on and on. I didn’t know it but I was deceiving people. Is that how we want people to gain testimonies of God’s TRUE church? Do we want our missionaries to be so ignorant of the truth that they deceive without knowing?

    I also felt like embellishing my spiritual stories was not only OK on my mission and after, but that it was important. We have developed a culture of lying for the greater good in our church. Anyone who truly looks cannot and should not deny it. I mean good grief, we are trained from the beginning to say we know things instead of believe things during talks and testimonies, even if we don’t even believe them! We are taught to fake it till we make it. I Contend that It is not OK to lie for anyone, or anything, especially the LORD. If this church is God’s one and only, He doesn’t need us to lie for him or cover up the “icky” parts. When is covering up secrets ever considered beneficial in the long run?

    That brings me to the other side of the Argument. Anyone who has studied 10’s of 100’s of websites that both defend and critique the church, can see that this site mirrors a critic’s site. It is my assumption that this site believes that the only way to get a true believing brain washed pre-missionary to read about these true histories, is to gain their trust and be on their side. I know I would have dismissed these ideas as conjurings of the devil if someone didn’t trust whole heatedly had informed me of them. So, while I may not agree how this site seems a bit deceiving at times, I can’t deny that it may be the only way to get through to people.

    I don’t believe this site has the goal of ruining missions. I feel like I wasted 2 years telling half-truths and un-truths, Philosophies of men, mingled with scripture you might say. If I had been properly informed, I could have actually done some good. I would have been more humble, in realizing that my church has it’s issues too, just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Catholics, the Hindus, and the rest of the 4200 religions on this planet. I wouldn’t have felt quite so above the people I was teaching. They were ignorant of the truth, and I was sent by Jesus himself to save them. Why would I listen to a word they had to say. What could they teach me that I didn’t already know? Well, it turned out, a Lot! I cringe at some of the situations I put myself in by being “BOLD” like I was taught to. I should have shut up and listened.

    So in conclusion, This really may be the only was to get closed minded Saints to even consider these truths. But, Should we Join the “Lying for the greater good” fallacy to bring this stuff to light?. I don’t claim to know.

    I welcome any corrections/rebuttals.

    • Terry Holland
      Terry Holland Posted on March 31, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Lying may be the “only way to get through” to Mormons? If that’s the price, it’s not worth paying.

  9. a Mormon Posted on April 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I agree with Terry that lying should not be used to get through to us. Certain leaders in the Church have not always been forthright or honest; and supposedly this site aims at doing better, yet if they resort to the same tactics, they are no better.

    How about we have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And that we love the truth over our egos; that we believe in word and deed what is so beautifully expressed in the hymn ‘O, Say What is Truth.’

    Secrets have their cost: our Church is learning that dearly in the internet age with the damage being played out in the battlefield of life, where families are being torn asunder because of inconvenient historical events being brought to light; this site would do well to remember the lesson, should they he hiding things inconvenient, too.

  10. Anonymous Posted on May 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    The thing I would like to say about your site, and any other site that purports to “educate” members of the church is that there is a feeling that goes with your website and it is not good. Go to the church’s website, bring up any conference talk, bring up any video. How do you feel when you watch or read. You feel the spirit. When a person uses a tool to try to destroy the church, the spirit is gone. In fact when the spirit is gone it leaves a void and is filled by the evil spirit. That is what is here and on other anti Mormon websites. And don’t try to sugar coat what you are doing. You are trying to discourage young members of the church from going on a mission. There is no good spirit on your website. There is an evil spirit. Test it out “by their fruits ye shall know them”. Are you trying to increase the testimonies of young people that Jesus is the Christ, or are you trying to destroy those testimonies. I say you are trying to destroy. There are always consequences to trying to destroy the work of the Lord. I would really worry about standing before the Lord someday and trying to explain my actions.

    • Aaron
      Aaron Posted on May 31, 2014 at 1:06 am

      The “evil spirit” you speak of is called cognative dissonance. It doesn’t feel good to be told your whole world view may be incorrect. You’re tradition says it’s true, but evidence says it may not be. Go to an anti-jehova’s witness website. That doesn’t feel evil does it? Well, it sure does to a life long jehova’s witness.

  11. Anonymous Posted on June 1, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Well Aaron, maybe you have the problem of cognitive dissonance. I’m quite sure I know an evil spirit when I feel it, I am also quite sure I know a good spirit when I feel it. So if you go to a bar and feel evil there, then maybe you should embrace that lifestyle because it feels bad and it must be cognitive dissonance and therefore your whole word view may be incorrect. Sorry, that certainly doesn’t fly. We all have given to us the light of Christ or what may be termed a conscience which helps us to know what is good and bad. I have researched and read all the anti Mormon claims and I certainly don’t have a problem with thinking my whole world might be incorrect. I have had a personal witness of the truth of the gospel as restored by Joseph Smith, and a personal witness that the Book of Mormon is true. That witness is sacred to me, and I certainly would be foolish to question God, or wonder if I am deceived by such a witness. Who are you and any person like you to tell me or any other person who has received a witness of the truth of the Book of Mormon that it may be incorrect and that if we were to read something evil about that it is cognitive dissonance. You are very confused about cognitive dissonance really is and perhaps you should try asking God whether something is true or not. Oh, unless you are like so many anti Mormons who use the circular argument that you shouldn’t ask God because that would be tempting God. Sorry, sorry lot all of them.

  12. Laura Posted on June 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    So… in the “About Us” section it says that the authors are no longer believers. In this post, you say that learning about difficult church history has made your testimony stronger? So… are you still a believer? Do you have a testimony of the restored gospel?

    • Laura
      Laura Posted on June 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Sorry… I meant the “who are we?” section.

  13. Zak Posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I agree with Laura. If you are not believers, what are you and why are you maintaining this site? If you truly don’t believe in this work, why do you care about how prepared future missionaries are?

    You have admitted to being non-believers. In light of this, how can you expect us to believe that you are honestly and truly trying to help young missionaries be more effective in doing the work of God?

    Your stated intentions are in conflict with your religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

    As Joseph Smith once stated (and I’m paraphrasing), once you have chosen sides, there is no longer neutral ground for you. You may continue to work for the Lord, or eventually you will fight against Him. It seems to me that you are moving further and further down that path.

    It saddens me to see this kind of behavior. I don’t know what you hope to gain from all of this, but I don’t expect that you’ll get it. Just like Thomas B. Marsh, you should expect sadness and pain all your days, especially in the eternities.

  14. Anonymous Posted on March 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I had a conversation with Mormon missionaries that insisted about getting me baptized . So, finally decided to tell them the reasons why after agreeing to have a senior member of the church present. because I didn’t think it was fair for them to hear the troubling facts about the BM and church history. I agree that most missionaries don’t know the church history , just as most members don’t know it either. In my conversation, I found out the senior member didn’t know most of the facts I was talking about. I had reasearched the church history for a while and decided that it was based on a false foundation. Anyways, I don’t think missionaries should be sent without knowledge of the church real history facts. They are being deceived as much as they are unintentionally deceiving the investigators. Missionaries are out there trying to do a good cause but they should make their choice to go on missions only after knowing the true facts.

  15. Pete avila Posted on March 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I had a conversation with Mormon missionaries that insisted about getting me baptized . So, finally decided to tell them the reasons why after agreeing to have a senior member of the church present. because I didn’t think it was fair for them to hear the troubling facts about the BM and church history. I agree that most missionaries don’t know the church history , just as most members don’t know it either. In my conversation, I found out the senior member didn’t know most of the facts I was talking about. I had reasearched the church history for a while and decided that it was based on a false foundation. Anyways, I don’t think missionaries should be sent without knowledge of the church real history facts. They are being deceived as much as they are unintentionally deceiving the investigators. Missionaries are out there trying to do a good cause but they should make their choice to go on missions only after knowing the true facts.

Leave a Reply to You not sneaky Cancel reply